Kathryn Stevens is the South Burnett’s 2021 Australia Day Citizen Of The Year

January 24, 2021

Kingaroy BaconFest’s founder – and first “Chief Baconeer” – Kathryn Stevens is the South Burnett’s 2021 Australia Day Citizen Of The Year.

Kathryn, from Kingaroy, was presented with her award by South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto during a socially distanced Council awards ceremony held on Sunday afternoon at Wondai Town Hall.

Junior Citizen Of The Year is Kingaroy State High School captain Olivia Eriksen, from Cushnie.

There were a number of “firsts” at this year’s awards ceremony: the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags were flown on stage, and five Lifetime Achievement Awards were handed out to local residents instead of the usual solitary award.

Compere John Carey told the small-than-usual audience – attendees were by invitation only due to COVID-19 restrictions – that Australia Day was an opportunity to come together to celebrate and remind ourselves, regardless of where our own story begins, on what unites and defines us as Australians.

This year’s theme is “Reflect, Respect, Celebrate – We’re All Part Of The Story”.

“Today we are honouring the achievements of many in our region, and to celebrate those, who from all walks and stages of life serve, volunteer, create and participate in activities and organisations that make for a great South Burnett,” John said.

“I might sound like I am reading out a list of things people do, but what today is really about, is taking a moment to honour and celebrate the people and the community organisations that are both the foundation and the limbs of the region that quietly turn ideas in activities, events and service to one another.

“Almost 70 nominations were received for the various award categories.”

Australia Day Ambassador Vanessa A. Fowler was the guest speaker

Guest speaker and Australia Day Ambassador was Vanessa A. Fowler, director and chair of the not-for-profit Allison Baden-Clay Foundation.

Vanessa is the sister of Allison Baden-Clay who was murdered by her husband in Brisbane in 2012.

Since then, Vanessa has worked to focus attention on domestic violence by sharing Allison’s story and forming the Foundation to educate the Australian community to recognise the “red flags” which can exist within relationships.

She said domestic violence can happen to anyone: all classes of people, all religions, all income levels, all education levels.

“Allison, like so many other women suffered in silence until her death,” she said.

Vanessa said the Foundation was working towards positive, safe and equal futures for young men and women.

“This is the best investment that we an Australia can make,” she said.

Vanessa said Allison’s story – which had become a part of her story – was just one of the many stories that combine to make up the Australian nation.

She urged the audience to respect the stories of others and “celebrate this great nation and its people”.

“Thank you for being part of this story. Thank you for playing a positive part and making a difference,” she said.

(The full list of nominees and award winners is below the photo gallery)

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Wondering what’s happening around the region on Australia Day? Click here …

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Gallery Of Photos

Cadets from 135 Army Cadet Unit performed the flag entrance ceremony … for the first time, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags joined the Australian and Queensland flags on stage at a South Burnett Australia Day Awards ceremony
Sue Dowideit-Reiger, from Kingaroy State High School, sang the Australian National Anthem
Wakka Wakka Elder Eric Law AM was thanked by Mayor Brett Otto for doing the Welcome To Country … Uncle Eric urged people to look at the “soul” of the country and come together as one
John Carey was compere for the 2021 Australia Day Awards ceremony
Australia Day Ambassador Vanessa Fowler with her mum, Priscilla Dickie, from Brisbane
Member For Nanango Deb Frecklington was thanked by Mayor Otto for her part in the awards ceremony
Muddy Flats’ Robert “Rocko” Langton and …
… Bevan Costello provided the music during lunch
Wondai Lions Club members prepared the sausage sizzle and also served up special Australia Day cupcakes during the lunch on the lawn outside Wondai Town Hall
Award winners and nominees gathered for a quick group photo at the end of proceedings

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Award Winners & Nominees

Following is an edited version of the nominations read out by compere John Carey.

Kathryn Stevens, from Kingaroy, was presented with the Citizen Of The Year Award by Mayor Brett Otto

Citizen Of The Year

This award recognises a South Burnett resident who has made a valuable contribution to their community and or given outstanding service to the South Burnett community over a number of years. Nominees are:

  • Pastor Chris Downes (Murgon)

Pastor Chris has made a huge impact on both his congregation and the region since he moved to the South Burnett two years ago. He is well-known for his initiative to start the “South Burnett Prayers for Rain”, a non-denominational service where the community could come together and pray for rain online. He used the same format for “Prayers for COVID” to create a stronger sense of community for people in isolation. He is chair of the Barambah Ministers Association chair and the Murgon Christmas Festival. He is also involved with the Murgon Men’s Shed and volunteers his time teaching religious instruction at primary schools in Murgon. He is greatly appreciated s someone who lifts the spirits of the community and a beacon of joy for Murgon.

  • Rhonda Trivett (Kingaroy)

Rhonda has an enormous capacity to support her community and, especially, people that need extra support. Her life experience enables her to see gaps in the community where she actively uses her resources and ingenuity to find ways to solve them. She believes it is important to provide the people she cares for with dignity, support and resources and advocates for them to have the opportunity they deserve. Over the years Rhonda has established grassroots support services for vulnerable people through “South Burnett Peace of Mind”. Rhonda regularly opens her home to vulnerable South Burnett people, offering personal support, advice, accommodation and advocacy. She lobbies local, State and Federal governments to improve mental health services and bring attention to people who don’t receive the support and services that they need. Using her own life experiences to offer insight and challenge the way people think, she has started developing her own business to support people with disabilities and to link them with services needed.

  • Marie Shaw (Kingaroy)

Marie’s achievements are detailed in the Lifetime Achievement award, below.

  • Gary Barron (Kingaroy)

Gary has devoted many years of service to the South Burnett. He’s paved the way in many industries, especially peanuts. He is the president of the South Burnett Agricultural Show Society and some of their most successful years have been with Gary at the helm. He is also instrumental in the ongoing success of the South Burnett Speedway in Kingaroy.

  • Melissa Barnett (Kingaroy)

City born and bred, Melissa first headed to the South Burnett in 1982 to take up a nursing role in Kingaroy. She met and fell in love with local Kingaroy farmer, Michael Leu, of Taabinga Station. After a short period away developing business interests, they returned in 2011 to live and run Taabinga Station. Not one to sit idle, Melissa joined the Barambah branch of the Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network. In 2017, Melissa was elected QRRRWN State president and held the position for two consecutive terms. In 2018, Melissa organised a very successful conference, knowing that these opportunities inspire the next generation of regional women. Melissa takes a lead role in managing the 3000-acre Taabinga Station and doubles as the editor for a number of publications, as well as having active roles in her husband’s businesses. Over the past 10 years she has developed the family’s farm-based tourism and established the Taabinga Station’s wine label. Melissa has been active in the South Burnett Wine Industry Association, AgForce and is a graduate of the Red Earth Community Leadership program.

