Maranoa Australia Day 2024 - AWARD NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN!
Do you know someone who has made an outstanding contribution in your community? Australia Day nominations are open for the Maranoa region with residents to submit nominations by Friday, 24 November 2023.
These awards are to acknowledge members of the community whose achievements deserve to be recognised at the 2024 Maranoa Australia Day Awards.
Nominating a person or organisation for an Australia Day award can show your appreciation to them for everything they do in the community.
The eight award categories include:
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD Celebrating people who have given outstanding volunteer service to the local community during the current year or over several years.
YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD Eligible nominees must be 25 years or younger as of 26 January 2024. Celebrating young people who have significantly achieved and/or given outstanding volunteer service to the local community.
COMMUNITY ORGANISATION AWARD This award is presented to an organisation that has made a substantial contribution to the community through their volunteer work, activities or event held in the Maranoa between November 2022 and November 2023.
CULTURAL AWARD This award is in recognition of people who have made a noteworthy contribution to the cultural life in the Maranoa region or an outstanding achievement in an arts or cultural activity.
SPORTS AWARD In recognition of people or teams who have an outstanding record of achievement in sport and who have served as noteworthy ambassadors for their sport at regional, state or international level.
JUNIOR SPORTS AWARD Eligible nominees must be 25 years or younger as of 26 January 2024. In recognition of young people who have an outstanding record of achievement in sport and who have served as noteworthy ambassadors for their sport in regional, state or international level.
COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTION AWARD In recognition of dedicated people who, through their active volunteer involvement in the community, committees, clubs, or organisations, have made a valuable contribution to the growth, development, quality of life and/or increased participation of activities within their community.
ANDREA MURRAY MEMORIAL AWARD This regional award is presented by David Murray, in memory of his wife Andrea, in recognition of people who have made a noteworthy contribution to the disability sector through paid or volunteer work
Spirit of Maranoa Award 2024
Do you know someone within the Maranoa who has made a substantial, positive difference in the community.
The Spirit of Maranoa Award is a people’s choice award to recognise and celebrate this trait.
If you feel there is someone in your community that you would like to nominate please cllick the button below or contact any of Councils Customer Service Centres or Local Development Officers on 1300 007 662 to assist you in completing a nomination form.
Nomination close Friday 24 November 5pm
Australia Day Award Recipients for 2023
Citizen of the Year
Young Achiever of the Year
Community Organisation Award
Noonga Community Association Inc.
Community Contribution Award
Briand & Mary Leahy
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Fergus Seawright
Fergus is known to give his all to the community and over a lifetime of volunteering in organisations and groups and over the years has attended many events in the Wallumbilla, Yuleba and Jackson communities.
Fergus was a member of the Wallumbilla P & C for over 15 years and held the position of President during that term and was also a volunteer and member of the Wallumbilla Campdraft Committee.
Fergus served the State Emergency Services as a member and volunteer for a period of 30 years. He has also been a volunteer fire fighter for over 30 years and has held the position of Secretary for the group for many of those years.
Fergus was a key player in lobbing with Council to relocate the State Emergency Services and Rural Fire Services facility from the Wallumbilla Showgrounds to its current location to Russell Street/Swan’s Road Wallumbilla. He was also instrumental in securing several grants with other fundraising opportunities which went towards the construction and equipping of the new Combined Emergency Services Facility in Wallumbilla.
Fergus has successfully operated the family property through good and bad seasons and has always been willing to give back to the community no matter how trying the times have been. Fergus’s commitment to Bendemere shows through his involvement in the groups he has supported over many years.
YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD | Kealey Harland
Kealey is a 14-year-old student at Wallumbilla State School and lives on a small property north of Yuleba. Despite the many challenges of living in a small rural and remote area, she has travelled far to represent her school, the district, and Southwest Queensland at various sporting events
She has a happy and friendly personality, is popular at school with her peers and teachers and despite being busy with her sporting accomplishments, she exceeds academically as well.
