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Wallumbilla Australia Day Awards 2019


Merle has lived in Yuleba for 82 years and has been a hardworking, committed, loyal and reliable citizen of Yuleba.

Merle spends much of her time volunteering and being involved in many organisations. She goes to the Yuleba cemetery once a week to water the gardens and has donated many plants out of her own garden. In 2018, Merle covered over 400 new books for the Yuleba State School for the children and teachers.

Merle has also been involved in the Yuleba Memorial Hall committee and for the past 10 years, Merle has been the main organiser for is the Yuleba Biggest Morning Tea Fundraiser for the Cancer Council Queensland.

Merle’s crowning contribution is her iconic teddy-bears which she knits, stuffs and stitches. Over the past 10 years, Merle has donated over 1100 teddy bears to the Queensland Children’s Hospital, (formerly known as The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital), as well as to the Wallumbilla Hospital.

Merle Murphy has given outstanding services to the Yuleba and broader Queensland communities throughout her lifetime. Congratulations to Merle on her lifelong contributions to our community, and for this Australia Day Citizen of the Year Award.


Thomas is a wonderful young leader who is dedicated to his sport, studies and community.

Thomas represented South West Region in Queensland School Sport State Athletics 2016 - 2018, and competed in the Queensland School Sport State Athletics Championships 800m and 1500m 1st reserve final from 2016 – 2018. Tom was the District Age Champion for Athletics in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Tom is also a Level 1 Referee for touch football.

In addition to his sporting achievements, Tom also received the overall year level academic award from 2009 to 2017. Tom has been in the Wallumbilla School Band since 2013.

Thomas was the 2018 Wallumbilla School Captain and received the 2018 School Dux and Senior Sports Champion at the 2018 School Awards Night. Thomas was selected as Baton Bearer in the Queens Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games. Thomas volunteers to assist the youth at the Wallumbilla State School Amateur Swim Club and the Maranoa Triathlon & Multisport Association.

COMMUNITY EVENT OF THE YEAR | Wallumbilla 100 Year Show

The Wallumbilla Agricultural and Pastoral Association committee are to be congratulated on the very successful presentation of the 2018 Wallumbilla Show, which was exactly 100 years since the first Wallumbilla Show.

Leading up to the show, fundraising in the form of a rodeo was held to help with the cost of extra entertainment. The rodeo was a great night for the community while raising the much needed funds. The rodeo was such a successful event that the committee are planning another for 2019.

The weekend before the show, a Grand Ball was held in the Wallumbilla Memorial Hall, with many people enjoying the night of dancing, fun and a delicious supper.

The popularity of the 2018 show was evident by the wonderful display in the pavilion, which included cookery, handicrafts, fruit and vegetables, flowers, pot plants, art and photographs. Congratulations to the Wallumbilla 100 Year Show for winning Community Event of the Year.

CULTURAL AWARD | Festival of Small Halls

The Wallumbilla Town Improvement Group took on the challenge to host the Festival of Small Halls in October 2018. The volunteers from the group not only undertook the job of organising the Festival of Small Halls event, but also the afternoon markets.

The festival began with markets in the town square, performances by the Wallumbilla School Bands and a delicious BBQ by the Wallumbilla School P&C.

Over 100 people attended the night, enjoying the music, bar and delicious supper. It was a great opportunity for the community to come together to enjoy a unique night of arts and cultural celebration in our wonderful School of Arts Memorial Hall.

Congratulations to the Wallumbilla Town Improvement Group for presenting such a beautiful event.

SPORTS AWARD | Katrina Cleland

Katrina is a strong and avid tennis player, along with being an integral part of the Roma Masters Softball team.

The Roustabouts softball team attended the Softball Queensland Master Tournament in August and won their division. Katrina was one of four members on the Roma team to be selected on the Women’s Division 10 All Stars Team. Katrina also travelled with the Roma Masters softball team to attend the Pan Pacs on the Gold Coast where they won the gold medal in Division 15.

Katrina plays in the Noonga winter tennis fixtures each year, and in 2018 took out the Consolation Open Ladies Single event. As President of the Yuleba Tennis Club, Katrina was proactive in arranging for repairs to the court surface.

Katrina sets a consistently high standard in sport, and has a keen drive and determination in everything she sets her mind to.


Since age 10, Payton has been selected every year to compete at state finals for tennis teams. At 12 years old, Payton qualified in the South West Region as number 2 seed to play at the Under 19’s Queensland Tennis Championships Pizzy Cup.

Payton has had a full schedule for 2018 and achieved incredible results on the tennis court.

  • Being selected as number two seed in the South West Queensland tennis team to compete at the State Championships in Rockhampton.
  • In July, she won the Ladies Tara Open, competing against much older and experienced players.
  • Payton was runner-up in the Ladies Open Singles consolation. Peyton was the Ladies Open Runner-Up at the Annual Noonga Tennis Championship, missing the win by one point.
  • Excelling in the doubles this year, winning the A Grade Ladies doubles at Noonga and Wandoan tennis championships.
  • Payton was a winner in mixed doubles with her dad, Brendan at the St George Open and Noonga, and they came Runner-Up at Wandoan & Dalby.
  • Payton won many Tennis Queensland Junior Development Series events all through the year, including Under 15 Girls Singles & under 15 mixed doubles at St George Open carnival.

Additionally, Payton competes in the Tennis Queensland Junior Development South Series where she has competed for prize points all season. Payton finished 2018 with an impressive 575 points and qualified in 1st position. She was then invited by Tennis Queensland in Rockhampton in October to compete at the Tennis Queensland State Junior Development Finals, where she played as number 1 seed for the South Region under 15 girls team.

Tennis Queensland also invited Payton to compete at the largest Junior Tennis team’s event in the state in December. Payton made it to the second round of the individual singles, and was the only person in the South West team to do so.

Payton has also had an outstanding performance in touch football and athletics where she has represented Miles & District at regional carnivals, and collecting many second and third placings and one first place in long jump.

MEMBER CONTRIBUTION AWARD | Wallumbilla SES & Rural Fire Brigade Members

The Wallumbilla SES and Rural Fire Brigade members have dedicated over two and half years to sourcing funds through various avenues to see the successful completion of the Wallumbilla Combined Emergency Services Shed Project.

These members volunteered countless hours of their time to host raffles, write grants and seek sponsorship to ensure that the project could be completed.

They have co-located and created a hub for emergency services in one place. Wallumbilla has a state of the art emergency services facility, equipment and vehicles. None of this would have been possible without the tireless efforts of this entire group.


Kristie York has lived in Wallumbilla for 20 years and she has embodied the Wallumbilla community spirit and community mindset.

Kristie has been involved in many organizations including the Treasurer of the Calico Cottage Craft Club in 2018, and has been the Treasurer of the Wallumbilla Hospital Auxiliary and P&C organisations for many years. She is also a member of the Wallumbilla CWA and Wallumbilla Swimming Club.

Kristie is an extremely selfless person, an integral part of the community and a worthy recipient of the Achievement Award.