Rhys Cobbo was named Refund Point Employee of the Year on Thursday night … he was presented with his trophy by Containers Exchange CEO Natalie Roach (Photo: COEX)

July 7, 2023

Rhys Cobbo – an employee at Cherbourg Council’s Containers For Change depot in Kingaroy – was presented with a prestigious “Change Maker” award in Brisbane on Thursday night.

Rhys was one of five finalists from across Queensland in the Refund Point Employee of the Year category in the 2023 Containers For Change Change Maker awards.

He was presented with his trophy on stage by Containers Exchange CEO Natalie Roach.

Kingaroy local, Rhys Cobbo has been recognised for outstanding community leadership and championing environmental sustainability.

Rhys was awarded for going above and beyond his day-to-day role, extending his passion for sustainability into actively encouraging the local community to support the Containers For Change scheme and ensuring the process was as simple as possible.

One of his many nominations described him as “a role model to younger and older Indigenous people” adding that “he has become an asset to the Cherbourg Council and community and will continue to be for many years to come”.

Rhys said he was honoured to receive the recognition.

Ms Roach said the commitment and creativity highlighted in this year’s awards submissions was inspiring.

“The 2023 Change Maker Awards showcase just what a profound effect the Containers for Change scheme is having on the communities of Queensland,” Ms Roach said.

“I want to congratulate the winners and all our finalists from this year’s Change Maker Awards for not only creating positive change for their community but helping clean up the local environment. Those recognised truly are making great change for the future.”

Two other South Burnett organisations were also among the top five finalists in Queensland in their categories.

Tanduringie State School P&C was a finalist in the Charity/Community Group of the Year and Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council (Kingaroy) was a finalist in the Medium Operator of the Year category. 

The winners were announced at an awards dinner at the Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre.

This isn’t the first time that Cherbourg Council’s recycling initiative has been recognised in the Change Maker awards.

In 2020, Council was presented with the Sustainability Award in the Small to Medium Business category and Kingaroy manager Christine Beresford won the major award on the night, the inaugural Change Maker Of The Year award.

Kingaroy manager Christine Beresford with the certificate for the depot being named a finalist in the Medium Operator Of The Year category (Photo: CASC)
A proud Rhys Cobbo after the award presentation (Photo: CASC)

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2023 Award Winners

  • Change Maker of the Year – Hearts of Purple, Gold Coast
  • Community Group or Charity of the Year – Hearts of Purple, Gold Coast
  • People’s Choice Operator of the Year – Anything Environmental, Paget
  • Young Change Maker of the Year – Hudson Magee, Brisbane; Holly and Charli Garrity, Brisbane
  • Refund Point Employee of the Year – Rhys Cobbo, Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, Kingaroy
  • Sustainable Beverage Manufacturer of the Year – Mount Warning Beverage Company, Mt Warning NSW
  • Large Operator of the Year – Reef Recycling and Logistics, Townvsille
  • Medium Operator of the Year – Return ‘Em for Cash, Toowoomba
  • Small Operator of the Year – Impact Community Services, Bundaberg




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