  • Kathryn Stevens (Kingaroy)

BaconFest’s first “Chief Baconeer” has a real name and it is Kathryn Stevens! This now iconic South Burnett event came about because Kathryn achieved two very important things: she pitched her idea to her network of friends and convinced them they could pull off a new three-day festival themed around a key South Burnett industry; and secondly, because Kathryn chose to leave her job so she could dedicate untold thousands of hours to create, direct and deliver the new economic and community-led driven event. In 2019, the festival contributed more than $660,000 to the local economy with an estimated attendance of 15,000 people over the three days. Kathryn’s leadership brought the South Burnett community together in ways that provided mutual benefits to many local businesses, chefs, industry leaders and enabled residents to reconnect with their families and friends around a common theme of bacon. In June 2019, Kathryn co-ordinated a recovery event to support first responders dealing with the personal toll of multiple fatalities in a string of terrible road accidents across the South Burnett.

  • Damien Martoo (Kingaroy)

“Damo” describes his purpose as “it is all about lifting others to better the entire community”.  On The Martoo Review’s Facebook pages, Damien’s face is either at the end of a dog’s tongue or he is pushing his face into their nose just for a photo and to create a social media presence for them! He also shares his screen with babies, cats and has many, many cool promotions, honest interviews and tips for community groups and businesses to grow and achieve great things. Fortunately, Ann-Maree Harrison was able to paint her portrait of Damo for the pieces she submitted to the recent David Bryce competition at the Kingaroy Art Gallery without any of his extra friends in the portrait! Countless hours, many of them volunteered, sees Damo’s iconic smile and face spreading the good news of the South Burnett across social media and beyond. He is appreciated by many local businesses for coming up with creative ways to communicate with them and their customers to understand and respond to the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions. Damien volunteers his time and talents across the South Burnett. He is president of the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry and his voice is heard all over speedway loudspeakers.

  • Ros Heit (Wooroolin)

Ros Heit’s contributions are detailed during the Local Achiever Awards, below.

  • Olivia Everitt (Kingaroy)

Olivia Everitt’s contributions are detailed in the South Burnett Cultural Award, below.

The winner of the South Burnett Citizen of the Year Award is Kathryn Stevens.

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Olivia Eriksen, from Cushnie, was presented with the Young Citizen Of The Year Award by Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington

Young Citizen Of The Year

This award recognises an individual under 25 at January 26, 2021 who displays ongoing excellence in their field and in the community, demonstrating leadership and innovation while contributing to the development of the South Burnett region. Nominees are:

  • Olivia Eriksen (Cushnie)

Olivia is the incoming 2021 school captain at Kingaroy State High School. The young Indigenous student has achieved outstanding success throughout her schooling. Prior to COVID, Olivia was instrumental in organising the Wondai Anzac Day service, and as a school captain, she has represented the school at events and functions throughout the year. She is organising a Cancer Council fundraising event that has so far raised more than $2000. Olivia is a wonderful student who has been an exceptional role model to all members of her school community.

  • Courtney Retschlag (Wondai)

After completing her high school education in the South Burnett, Courtney went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science and has brought this knowledge back to the South Burnett, gaining employment as a laboratory technician. She is deeply invested in bringing new knowledge and skills to the region, advocating for other school leavers and graduates from the South Burnett to find a way to reinvest their newfound talents and knowledge back in the region. She has demonstrated outstanding leadership, innovation and creativity through her voluntary work with the Wondai, Proston, Kingaroy and Nanango show societies. Courtney gives her time selflessly for the benefit of community and works tirelessly behind the scenes, completing tasks that require attention and professionalism to ensure that any team she’s part of, delivers safe, worthwhile and successful community events. She is a member of the Wondai Show Society and Assistant Ringmaster of the Equestrian division. She is also a director of the South Burnett Community Enterprises (Bendigo Bank) and part of sponsorship and social media committee where she regularly liaises with bank staff regarding how available funds can be distributed back into the local community.

  • Madison Hall (Murgon)

Madison has been very active from a young age in karate, where she has achieved a black belt, and coaches. She represented Queensland at the State titles in Western Australia in 2017. She graduated from Murgon High School in 2020 and is currently working three jobs to make her way in the world. Madison has always been involved in a family business, helping where she can and supporting many community events. Her temperament is always positive, and it never changes no matter where you see her. A breath of fresh air no matter which counter she is behind.

The winner of the South Burnett Junior Citizen Award is Olivia Eriksen.

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Guest speaker Vanessa Fowler, right, presented the Community Organisation Of The Year Award to the South Burnett Speedway Club … club patron Deb Frecklington accepted the award on behalf of the group

Community Organisation Of The Year

The South Burnett Community Organisation of the Year award recognises an outstanding achievement by a group, club or organisation that has made a notable contribution to the community during 2020. Nominees are:

  • Qld Dairy and Heritage Museum (Murgon)

The Dairy Museum is an entirely volunteer-run organisation that maintains an important part of the South Burnett’s history. It began as a Bicentennial project and was officially opened in 1988 by the late Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen. COVID-19 restrictions stopped visitor traffic completely. Once the restrictions were lifted, the museum’s visitations doubled compared with previous years, with more than 100 visitors a week passing through. It hosts the annual Murgon Australia Day awards, hosts private functions and school visits in its beautifully maintained grounds and facilities. The museum is a beacon for the town of Murgon and the wider South Burnett.

  • Kingaroy Rotary Club 

Kingaroy Rotary’s project for the past three years has been providing defibrillators to local communities. Sixteen have been provided to local sporting organisations, Kingaroy Shoppingworld, South Burnett Care and placed in community spaces in Blackbutt, Kumbia, Nanango and the Bunya Mountains. The club provides each organisation with a defibrillator, a box to keep it in and demonstrates how to use the machine. Some sporting clubs have reported that because a defibrillator is now present, they have young members playing a sport they love, feeling safer despite having to live with a medical condition that often prevents participation.

  • Boondooma Dam Fish Stocking and Management Association (Proston)

The association was formed in October 1986 and has played a major role in promoting recreational fishing in the South Burnett, delivering much-needed value to the economy and community life. During 2020, the association celebrated the dam’s 30th Yellowbelly Competition. This event succeeds because of strong partnerships between the association, South Burnett Regional Council, the community, recreational fishers and sponsors. Profits are used to restock fingerlings in the dam. The association aimed to keep fees as low as possible so the 2020 competition could be an enjoyable and affordable weekend. Participants and spectators celebrated a great weekend of family fishing fun, enjoying a range of great prizes. More than 5.5 million fingerlings have been released so far into the dam.

  • The Blackbutt Singers

In November 2019, the Blackbutt Singers invited South Burnett choirs and bands to join them in an afternoon concert at the Kingaroy Town Hall to celebrate the musical talent of the South Burnett and deliver an enjoyable afternoon’s entertainment. The event was hosted by then-mayor Keith Campbell, with combined choirs and bands presenting songs associated with the UK’s “Last Night of the Proms”. A great deal of preparatory work was undertaken by the Blackbutt Singers, but they recognise this was a truly community event, where each choir and band worked with them to make it a cultural event to remember.