Kealey has participated and achieved in the following:
- State Championships – Rugby League
- State Championships – Cross Country
- State Championships - Touch Football
- State Championships – Track and Field Events
- Darling Downs – Soccer
- School Cross Country Age Champion
- Darling Down Trails – Futsal
- School Aged Champion and Senior Girl Champion on Athletic day
Kealey has also found time to participate in out of school sporting activities, attending and volunteering in the Parkrun, Wondi Running Festival – 11 km Trail Run and 10 km road run, Roma Women’s Night Touch Football Team and competes in Queensland Athletics Track Meets in Brisbane.
Kealey is often seen selling raffle tickets at local events and is a great role model for all younger children.
CULTURAL AWARD | Heather Price
Heather is an extremely valuable member of the Bendemere Community.
She was one of the first members of the Calico Cottage Craft Club, at its commencement in 1991, she is a member of the Roma Silversmiths and has held the position of both President and Treasure in this community group, a committee member of the Roma Lapidary Association and a member of the Bendemere Arts Committee.
Heather has been involved in the local Bendemere Pony Club for 6 years and held the position of Treasurer for 3 years. She always volunteers her time before and after rally days, assists at shield days and clinics by tiding the grounds, organising the canteen and offering her assistance when required.
A special mention must also be made for Heather being a successful grant writer for the organisation and groups in which she has been involved, securing many grants for these organisations.
COMMUNITY ORGANISATION AWARD | Noonga Community Association
The Noonga Community Association is a very deserving group to be awarded the Community Organisation Award recognising the work the group has carried out in 2022.
- The inaugural Cheryl Sinnamon Memorial Cricket Day was held in 2022 – converting the tennis courts into 4 indoor cricket courts. People travelled from everywhere to attend this event and a total of $15,000 was raised and donated to the Miles Hospital Auxiliary allowing them to purchase new equipment and furniture for the Miles hospital new Palliative Care unit.
- The younger generation Noonga members hosted a Black-Tie Affair which has now come and annual event and local fund raiser. The night raised $5,000 for Lifeflight Roma.
- Noonga recently purchased a Panelfab Custom made toilet block costing $57,000, through hard work of the committee raising all funds for this purchase.
- The Noonga Tennis Club hosts the region’s biggest 2-day tennis tournament, with only a handful of volunteers to run this event which continually attracts huge numbers every year, on average over 60 players with everyone both young and old volunteering to help out.
- Noonga Tennis Club hosts a day during its tennis competition during the season with all the money from ball fees, BBQ , raffle and drinks sold being donated and this year the Queensland Cancer Fund received $1,000.
It’s a testament to the close-knit community, which is Noonga, with three generations of members working closely together on a continual basis to keep the 93-year-old Noonga Hall, Tennis Courts and Recreational Grounds in excellent condition and keeping the Community Hub alive and continuing well into the future.
SPORTS AWARD | Liam Jackson
Liam was a student at Roma State College, and graduated year 12 in 2022. Liam was the recipient of the Mayne Award on Year 12 Graduation night at Roma State College in 2022. This award is presented in recognition of significant achievement in the academic and sporting area.
He has represented Roma State College in sport as a para-athlete and was nominated to be a representative at the Southwest Queensland School Sports held in Brisbane in October 2022 in two throwing events. Liam had and outstanding competition and was successful in a winning a gold medal in both discus and shot put.
By winning these events, Liam was then successful in being nominated to represent Queensland at the Australian All School Sports in Shot Put held in Adelaide in December 2022 achieving a personal best record for the event and an overall placing of fifth in this competition – a fantastic achievement for this young man.
Liam played at the Murri Rugby League U18 Carnival in Redcliffe, representing his aboriginal culture by competing in the Neerung Shovlenose Shark team. He also competed in the Wallumbilla/Surat Red Bulls U18 Rugby League team, successfully winning the Grand Final in 2022.
Liam enjoys competing in both individual and team sports and always gives his best in every situation, this is reflective in the awards and medals he has won last year.
COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTION AWARD | Joint award winners – Carolyn Maunder and Brian & Mary Leahy
Carolyn has been an active member within many organisations of the Wallumbilla Community all her life.
