A pianist who brings delight to hundreds of nursing home residents across the South Burnett has won this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award is given to a person who is at least 60 years of age who displays ongoing excellence in their field and in the community, demonstrating leadership and innovation whilst contributing towards the South Burnett.
Laura Hobdell, who is able to play the piano, omni-chord, piano accordion and organ, brings joy to seniors and residents of several aged care facilities, who experience an uplift every time she arrives to play.
Laura is known for going out of her way to support other club members in their musical and singing endeavours, and her selfless approach to sharing music leaves those who hear her inspired and soothed.
This year’s South Burnett Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Laura by Member for Nanango and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington.
Other nominees this year were:
- Roslyn Gregor (Nanango) – Roslyn has dedicated much of her life to Nanango, and town proud of its history that is richer because of focussed and passionate people like Ros dedicating their talents to preserving and sharing that history. When one historical building’s life ends there are no barriers in her mind to the many possibilities about what and where it can re-purposed somewhere else in Nanango. Her 23 years as President of the Nanango Historical Society oversaw the transformation of Ringsfield House and gardens from a very dilapidated state in 1995 to the fantastic and multifunctional attraction it is today. Ros also served on the former Nanango Shire Council as councillor for two terms, one as deputy mayor. Her passion for history and tourism has seen the development of Tipperary Flats, the Ros Gregor Nature Walk from Tarong Road to Tipperary Flats, and she also had a big hand in the launch of Nanango’s Big Screen film weekends held annually for over 10 years. Recently, her efforts saw two former Nanango Hospital outbuildings saved from disposal and given a new life at the Nanango Showgrounds. Having given thousands of volunteer hours to numerous projects such as the restoration and maintenance of Ringsfield House, its gardens and outbuildings, the inclusion of the 1850’s Shepherd’s Hut from Colinton, the original 1866 Nanango State School building, the first Presbyterian Church, a 1950’s fire engine and the rebuilt coach house constructed from the original Nanango show grandstand, Ros is “a person who gets things done”. And with no remuneration for her service to community, she has travelled many miles in search of items for Ringsfield including antiques, carpets, lights, plants, decorations and flowers.
- Winston Burrows (Wondai) – Winston is a well known as Wondai “elder statesman” and has a track record of going the extra mile and helping out with anything that progresses Wondai. He has given many years of service to four organisations, serving as President of The Laurel’s Independent Living Units for the Aged; President of the Wondai County Club, incorporating the Golf and Bowls clubs; as a long standing elder of the Uniting Church; and over 50 years as secretary of the Wondai Town Band. More recently, he was part of the committee that helped erect a steel sculpture of Charlotte, Wondai’s much-loved former town emu, in Coronation Park; and he is also a volunteer for the Wondai Park Run. Winston is vice chairman and a life member of the Crow FM Community Radio board and his talents also extend to judging karaoke and Rural Ambassadors to represent the South Burnett at the Ekka.
- Ian Crosthwaite (Wooroolin) – Ian has recently retired from his day job as a senior agronomist, a position he held for over 21 years. It is his service to agriculture as the most important industry in the South Burnett that Ian’s name is synonymous with. His commitment to improving the farming practices of local farmers is enduring, and he is only satisfied when “his partners” (as he calls them) are running profitable and sustainable businesses. In retirement, Ian now dedicates his service to Landcare and GRCD. Ian has supported our region’s famers through flood, droughts and crop disasters and is acknowledged as one of the best agronomists in Australia. His most recent project has been to introduce Jewel Beetles to fight the Cats Claw Creeper war along South Burnett creeks and waterways.
- Len Hams (Kingaroy) – see Coach Of The Year