  • South Burnett Speedway Club

The club has been part of the community for more than 50 years; starting from humble beginnings and has grown to become one of the largest and most popular volunteer-run speedway clubs in Australia. In recent years, the club has won the Speedway Australia Award for most improved track and in 2019, was named Australia’s “Track of the Year”.  Each year on the Australia Day weekend, the club holds its annual King’s Royal Speedway event – the largest and richest race for Modified Sedans in Australia. People from all over Australia visit the South Burnett for the three days of competition with many visitors staying longer in the region. The event held in January 2020 was their largest one yet, with a crowd of 8000 passing through the gates over the three days.

  • Wondai Art Gallery

The gallery makes a great contribution to the community life of Wondai and the wider South Burnett. It hosts monthly exhibitions featuring distinguished artists, up-and-coming local artists and children’s artwork. The Gallery adjoins the free caravan park and actively encourages travellers to visit, including offering a free book exchange. Their 2020 highlight was a travelling exhibition of Vincent Serico’s works. Vincent, who was raised in Cherbourg,  has works in Queensland and national galleries. Wondai Gallery also hosts the monthly Wondai Markets, which restarted as soon as COVID clearances were in place, and auspiced the Wondai Country Running Festival in July. The gallery also makes its large studio area available for free to community groups.

  • South Burnett Community Orchestra

The SBCO is dedicated to the development of local musical talent, especially in young people and aspiring musicians though its young orchestra program. The SBCO was established in 2006 with 14 musicians; membership has now grown to more than 50 members and volunteers. It has built strong relationships and partnerships with philanthropic organisations such as Red Earth Community Foundation, the Regional Arts Development Fund and private philanthropists. The young orchestra was able to bounce back after COVID restrictions were lifted and recommenced their normal rehearsals during July/August 2020. SBCO ensures its events are accessible and inclusive by offering low-cost workshops and holding concerts at different locations across the region.

  • Nanango Tourism and Development Association

NaTDA is made up of community-minded individuals and local businesses committed to enhancing the amenity and lifestyle of residents and tourists alike. In 2020, NaTDA hosted Australia Day celebrations at the showground, joined together to raise more than $85,000 to turn Butter Factory Park into an inclusive park, supported the people of Cobargo by raising more than $8000, facilitated a Meet The Candidates public forum prior to the local government election, sponsored community initiatives such as a free Halloween dress-up night for children and the formation of a choir, continued its regular “Adopt A Spot” clean-up activities along the D’Aguilar Highway, and with sponsorship from Heritage Nanango and the SBRC presented Nanango’s annual community Christmas event.

  • Wondai Country Running Festival Organisers 

The festival was not going to be run over by COVID, literally! Displaying the same guts as an athlete carefully preparing for a marathon, the organising team went to work during 2020 to develop and follow a COVID safe plan to ensure community members and participants could safely attend. The result was the most successful event to date, with new events and greatly increased participant numbers. The festival provided a much-needed economic boost to accommodation and food venues who all experienced a sell-out weekend. The festival has developed an enviable and well-deserved reputation as a well organised and enjoyable event for all the families.

  • Kingaroy-Memerambi RSL Services Club 

The club was established in 1919 as a social club for returned Diggers, the Kingaroy RSL Club has progressed to be one of the “social powerhouses of the South Burnett community”. It is capable of hosting small and large functions, concerts, meetings and gatherings for many social reasons, and provides a friendly and welcoming environment to everyone who comes through the door. Like many other organisations during 2020, when they were unable to welcome guests through their doors, the club took advantage of the COVID restrictions and renovated the kitchen to improve their ability to serve their quality food.

The winner of the South Burnett Community Organisation of the Year Award is the South Burnett Speedway Club.

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Cr Kirstie Schumacher and Cr Kathy Duff presented the South Burnett Junior Cultural Award to recent Kingaroy State High School graduate Amber Fitz-Herbert

Junior Cultural Award

This award is presented to an individual aged 17 years and under at January 26, 2021, who is making a significant contribution to the cultural life of the South Burnett. Nominees are:

  • Nathan Lonsdale (Kingaroy)

Nathan Lonsdale, a talented young musician specialises in piano, trombone and theory of music and has been busy making a great contribution to the region through his part in Kingaroy State High School’s Symphonic Band. In 2020, Nathan’s special highlight was being part of a project that involved over 30 students sounding the Last Post for Anzac Day. Not only did Nathan sound the Last Post, but he mentored two Year Seven students to play with him. Nathan has also been an active member of the Kingaroy State High School Stage Band and Brass Band as well playing at community events such as Baconfest, Burrandowan Races, Christmas Carols and the Mayor’s Gala Ball.

  • Amber Fitz-Herbert (Kingaroy)

Amber is another outstanding Kingaroy State High School Instrumental Music program student, playing percussion since her early primary school years at St John’s. She has continued her development throughout her high school years, completing her Grade 1 AMEB Percussion exams, and is also a talented vocalist who starred as the lead character in the 2019 KSHS musical “Pirates of Penzance”. Amber has also sung with the KSHS Stage Band at community events such as Baconfest, the Burrandowan Races and Kingaroy’s Christmas Carols, and during 2020 she capped off her high school years by completing two AMEB vocal exams – Grade 5 Classical and Grade 5 Musical Theatre. Amber has also been the percussion section leader of the Symphonic Band and a member of the Stage and Brass Band at many community events. During 2020, she also illustrated a locally authored children’s book called “Daddy’s Little Hero”.

  • Special Mention – Murgon High School Dance Group

The award judges are often placed in a difficult position when nominations for groups are submitted for categories that recognise an individual. The Murgon Dance Group group is made up of nine girls with a passion for incorporating traditional Indigenous dance with contemporary dance, and in 2019 and 2020, they performed at Queensland Creative Generations, an event that is televised across the State. Their work has brought many opportunities to highlight Murgon High School and the South Burnett region through Channel 10’s TV program “Totally Wild”, and the far-reaching power of this group comes from the opportunities it has created for the girls to follow their passion for dance through a connection to Sydney’s Bangara Dance Academy, which will allow them to access formal training.

The winner of the South Burnett Junior Cultural Award is Amber Fitz-Herbert.

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Cr Duff and Cr Schumacher presented the Senior Cultural Award to South Burnett Arts president Olivia Everitt

Cultural Award

This award is presented to an individual 18 years of age and over at January 26, 2021, who is making a significant contribution to the cultural life of the South Burnett. Nominees are:

  • Janet Skinner (Blackbutt)

Researching and painting community infrastructure such as railway stations is one of Janet’s skills. When she was asked to complete a community mural in the Pine Rivers area, she leapt at the chance to establish a Guinness World Record for “paint by numbers”, finding a way to include over 1000 people to participate in completing 20,000 sectioned pieces in a 16m long mural at Strathpine. Her own personal story and her willingness to share that story has helped many people understand and live with the effects of depression and chronic illness through an eight-minute YouTube documentary created by young film director Jamie-Lee Tipo, who was inspired to shoot it after a visit to Janet’s Blackbutt studio.