Carolyn joined the local Wallumbilla QCWA in 1998 and has been actively involved in and part of the executive committee for the last 24 years holding all positions for several years. The wealth of information she has within this organisation is second to none and she is always willing to pass information onto incoming members.
Carolyn was an active member of the Wallumbilla Campdraft committee and held the position of Treasurer for 15 years, was part of the Super Pool committee that was instrumental in raising funds to build the Wallumbilla pool in 1981. She also held the position of Cooking Steward for the Wallumbilla Show Society for many years and is hoping to still be part of the Wallumbilla QCWA Committee to celebrate to 100-year anniversary since the group’s commencement in 2023.
A quiet achiever with a passion for her community, Carolyn is the first person to turn up and the last to leave.
Brian & Mary Leahy
Mary and Brian Leahy are an inseparable team who are deeply committed to all aspects of the Noonga community, who given their all in volunteering for every sporting and recreation occasion, social group and organisation.
Brian and Mary have been involved in the Noonga tennis club for over 50 years with Mary holding the position of secretary for 50 years and Brian the position of president for 48 years respectively. They have been instrumental in the continuity and success of the Tennis Club and the Noonga Hall Committee with Brian and Mary giving their time, donating materials and machine hours to assist with building, extending and maintaining the Hall and Tennis Courts.
Mary was instrumental in in organising Noonga tennis teams in local competitions, dances and attending working bees. She also joined Dulacca Needles and Patches when formed in 1992 and became president in 2016.
Brian is a person that the community turns to when they need something - if he could make it, lend it or give it, he would – his water truck and court roller was used when the tennis courts were ant bed courts, keeping them in top shape.
Brian was also a member of the Noonga Bush Fire Brigade warden for over 50 years.
Mary and Brian have provided a legacy to the community by being the example to follow, in keeping their community alive and thriving and are also strong and active supporters of their local church.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | John Ford
John has provided service and support to the Booringa area for over sixty years. John exemplifies the true meaning of “community service.” Despite being a full time wool producer in the Mungallala area, John has given generously of his time to ensure the continued success of various community organisations.
Respectful and polite by nature, John has brought the same rigour to his community work as he has obviously applied to his grazing enterprise. These attributes have earned him the respect of his peers across a broad spectrum of the local, regional and state wide community as he has represented his various organisations over these levels over the years.
John still gives generously of his time to attend meetings which can often go into the evening leaving him to make the 50km round trip home in night hours. His achievements are by no means an exhaustive list but are indicative of his lifetime of service. They include; - Committee Member – Mitchell Show Society – Served for 25 years commencing from approximately 1958.
John was a member and President of the Mungallala Progress Association. He was President of that group when they conducted the highly successful “Back to Mungallala” event in 1981.
Councillor at Booringa Shire 1982 – 2004. John was a proactive Councillor who was always prepared to take on new challenges and ideas. As part of his role, he became a vital part of the formative Landcare movement, the Maranoa – Balonne Catchment Association and later the QLD Murray Darling Committee.
Citizen of the Year
Community Organisation Award
Cultural Heritage Injune Preservation Society (CHIPS)
Community Contribution Award
Citizen of the Year
Young Achiever Award
Daniel Francis Tucker
Maricris Majorine Bracamonte
Community Organisation Award
Roma Historical Precincts Inc – Roma Butter Factory
Community Contribution Award
Dorothy (Dot) Brindley & Beryl Giles
Citizen of the Year
Surat Aboriginal Corporation
Community Contribution Award
Andrea Murray Memorial Award
The Spirit of Maranoa Award Recipients for 2023
The Spirit of Bendemere
The Spirit of Booringa
The Spirit of Bungil
The Spirit of Roma
The Spirit of Warroo
Australia Day Award Recipients for 2022
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Baden Waldron
Baden Waldron is known for not only providing significant contribution to the Roma community, but a legacy that will carry on for generations to come.
Baden has just recently stepped down as President of the Maranoa and Surrounds Tennis Club after 21 years. The facility that stands today, is a direct result of Baden’s dedication and commitment.
Baden, a previous Roma Town Councillor and business operator, now holds the position of Youth Protection officer for the Rotary Club of Roma. This position with a great deal of responsibility and accountability, is executed with great effectiveness by Baden.
