Motors In Motion are the region’s Community Organisation Of The Year for delivering a low cost, family friendly event that draws thousands of extra people to the South Burnett.
In 2016 Motors In Motion decided to change their direction and inaugurated the Wondai Street Sprints, an annual two day sprint race run in the Wondai Industrial Estate.
The race meeting drew more than 5000 motor sports fans to the South Burnett for a fun weekend of racing, an amazing accomplishment for a debut outing.
Setting up the course required the group to import and set up truckloads of heavy concrete safety barriers and comply with the strict rules that surround this type of motor sport.
But this investment in infrastructure now enables Wondai to showcase the South Burnett to a much bigger national audience.
The group are now aiming to attract more than 15,000 spectators to this year’s follow-up event, which will be held over the weekend of June 10-11.
The Motors in Motion committee have demonstrated the importance of community events responding to unexpected change in positive ways, and the value of tapping into the substantial visitor market to enhance the social and economic benefits major events bring to the region.
Other nominees for South Burnett Community Organisation of the Year were:
- Kingaroy Women’s Golf – Kingaroy Women’s Golf had a busy 2016 managing women’s golf competitions and events including the Peanut Harvest Week of Golf, a 6-day event in March that attracts a field of 200 golfers; the Meg Nun Inter-District Match Play Competition, a 4 day event in September with elite teams from each of the seven golfing districts in Queensland; and acting as hosts for the Sunshine Coast Burnett and District Women’s’ Golf match play final in October. The club also promoted women’s golf through free lessons and mentoring, and raised and
donated funds for medical research and the Quota Club, Club members volunteer their time and talent to maintain the gardens and ensure the club is a friendly and welcoming place for all.
- St Mary’s Centacare – St Mary’s Centacare wants to specifically acknowledge the wonderful work St Mary’s Centacare staff provide across the South Burnett. The staff are respectful and recipients of their care know that their hearts are in what they do – it’s not just a job to them.
- Red Earth Community Foundation South Burnett – The Red Earth Community Foundation was
formed in 2013 in response to prolonged droughts, rural conditions and two disastrous floods. Its vision of “sowing seeds for the future” has been quietly contributing to the South Burnett’s own future since 2014 when – in partnership with Vision 21 – the South Burnett Community Leadership program was designed to encourage and develop local leaders to ensure the South Burnett is strengthened with resilient, creative and determined individuals. Over 70 people have now participated in this two-part, five day residential program held in the Bunya Mountains each year. The benefits continue to flow to both participants and their communities through the formation of an alumni that meets regularly to further train, mentor and inspire after the course is finished. Over the past 12 months, in partnership with local community organisations, Red Earth has also facilitated workshops that deliver training and skills for local leaders in agriculture, community, industry, business, government and community.
- Bloomin Beautiful Blackbutt Festival – The festival started in 2009 as an event organised by a sub-committee of the Blackbutt and Benarkin Garden Club, and gained its own incorporated status in 2010. This annual event celebrates and showcases the agricultural and cultural heritage of the South Burnett, and very effectively promotes Blackbutt as the gateway to the region, attracting over 5000 people each year with more than 3400 of those attending from outside the surrounding towns. The festival also generates many benefits for Blackbutt businesses offering everything from accommodation to cafe meals. The festival’s long term aim is to continue growing and to entice visitors to stay longer in the region.
- Kingaroy SES – Kingaroy SES’s small band of 14 volunteers amass over 2000 hours in training, community support, equipment maintenance and activations in any one year. SES volunteers are on call 24/7 and often leave their employment without pay to respond to emergencies. During 2016, the South Burnett South Unit received the Regional Operational Response of the Year Award at the 2016 SES Week Awards in Gympie. The award was in recognition for their effective response, in partnership with other emergency services, to the damage caused by an unexpected storm that ripped through Nanango in November 2015. The group also received certificates of appreciation for their support of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Queensland’s Special Olympics, and the Disability Action Week Fun In The Park Event.
- Kumbia P&C Association – The annual Kumbia Brain Drain has raised funds for the Kumbia P&C Association for more than 23 years, and provided a reliable night of fun for participants throughout that time. Each year, volunteers organise this quiz night backdropped by teams in dress up, mostly from the good side. Those from the dark side have another opportunity next year to win not just the quiz but the dress up and other competitions held during the event. The 2016 event drew superheroes from the South Burnett and places far away for a fun filled and memorable night, ensuring the students and families attending Kumbia State School continue to enjoy quality education close to home.
- Murgon Junior Rugby League Football Club – The Murgon JRL’s most recent highlight was the success of the Gavin Cooper Fundraiser weekend held last Easter. In five short weeks, members of the club and Murgon Business and Development Association organised the event, raising $25,000 for the club from Gavin Cooper’s weekend visit. The weekend included a family fun day, development sessions and an evening dinner. Each of the activities enabled the North Queensland Cowboys superstar Gavin an opportunity to make presentations and encourage the club and community, particularly young people. He was also able to have a reunion of sorts with some of his U17 premiership winning team members.
- Nanango Mardi Gras Committee – Seizing on the opportunity to re-invent a community festival steeped in the long history and heritage of Nanango, the Nanango Funfest-Mardi Gras Committee organised one of the region’s largest New Year’s event to herald the arrival of 2016.
A dedicated band of volunteers and keen local businesses developed the concept of “Mardi Gras Dollars”, which residents could accumulate by shopping locally to earn themselves free entry, rides, entertainment, food and tickets in the major raffle prize at the event. Organisers expected the New Year’s Eve Mardi Gras to draw about 1500 people, and were astonished when more than 5000 descended on the inaugural event, challenging the planning but delivering extra benefits to local businesses, partnering organisations and key sponsors like Heritage Community Funding Ltd who made the Mardi Gras possible.
- Murgon Rotary Club – The Murgon Rotary Club has a finger in every pie around the community, and 2016 was another busy year for them. The group organised another successful Murgon Music Muster, filling the Murgon showgrounds and CBD with entertainment and crowds. The club’s fundraising efforts in 2016 saw extra help arrive for the LifeFlight and the McGrath Foundation, as well as upgrades to the local Murgon Rotary and Youth Park play equipment. And a new initiative to support Cherbourg’s Ration Shed Museum now sees one of the club’s members refurbishing second hand equipment in his spare time. The Club recently presented a laptop to the Ration Shed with plans are now in place to complete the project with a server, wireless access points, 10 laptops and a network printer.
- Murgon Area Community Health Nurses – Responding to some seriously concerning findings from a Medicare Local health needs assessment in 2014, local health nurses, emergency services, BIEDO, the Wondai Hospital Auxiliary and other groups put together a Focus On You Health Expo at the Murgon PCYC in August last year. Over 250 people attended, hearing inspirational presentations from celebrity chef Matt Golinski and health experts. The Expo also allowed around 20 local health providers to offer free blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure and other information to attendees in a relaxed setting so they could better understand their current state of health. The aim of the Expo was to help the South Burnett get ahead of findings that South Burnett residents are statistically significantly worse off than Queensland averages for men and women in obesity and blood pressure.