  • Catherine Woodham (Benair)

Catherine has made an outstanding contribution to the South Burnett’s art and cultural community as both an artist and holding leadership positions, serving as President of the Jumping Ants Art group for six years before retiring at the 2020 AGM. She is also the art director at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery and a member of the Kingaroy Arts team, as well as a current member of QCWA Kumbia branch. Under Catherine’s leadership the Jumping Ants Arts group has been an invaluable social connector, holding fortnightly or monthly meetings in Kingaroy allowing artists from across the region to come together to create new works and learn new artistic techniques. Catherine actively engaged the group with the broader community by coordinating activities such as art workshops for children at St John’s Kindergarten, annual exhibitions at the Kingaroy Art Gallery and at several South Burnett community events and market days.

  • Julee-Anne Bell (Kingaroy)

Since moving to the South Burnett in 2018 Julee-Anne has made a significant contribution to the South burnet music community. Julee-Anne holds a Masters in music studies and she has supported the development of young and aspiring South Burnett singers from her Kingaroy-based vocal studio. Julee-Anne now coaches singers across a wide age range and has secured public performance opportunities for many of her students, including her own studio’s end of year concert and at events such as the Wondai Regional Art Gallery exhibition launches.

  • Pat Van Kempen (Murgon)

Pat is a passionate art teacher looking after small schools in the South Burnett, and her love for the arts sees her freely sharing her talents and passion with both her young students and the entire community. One of her 2020 achievements was securing a grant and sponsorship for small school students to access professional tuition through the “Topology Top Up for Schools” program, which included a community concert held in Wondai in November. Her community support for the arts has also seen her start adult “Sip and Paint” art classes, along with art classes for children two afternoons a week in Wondai and Murgon.

  • Olivia Everitt (Kingaroy)

Olivia’s has been described as someone who has completely changed the face of the arts in the South Burnett since her arrival in the region a few years ago. She quickly proved her value to the arts community by accepting volunteer positions such as Arts Coordinator with groups like South Burnett Women, the Kingaroy Arts Team and Jumping Ants Arts Inc. In 2020 she was elected as President of South Burnett Arts, and this has allowed her to continue her practical and strategic approach to raising the profile of the region’s creative industries with all levels of government. Olivia has also coordinated projects such as murals in Murgon, youth art workshops and a mural workshop for people living with a disability. She also curated ROAR, an International Women’s Day Exhibition at the Kingaroy Art Gallery. During COVID restrictions Olivia also coordinated an arts trail around Kingaroy shops and her successful project “Introspection in Isolation” was one of seven funded through CQ RASN’s artist-at-home residency program offered during COVID restrictions. Olivia’s mission is to unite the arts, tourism and economic development for the betterment of the South Burnett and is guided by her capacity to bring a long-term view to everything she does.

  • Robyn Dower (Tingoora)

Robyn is one of the South Burnett’s most accomplished artists, and in 2014 – after more than two decades of professional practice, many solo and joint exhibitions – she created the South Burnett’s first ever installation artwork “Sense of Wonder” and later took it on a two-year tour of six major Queensland regional art galleries. Robyn is also a regular exhibitor at the South Burnett’s three main galleries in Kingaroy, Wondai and Blackbutt and has won many awards for her works at a local, State and national level. She also served for many years on Council’s voluntary RADF committee and is a longstanding member of South Burnett Arts, the peak non-profit advocacy group that aims to raise the profile of the arts across the South Burnett. Robyn has also led the Wondai Regional Art Gallery’s hanging team for many years, ensuring the works of other artists are displayed to their best advantage in monthly exhibitions.

  • Special Mention – Friends of the Shed (Nanango)

This nomination was unable to be included in the judging component, however they are more than worthy of a special mention. The Friends of the Shed are a small group of volunteers who co-ordinate regular Friday night music sessions at The Shed in Nanango where guests can enjoy a wide range of music genres. This dedicated group has created a cultural space where people from all areas can enjoy performances from international artists who are normally only seen at events such as the Woodford Folk Festival, Canberra’s National Folk Festival, the Celtic Festival in Glen Innes and the Gympie Music Muster. Members of the group support these popular sessions as sound engineers, photographers, ushers and cleaners.

The winner of the South Burnett Cultural Award is Olivia Everitt.

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The Volunteer Of The Year Award was given to Carl Braithwaite – who was unable to attend the ceremony – but it was accepted on his behalf by daughter Rhianon

Volunteer Of The Year Award

This award recognises a volunteer community member who has made a valuable contribution to their community, club or organisation and or given outstanding service over a number of years. Nominees are:

  • Cecily Saunders (Murgon)

Cecily is one of the South Burnett’s army of valued volunteers. Born and bred in and around Murgon, she has contributed her love for the region and for its people in several ways over the past 20 years. These include cleaning and keeping the region’s Catholic Church buildings tidy; volunteering with Murgon Meals on Wheels for over 20 years; helping co-ordinate the tuckshops at both Murgon primary and secondary schools; volunteering at the Murgon Information Centre for more than 10 years; and serving on the Southern Cross Care Murgon Castra committee for over 10 years.

  • Sue Cox (Nanango)

Sue is President of Nanango Lions Club and has been very active with community health over the years, helping supply orthopaedic beds, wheelchairs and walkers free of charge to those in need. Her connections with community health see the Nanango Lions Club able to maintain and re-lend equipment to Nanango residents, enabling them to stay at home for longer at no extra cost – something that has been greatly appreciated during the COVID pandemic. Sue is also very active on the Relay for Life and Breast Cancer awareness and support committees, as well as ongoing Lions Club fundraising.

  • Abigail Andersson (Kingaroy)

Widely recognised for her quirky dress sense and preference for high heels, there are very few causes in the South Burnett that Abigail has not helped out with. Over the years, she has volunteered for organisations as diverse as the South Nanango Rural Fire Service, Kingaroy Local Ambulance Committee, the South Burnett National Show Society, Kingaroy BaconFest, Kingaroy Kindergarten, Nanango Theatre Company, Meals on Wheels, QCWA, South Burnett Toastmasters, Red Earth Community Foundation, QRRRWN, Kingaroy Visitor Information Centre and the Kingaroy Big Peanut Committee, to name just a few. Abigail also regularly contributes prizes and sponsorships to community fundraisers, and volunteers her time as a Justice of the Peace.

  • Lynette Wessling (Murgon)

Lynette is widely known and appreciated throughout the Murgon community where she gives many hours of her time to improve the lives of others. Lynette has volunteered for Lifeline Murgon for more than 10 years, with the added bonus that all customers get to interact with someone who has a joyful attitude, a constant and infectious smile willing and ready to help. Whether she’s on the frontline or out in the back rooms she works alongside others always putting them above herself and treating everyone she meets with respect and a “can do” attitude.

  • Peter Jurd (Nanango)

Peter has been involved with the Nanango Legacy Group the “Laurel Ladies” since 2004. He willingly responds to phone calls at all hours from ladies that need urgent help – whether that is picking someone up from the hospital or making and delivering a food parcel from his own fridge and cupboards – and has always made it clear that the comfort, respect and welfare of each and every lady within the group is paramount. One of his priorities has been to ensure they have access to medic alert devices to ensure their safety in the home. Peter’s care also extends to organising social outings such as trips away or other significant occasions to ensure each member of the group has as much social interaction and support as they need. He also spends many hours arranging meetings and keynote speakers to ensure members can benefit from a range of subjects.