His other great legacy is Pinaroo Roma Care Facility. Baden previously held the position of Chairman, helping develop the facility.
Baden is well respected for his volunteering, hard work, selflessness, compassion, and community mindedness. His dedication and commitment make him a very deserving recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award.
YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD | Emma English
Emma English has proven to be an exceptional young woman, motivated by service to her community.
In 2021, Emma secured the Roma Showgirl title and Runner Up of the South West Showgirl – positions that she has used to encourage young people within the Maranoa to learn about agriculture, shows and how to be a confident leader.
She is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Roma and Roma Show Society. She was recently elected as Rotary’s Public Image Officer as well as the Next Gen Delegate for the Show Society. As the Next Gen Delegate, Emma was selected as 1 of 5 Australians to receive a bursary to attend the Agricultural Conference this year. Emma is known to enthusiastically offer her time volunteering and be a prominent young leader.
COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTION AWARD | Scott McDonell
Scott McDonnell has been devoted to bettering the community through his work with several clubs and committees in Roma.
He has served as President of the Rotary Club in Roma for 2 years and is currently their secretary. He is an integral member of the club, showing great passion and working endlessly to ensure the club will continue for future years. Scott’s determination and hard work has paid off after he secured tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of funding to put towards play equipment for the Rotary Park, installation of a playground at Pinaroo Roma Care Facility and much more.
Scott has been the Vice President of the Carnarvon Cubs Junior Rugby League and now chairs one of the committees. There, he has also obtained $25,000 in grants to maintain the field. He helps in the canteen, mark the fields, assists coaches and travels to carnivals. Amongst that work, Scott has organised regular raffles at the Club Hotel to help create opportunities for youth in Roma; he has organised the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness Program for Roma schools; actively promoted the National Youth Science Forum; and raised money for the Rotary Oceanic Medical aid for Children.
Scott’s commitment to these clubs is to be commended and we recognise the contribution he has made not just to the Rotary Club and Carnarvon Cubs, but to the community at large.
SPORTS AWARD | Mathew Gane
Mat Gane has contributed hugely to the Maranoa community through his work in furthering the sport of basketball in the region.
It was Mat who recognised the need to establish the sport in the region. He willingly gave his time and experience to set up the Maranoa Basketball Association. Mat is known for being involved with all members of the MBA and providing his experience and wealth of knowledge to all aspects of the association. People often say that without Mat’s dedication and enthusiasm, basketball in the Maranoa would not be where it was today.
His vision is evident through his continuation of the ‘Best Out West’ competition, which involves players from several southwest Queensland towns converging in Roma for a weekend of competition and skill development. He aims to make this competition a major event for Roma.
Mat also aims to hold a state-wide competition in Roma, to not only benefit the MBA but the Roma township as a whole, where teams from all over the state will come to Roma to compete.
Mat’s tireless enthusiasm for the sport and community at large, has developed the association into nearly 200 members.
CULTURAL AWARD | Janet Rowlings
Labelled one of the most ‘selfless and civic minded people’, Janet Rowlings’ tireless work with Australia’s oldest man ever, Dexter Kruger, has not only helped place Roma in the national eye, but also contributed greatly to the cultural landscape through her editing and publication of The Life and Times of Dexter Kruger.
Mr Kruger’s final book would not have seen the light of day without Janet’s involvement and dedication. She spent thousands of hours alongside the former supercentenarian, transcribing his dictations and subsequently editing and publishing his stories. Janet did this purely out of her strong friendship with Mr Kruger, and overwhelming desire to preserve the important record of Australian history.
With Mr Kruger’s passing, one would think that Janet would have taken a long-deserved break from running his publishing affairs and promoting his final book, but if anything, she remained committed as ever to keeping his legacy alive.
Alongside her work with Mr Kruger, Janet has worked tirelessly over the years throughout the local community raising funds for cancer and mental health not-for-profits and has been very active on school and church committees.