  • Judith and Keith Brandt (Boondooma Homestead)

Judy and Keith came to the South Burnett in 2009 as relief caretakers for Boondooma Homestead before taking up the role full-time in 2010. They have been nominated as a couple because their combined skills, experience and dedication is attributed to the ongoing success of one of the South Burnett’s heritage gems – Boondooma Homestead. In her role as secretary of the Boondooma Museum and Heritage Association, Judy has successfully applied for several grants to improve the site’s heritage as well as the running the Homestead’s festivals – “Spirit of the Bush” held each April and “Scots in the Bush” each August. Sadly, these events did not run in 2020 due to the pandemic, but Judy’s diligence ensured the homestead could reopen again to the public and travelers on June 1, 2020. One of the couple’s recent projects has been researching the soldiers that went to World War I who worked on Boondooma Station. There are now 33 soldiers on the memorial wall with a further 11 being researched. Keith is also the curator for the Museum and Heritage Association and, in partnership with Judy, has enabled this wonderful community asset to be in the position it is today.

  • Carl Braithwaite (Kingaroy)

Carl has a long history of being a reliable and dedicated rugby league volunteer. He played junior football at Murgon and is now heavily involved as administrator for the South Burnett Rugby League. Carl works hard to ensure the club’s participants strive for success both on and off the field. His involvement as a club manager and coach has been ongoing for seven years, and his passion for the sport sees him turning up regularly to attend to important and often unseen tasks such as grounds maintenance at the Kingaroy Junior Rugby League fields. As a shift worker, he still manages to find time to continue to undertake this role and it is not uncommon for him to finish work at 6:00am, return home and then head down to the football fields to ensure his pride and joy is maintained to the highest standard. During the past three years, Carl has further influenced the sport across the South Burnett by becoming involved in the administration of South Burnett Rugby League to ensure the sport of rugby league for children who participate is a positive experience.

The winner of the South Burnett Volunteer Of The Year Award is Carl Braithwaite.

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Cr Roz Frohloff and Cr Danita Potter presented the 2021 Junior Sportsperson Of The Year award to Murgon boxer Pharrell Chapman, along with a Council bursary attached to this award

Junior Sportsperson Of The Year Award

This award is presented to a nominee aged 17 years and under at January 26, 2021 who made a notable achievement in sporting endeavours. Nominees are:

  • Pharrell Chapman (Murgon)

Pharrell took up boxing in May 2018 and had his first fight two months later. He loves the sport and his boxing career highlights so far are two Golden Gloves championships; a Queensland State Title; a Silver medal at the Australian Titles; and a Novice Champion award. He has also been chosen to be part of the future squad team, which now gives him the opportunity to aim for competing at the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics but requires him to take part in advanced training and out of state competitions. Pharrell also does his boxing training with young children at the Cherbourg Sports Complex, and even though COVID-19 slowed down the competitions he still continues to train and push himself to the limits with the twin aims of becoming a better person and boxer.

  • James Watt (Memerambi)

James wants to become an Australian Touch football international referee within the next five years and is on track to making his dream a reality. He is a well-established player who has represented his school, the South Burnett and Wide Bay regions. He has also been refereeing for the past five years and in that time he has participated in numerous carnivals, travelling up to 1000 kilometres in a week to referee at higher level competitions in Toowoomba and Brisbane. In the last year he was selected as a Wide Bay school representative and refereed at the Under 18 School State Championships, as well as representing Kingaroy State High School as their referee at the All Schools State Championships in Brisbane where he refereed a total of 47 games including the quarter, semi and grand final games. He has now been selected in the Queensland Jets, a squad for elite referees, and was recently selected to referee at the national junior championships. James has attained his Level 3 badged in Australian Touch Football through seeking higher coaching, hard work and determination to better himself, and recent achievements include refereeing at the Open Age State Championships in Coomera on the Gold Coast where he aimed for his Level 4 badge, which will provide him with the ability to referee at all open age State Championship competitions and national junior competitions in Australia.

  • Chelsea Whye (Kingaroy)

COVID has not slowed down Chelsea’s involvement her two favourite sports of netball and volleyball. During 2020, Chelsea was selected in the South Burnett and Wide Bay 19-year-old girls netball team in the position of goal attack. At the State titles, the reboot for school sport after COVID restrictions lifted, she played extremely well and her team placed seventh in the State. Chelsea also represented the school at the Queensland Schools Cup held on the Gold Coast where the team was placed seventh in Division 2. She was also selected in the South Burnett and then Wide Bay 19-year-old girls volleyball team and travelled to Brisbane to attend the state championships. Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions she did not get the opportunity to represent her school in another of her favourite sporting activities – cross country and athletics. However, she did participate in the Kingaroy State High School virtual cross-country event and took out first place. Chelsea has also been Palmer house captain and led her house to victory in the swimming carnival and virtual cross country. She was the 2020 recipient of the Pierre De Coubertin Olympic Movement Award for Kingaroy State High School, and outside school sport she has had success with club netball. She is a member of the Highfields Netball Association Meg Englart team and also a Darling Downs Under 18 Future Panther. She also volunteers her time each Monday night to umpire for the Kingaroy Netball Association.

  • Kayley Collins (Kingaroy)

Kayley has represented Kingaroy Touch and Kingaroy State High School for the past four years at representative level. During 2020 she was selected as part of the Sunshine Coast Under 16 representative team that attended the National Youth Championships, where she was named in the Queensland Youth Academy as a representative of the Brisbane Broncos Under 16 touch team. During 2020 she also travelled to Brisbane with the Under 18 Kingaroy State High Schools girls’ team to compete at All Schools. Kayley co-captained a very young team, representing their school and region very well and they were unlucky to miss out on the finals. Kayley’s dedication to sport sees her training with an Under 20s mixed Caboolture team, and she was a Queensland Senior State Cup team member at the end of November. She finished a very busy 2020 taking part in the All Nations carnival held on the Gold Coast where she represented Scotland. Kaylee also coaches junior touch football every Monday afternoon and has done so for the past three years. She holds both a Level 1 coaching and Level 1 referee certification.

The winner of the South Burnett Junior Sportsperson of the Year Award winner is Pharrell Chapman, who was also presented with the South Burnett Regional Council Junior Sportsperson Bursary.

* * *

Kingaroy golfer Graham Hourn is this year’s Senior Sportsperson Of The Year

Senior Sportsperson Of The Year Award

This award is presented to a nominee aged over 18 years at January 26, 2021 and recognises a person in the community who has achieved significant recognition in sport. Nominees are:

  • Leanne Dowdle (Murgon)

Leanne has been playing golf for more than 40 years at her beloved Murgon Golf Club, where she has served in the roles of Treasurer and more recently, Vice President. She is dedicated to the sport of golf and has represented the region in numerous tournaments across the State, playing in Ladies Foursome, Pairs several times, Mixed Foursomes and Ladies’ Singles. Leanne has also won the Murgon Ladies Championships for the past three years and is responsible for organising and hosting the Murgon Golf Club’s annual Indigenous Championships. She greets everyone to the green with a smile and her passion shines through her hard work to bring out the best of the club.

  • Graham Hourn (Kingaroy)

Graham is recognised by Kingaroy Golf Club’s management committee as an exceptional golfer who is widely respected and acknowledged for his skilful play and his positive attitude to the sport. His current Australian handicap is +2.7. While most golfers subtract their golf handicap from their gross score, Graham has to add shots on every time he plays. He is also the Kingaroy Golf Club’s course record holder and regularly has scores in the mid 60s when the par of the golf course is 71. Some of his other achievements include being Kingaroy Golf Club champion for every year since 2010; Kingaroy Golf Club Foursomes champion for each year since 2015; Kingaroy Golf Club senior champion for each year since 2018; and Kingaroy Golf Club 4BBB stroke champion for 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. And while COVID-19 cancelled 2020 zone and district golfing events, in a normal year Graham would also be participating and representing his club at many other competitions. Graham is also a member of Kingaroy Golf Club’s Match Committee and gives freely of his knowledge and expertise to advise others on golfing matters. His etiquette on the golf course is exceptional and his professional approach to the game makes him a wonderful role model and mentor for golfers, young and old.

The winner of the South Burnett Senior Sportsperson of the Year Award is Graham Hourn.

* * *

Coach, Official or Administrator Award

Murgon’s Cole Cooper was presented with the Senior Sportsperson – Coach, Official or Administrator Award by Cr Frohloff and Cr Potter for his work in tackling domestic violence through sport

This award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to sport and or the community as a coach, official or administrator. Nominees are:

  • Cole Cooper (Murgon)

Cole is a leader in the sporting community through his work with the Murgon Golf Club and Murgon Rugby League Club. Cole is known as the domestic violence champion for the Murgon Rugby League club and a few years ago, he introduced a social justice initiative into the club focussed on tackling domestic violence in families. From this, he built the initiative into a “Domestic Violence Day” where families and players from across the region come to Murgon to play the sport they love and spread awareness about this important cause. Cole is an inspirational leader for the club and has developed plans to establish the Murgon Rugby League Club as a conscientious club that takes a proactive approach to a problem that affects many families. He also continues to coach the Murgon junior teams and in addition, has now joined the South Burnett Rugby League “Beyond the Nest” program as an assistant manager. He is an inspiration to the kids he trains because of his passion to incorporate social justice into sport while creating long-lasting, healthy relationships.

The winner of the South Burnett Sportsperson – Coach, Official or Administrator Award is Cole Cooper.

* * *

Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to, from left, Marie Shaw, Marilyn Stephens, Dr Joe Gangemi and Dr John Robinson; Cr Roz Frohloff accepted the award on behalf of Dr Fred Morgan

Lifetime Achievement Award

This award is presented to residents over 60 years of age in recognition of their outstanding achievement who display ongoing excellence in their field and in the community, demonstrating leadership and innovation whilst contributing towards the South Burnett region. There has been a change to this award in 2021 due to the ongoing number of high-calibre nominees put forward over the years. The judges agreed all nominees in this category should receive recognition as lifetime achievement award recipients. Nominees are:

  • Marie Shaw (Kingaroy)

Marie was nominated by the Kingaroy Quota Club where she has been a valued and dedicated member since its charter on April 3, 1976. Marie has served as club president for a total of 12 years and has also had the honour of being elected district governor of the 34th district. She has organised countless Quota fundraisers and is a tireless worker for the club. In addition, Marie has spent many hours working for the community through various organisations that contribute to a stronger South Burnett region. Some of these include the Kingaroy Eisteddfod; Kingaroy Christmas Carnival; Kingaroy Peanut Festival; KCCI; Police Consultative Committee; volunteer driver for Graham House; Meals on Wheels; Past Nurses Association; South Burnett CTC; Anglican Church; Local show societies where she volunteers as a judge of Fine Arts and handicrafts. Marie is also a JP who volunteers weekly at Kingaroy Shoppingworld. She is also a mentor for disadvantaged youth and is always available to offer advice and comfort when called upon. A person who is known as someone who rarely says no, a very social and community-involved person who makes her home available and welcoming for countless dinners, meetings and morning teas. One of Marie’s defining features is that she expresses a warm approach to people, and as much as she has been a leading figure in many community events over the years, her stand out is that she has conducted herself with a genuine desire to improve the community in which she lives.

  • Marilyn Stephens (Kingaroy)

Marilyn Stevens has retained her title “as a wonderful teacher” years after retiring from Kingaroy State High School. She has continued her involvement in supporting community and teaching girls at the QCWA sewing classes on Saturdays. Marilyn has also served as secretary of the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group for the past 10 years, joining with many other to resist unfavourable developments being proposed for the South Burnett.

  • Dr Joe Gangemi (Murgon)

Dr Joe arrived in Murgon in August 1968 when he joined Brian Rowsell’s practice as a partner and joint superintendent at the Murgon and Cherbourg hospitals. He became superintendent outright in 1987 after Brian’s retirement and continued this role for 10 years. During this time, he often worked 28 days on and four days off, with regular broken sleep a feature of being on-call at night. His community involvement included serving on the football committee and acting as team medic. He also served as part of the South Burnett Hospital’s Board in the 1970s and 80s; ran a weekly blood bank in Murgon and re-established it in Wondai and Goomeri, where the Apex Club members were regular donors. Dr Joe was also director of the Apex committee granted permission to build the first state preschool in Queensland and worked on the grounds with other Apexians who rose at 4:30am to tend to pigs to raise money for the project. He was also responsible for helping to create the CRISIS committee which was formed in 1992 to raise funds to bring emergency flights to Murgon from the Sunshine Coast. More than $100,000 was raised to support this important service with the help of clubs, schools and other Murgon organisations.

  • Dr John Robinson (Nanango)

Dr John was born in Brisbane in 1946 and graduated from UQ medicine in 1969. He was appointed to a senior medical officer role at Nanango Hospital in 1972 and took up residence in Nanango as part of the position, which he held until 2019. Included in his medical duties over the years were outpatients’ clinics at the hospital, immunisation clinics at the council chambers, regular house calls and weekly visits to Karinya. Before Yarraman had a permanent doctor, he also established a weekly practice at the town’s ambulance centre. Dr John was known for being very aware of the needs of the community, and patience, compassion and a caring attitude distinguished his practice. New patients were always willingly accepted, and thousands of people beneffited from an incredible 48 years of service through the hospital and his private practice. Always keen on technology, he spent much of his leisure time was spent reading about its progress and building his own computers. Not long after coming to Nanango he also formed a band called “Docs Travelling Music Show” for the enjoyment of the youth of the town. Both he and his late wife Marigold were also supporters of the high school’s annual magazine. Dr John is a keen photographer and a lover of fine motor vehicles. He still lives in Nanango and is enjoying his retirement with a few hours of GP work at a local medical practice on the side. Dr John was recognised by the Darling Downs Health Region in 2013 for his four decades of service and is fondly remembered by past and present staff of the Nanango Hospital.

  • Dr Fred Morgan (Nanango)

Dr Fred was born at Wondai and attended Stonelands State School. He worked as a sugar chemist until he was 26, then started his medical training in Edinburgh before returning to Nanango 40 years ago where one of his early achievements for the community was helping to get a retirement home for the Nanango district. Dr Fred helped instigate a community fundraising campaign to allow Nanango to extend its aged care, and was one of the core committee of four who were elected to oversee the Nanango Future Search Program in 1986. Dr Fred became the secretary and major gifts chairman of the management committee for Karinya Retirement Village and his wife Marcia fulfilled the public relations officer role. Fred met with the then Nanango Shire Council to outline the proposal and gained their full support with Karinya up and running by 1989. With a working day from dawn until late into the night seven days a week, time was of the essence for Dr Fred, however his concern was not only the health of the community, but their quality of life. He sponsored theatre trips to Brisbane to thank individuals for their contribution to the community, but it is the ‘one on one’ assistance such as carting pods of water, attaching a farm gate and other extra aftercare that has endeared this very private man to thousands of South Burnett community members. Dr Fred reluctantly sold his practice in 2018, but still remains a part of the medical centre team where his footprint will never be erased.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented by South Burnett Regional Council CEO Mark Pitt … Dr Fred Morgan was unable to attend the ceremony, but his was award was accepted by Cr Roz Frohloff who’ll deliver it to him

* * *

Cr Scott Henschen and Deputy Mayor Gavin Jones presented Kathy Julian with the Proston / Hivesville Local Achiever Award

Local Achiever – Proston / Hivesville

Nominees are:

  • Kathy Julian

Kathy wears a number of hats in the Proston and Hivesville communities. One of those is being part of Proston Round Table, a group that progresses ideas and seeks improved outcomes for the local community. She is also secretary and treasurer of the Proston’s Men Shed, attending to the paperwork and having great success with securing grants and tax-deductible donations which are all assisting the shed get up and running as quickly as possible. Kathy also puts together free of charge the quarterly journal for Native Plants Queensland; the monthly South Burnett Local Plants Queensland magazine; the weekly newsletter for St Joseph’s Parish Murgon; the monthly newsletter for the Big Scrub Garden Club; and the Proston Agricultural and Horticultural Society annual show schedule.

  • Anita Blanch

Anita is known for giving unbiased evaluation on all community issues affecting Proston and Hivesville, and is a quiet achiever who manages her local business and the Jacaranda Tearooms during the day. Anita also contributes to her community, giving much energy and success to Proston wherever she can.

The winner of the South Burnett Local Achiever – Proston / Hivesville is Kathy Julian.

* * *

Husband and wife Andrew and Felicity Dascombe were selected as this year’s Local Achievers for Murgon

Local Achiever – Murgon

Nominees are:

  • Arvind Ponnapalli

Arvind’s commitment to the indigenous community the Murgon area is outstanding, and his passion for people and the families he helps is really making his life work matter. Arvind is one of 14 clinical psychologists to receive a “Queensland Advancing Clinical Research Fellowship” to further progress his work on positive parenting programs, and he and his family are valued members of the community.

  • Andrew and Felicity Dascombe

Andrew and Felicity are probably best known for their businesses Pursers Coaches and Hello World Travel. Over the years they have tripled the size of their business but have never lost sight of the importance of maintaining the support of their community along the way. Their transport services cover many facets of community life, transporting people to community events and especially people to cancer awareness and fundraising events for a much-reduced fee. They have also continued to keep the three-day-a-week run to Caboolture in operation despite not covering their own costs at times, purely to ensure such a service is available to the South Burnett residents. They are regular donors to local sporting clubs in every town across the region and their Hello World Travel business has sponsored a free truck for the past two years to enable a ladies products bag drop to be delivered to women in the west doing it tough from drought.

The winners of the South Burnett Local Achiever – Murgon are Andrew and Felicity Dascombe.

* * *

Wondai Lions vice-president (and immediate past president) Fred Law is 2021’s Wondai / Tingoora Local Achiever

Local Achiever – Wondai / Tingoora

Nominees are:

  • Graham Mitchell

Graham’s business Dimities Cottage has been offering award-winning dining and craft cottage experiences for many years, and despite experiencing a very difficult 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Graham kept things stable and his business available for his community as much as possible.

  • Fred Law

Fred may not have anticipated the degree in which he would become involved and motivated by the Lions organisation when he first joined after arriving in Wondai in 2016. Since then his efforts have touched many people with needs, and he has held the positions of President and Vice President, as well as acting as a co-ordinator for Wondai’s Driver Reviver stop. Fred is also the Lions Club Christmas Cake chairman, and in the broader community he has been part of the town committee that sought approval for security cameras, and is part of organising committee for the Wondai Spring and Autumn Garden Festivals.

The winner of the South Burnett Local Achiever – Wondai / Tingoora is Fred Law.

* * *

Deputy Mayor Jones and Cr Henschen presented the Wooroolin / Memerambi Local Achiever Award to former councillor Ros Heit

Local Achiever – Wooroolin / Memerambi

The nominee is:

  • Ros Heit

Ros has been an outstanding member of the Wooroolin, Wondai and Tingoora communities for several years. She’s a founding member of the South Burnett Rail Trail Users Association, helped to start the now four-year-old Wondai parkrun and is one of the organisers the Wondai Country Running Festival. Both parkrun and the Wondai Country Running Festival are going from strength to strength despite the challenges COVID threw during 2020. She is a member of several other committees and her support is greatly appreciated by organisations such as the Wondai Regional Art Gallery, where she is the patron. Ros is also a member of the Wooroolin QCWA, chairing AGMs for organisations such as The Laurels in Wondai and the QCWA.

The winner of the Wooroolin / Memerambi Local Achiever Award is Ros Heit.

* * *

Cr Henschen and Deputy Mayor Jones presented the Kingaroy Local Achiever Award to Eleanor Druce

Local Achiever – Kingaroy

The nominees are:

  • Barry Krosch

Kingaroy-Memerambi RSL Sub-Branch and the broader community are very grateful to Barry for his attention to detail,  generosity and ability to get things done to help better the lives of others. For several years, Barry has been responsible for arranging Anzac Day proceedings, Vietnam Day functions, Remembrance Day activities, surprise birthday parties and – along with his wife Leanne – generously supporting community initiatives. Barry played an enormous role in arranging and co-ordinating the Freedom of Entry event to Kingaroy for the Cabarlah-based Defence Force School of Signals in 2017. More than 100 Army, Navy and Air Force service personnel marched through Kingaroy to take part in a traditional military ceremony not seen in the region for almost a decade. Barry’s ability to mix freely with all members of the community makes him a great asset.

  • Dafyd and Anne Martindale

Dafyd and Anne are two of the largest South Burnett-hearted people and are recognised as presenting an unbiased, free news service that the community values. Wherever you see Anne’s signature motor vehicle you know that either she or Dafyd are on the road to record a special event and share it with the world. They were early uptakers of online news and internet services for the South Burnett and know how important it is that when we have an online presence that we use it responsibly. After all, who wants to buy, live or work in a place that has an online, endless gripe and snipe list! Dafyd and Anne’s legacy will be felt for many years to come. Their practical contribution to several committees is extensive. They are quiet achievers and contributors.

  • Eleanor Druce

Eleanor is the type of citizen communities cannot do without. She is the kind of person who never says ‘no’ to a request for help. She is often helping people much younger than herself and this work goes totally unnoticed, except by those receiving her help. Over the years she has driven people to the shops, to the doctor and to social functions because of her love of community and, especially, her love of people. She is held in high regard by both her community and her extended family and commands respect wherever she goes because of her unselfish attitude towards others. Some of her service to the Kingaroy community includes 21 years co-ordinating garage sales for the Uniting Church, co-ordinating church catering, being a member of the church choir and long-time church organist (now retired), mowing the church lawn (now retired) and was secretary of the church’s Property and Finance Committee for many years. She also volunteers in Danny’s Diner to provide meals for the needy. Eleanor also works every day for two weeks of the year on the Blue Care stall at Kingaroy Shoppingworld. She also spends one day a week in the Lifeline shop and up until last year drove a school bus for 47 years.

The winner of the Kingaroy Local Achiever Award is Eleanor Druce.

* * *

Cr Danita Potter accepted the Kumbia Local Achiever Award on behalf of Josie McConville who could not attend the ceremony due to ill-health

Local Achiever – Kumbia

The nominees are:

  • Josie McConville

Josie has lived in Kumbia most of her life and has made quite a mark on her community. She has been – and still is – a member of many community groups, including the Kumbia Race Club, Kumbia Hall Committee, a member of the Kumbia Catholic Community, a member of the Kumbia and District Historical Society and a volunteer on the roster to open the Kumbia Federation Heritage Centre on Sunday afternoons. Josie is one of the instigators who formed the now very strong “Birds of a Feather” group for cancer sufferers and survivors and has attended most Relay for Life events. She can often be seen sitting in the shopping centre or the business centre of Kingaroy selling raffle tickets for one of the organisations she is involved with. Josie also organises the luncheon booth at the Melbourne Cup Day Kumbia races. At her very now “young age” somewhere north of 80, Josie is still very much involved in the community and volunteers where she can.

  • Judy Crawford

Judy has been a part of the Kumbia community for many years where she supports and caters for almost every fundraiser in the area. She is well-known for being a hard worker and helping others. Her tasty and locally available takeaway meals helped many get through COVID restrictions. Some locals even created public signs at their property to thank her! She is a sought-after caterer for school camps, formals, weddings events and her extra care is greatly appreciated.

The winner of the Kumbia local achiever award is Josie McConville.

* * *

Cr Henschen and Deputy Mayor Jones presented the Nanango Local Achiever Award to Peter Jurd

Local Achiever – Nanango

The nominees are:

  • Peter Jurd

Peter Jurd’s contribution to his community, in particular the Nanango Legacy Group / Laurel Ladies was detailed earlier in the Volunteer Of The Year Award.

  • Sue Green

Imagine dialling 000 for a fire emergency and no one comes, or doesn’t come for a very long time! People like Sue are the stalwarts of important organisations such as the South Nanango Rural Fire Brigade and is one of those wonderful people in our communities who ensure community volunteers turn up to support people when they need a firefighter.

The winner of the Nanango Local Achiever Award is Peter Jurd.

* * *

Deputy Mayor Jones and Cr Henschen presented the Maidenwell / Bunya Mountains Local Achiever Award to John Learmont

Local Achiever – Maidenwell / Bunya Mountains

The nominee is: 

  • John Learmont

John has served his community all of his adult life, first in Kingaroy and then since his retirement to the Bunya Mountains. During 2020 he has served as president of the Bunya Mountains Community Association, chair of the Bunya Mountains Rural Fire Brigade and treasurer of the Bunya Mountains Natural History Association. He is a foundation member of the Natural History Association and is an avid history and nature lover. He has acquired a significant understanding of the European history of the area which he shares with visitors. He has assisted in managing Cedarvale, the small museum located at Dandabah, and along with his wife Sandy has revamped the display to make it more informative and welcoming. He is one of the volunteers who regularly keep Cedarvale open to the public on Sundays. In recent years, John and Sandy researched and produced a booklet on the history of Wengenville and organised a “Back to Wengenville” event. John is a keen supporter of the cultural and Indigenous history of the Bunya Mountains, and through the Bunya Mountains Community Association, recently liaised with local Indigenous community members to conduct a yarning circle so that all community members can learn more about this important part of our history.

The winner of the Maidenwell / Bunya Mountains Local Achiever Award is John Learmont.

* * *

Judy Lawrence accepted the Blackbutt / Benarkin Local Achiever Award on behalf of David Eaton

Local Achiever – Blackbutt / Benarkin

The nominees are:

  • David Eaton

David has been nominated by the Bloomin’ Beautiful Blackbutt Festival and the Blackbutt District Tourism and Heritage Association committees. He spent his early life in Brisbane and worked in the fields of science, chemistry and mechanical engineering. He retired and moved to his Blackbutt property at Googa Creek in 2005 where built his house and gained a part-time job as maintenance manager for the Googa Outdoor Education Centre. David has actively supported several mental health initiatives including “Road of Recovery”. He became a member of the Blackbutt District Tourism and Heritage Association in 2014, taking up the role of treasurer and working on fundraising, and the regulatory requirements for the relocation of the Nukku siding building. He is also actively involved in history mornings and co-ordinating the Googa Bush Picnic. In 2016, David joined the team at Bloomin’ Beautiful Blackbutt Festival as treasurer. As an avocado grower, he has become an invaluable link to the Mt Binga and Blackbutt growers and co-ordinates the avocado games at the Blackbutt Avocado Festival and other events such as Australia Day and Queensland Day celebrations.

  • Robert Moult

Robert’s compassion for the welfare of those in need is highly respected. He has held several executive positions in Blackbutt organisations over the years, including the Blackbutt RSL, the Blackbutt District Community Organisation and the Avocado Festival. He is always ready to assist the Blackbutt-Yarraman Branch of the QCWA with raffles, fundraising, sausage sizzles, events and any maintenance required. He has very practical handyman skills that he he uses to help many others in the community who are unable to complete such tasks. During the worst of the COVID restrictions, Rob took it upon himself to check on the elderly to see if they needed any shopping done or to be taken to medical appointments. He provides transport out of his huge heart of gold and is the “most generous person the community knows!”

The winner of the Blackbutt / Benarkin Local Achiever Award is David Eaton.

* * *

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One Response to "Kathryn Is Our Citizen Of The Year"

  1. John Box  January 25, 2021

    Congratulations to all the wonderful nominees, winners and especially the people who went the extra mile to complete the submissions for the award nominations.

    Thank you Anne and Dafyd for another detailed article that only SBOnline produces every year in such a timely manner. Especially this year when attendee numbers were limited due to Covid.

    Also congratulations Anne and Dafyd on your award nomination. Your service in providing balanced, current reporting of events in our South Burnett Community over many years is greatly appreciated.


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