COMMUNITY ORGANISATION AWARD | Rotary Club of Roma
The Rotary Club of Roma has serviced the Maranoa community for more than 80 years, with their impact resonating in every aspect of the community.
The club provides service for many other clubs in the community including fundraising for groups like Ambulance Axillary; providing equipment and BBQs for community events like school markets; ANZAC Day remembrance services; donations; and supporting charities and youth development activities. The Rotary Club of Roma holds the prestigious position of having the largest service project of any service club in Australia – The Pinaroo Roma Care Facility.
Through their hard work, the club secured $85,000 worth of funding to install equipment in the Rotary Park for the benefit of the community. The club has helped distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars in drought aid through the District Drought Appeal.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Elizabeth McLean
Elizabeth is a valued member of the Surat community who has contributed much over the years.
Elizabeth is a caring person and over the years she has helped so many people in Surat and district through her paid and volunteer work. Her smile lights up not only her face but those of the people around her as well.
Over the years Elizabeth has been a member of the Hospital Auxiliary raising money to provide better facilities for the hospital and provide support for the patients to make their stay more comfortable, less stressful and provide joy through a variety of activities.
Elizabeth has also raised money individually for breast cancer and prostate cancer. She hand makes pot pourri, that she sells locally, with all proceeds donated to the Cancer Council & Dementia Australia.
However, one thing that Elizabeth is particularly known for is as a Tinsel Trail Fairy who, with the assistance of others, tinsel bombs Surat on an annual basis and encourages others to spread the Christmas cheer.
The Tinsel Trail is a tradition that started among a small group of landholders south of Surat in the 1990s that has now spread far and wide across Queensland. The Tinsel Trail group are also responsible for the Surat community Christmas tree, its placement & decoration each year.
Elizabeth's passion for the tinsel trail over many, many years, with the creation of tinsel displays, plus the promotion of the Tinsel Trail to others has seen seeing many mailboxes decorated, and the Surat main street and bridge being covering in tinsel. Through this, she has bought joy to many people at Christmas.
COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTION AWARD | Marie Murray
Marie has been nominated for her hard work and commitment to the Queensland Cancer Council.
Cancer is a disease close to Marie and this has motivated her to raise vital funds for the Queensland Cancer Council. Marie has undertaken fundraising activities in Surat for many years. She has been involved in the Biggest Morning Tea, Daffodil Day, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Prostate Cancer Month and Pink Ribbon Day.
Marie has organised raffles, a very successful pie drive and morning teas, even with the challenges that Covid presented. Marie has worked tirelessly over many years to raise much needed funds for cancer charities. She has also donated money to the Surat Hospital for equipment after a successful fundraising dinner.
CULTURAL AWARD | Wendy McAlpine
Wendy has been nominated for organising and running the monthly music mornings in Surat.
Wendy approached the Surat MPHS with the possibility of music mornings for Surat and the surrounding community as a way of helping people with dementia. The goal was to raise awareness of the benefits of music and dance to slow the progress of dementia.
The music mornings are a result of community collaboration between the SDDA who are the umbrella group that applied for funding and the Surat MPHS. Wendy puts in endless hours of unpaid work to ensure that the monthly music mornings are well organised and morning tea provided.
Covid did cause disruption and disappointment when musicians had to be cancelled but Wendy displayed tenacious determination to re-organise bookings and enable this very beneficial community event to recommence. Wendy goes above and beyond to ensure that the residents of Surat, and the surrounding district, have a monthly event to catch up, have morning tea, have a chat, listen to and dance to some great live music.
Wendy organises the music mornings, bakes and supplies morning tea treats, arranges lucky door prizes and raffles each month. Wendy has dedicated the majority of her time to supporting the elderly in the community, through her role at Surat MPHS and as a volunteer. She has also published a book “Surat Our People Our Stories” that tells the stories of some od Surat’s older residents.
COMMUNITY ORGANISATION AWARD | Surat Diggers Race Club
In 2020 there was no race meet in Surat due to Covid. Running a race day is no easy feat but the small and dedicated Surat Diggers Race Club Committee decided there will be a Surat Race Day in 2021.
The local Rules of Racing are set by the Control Body Racing Queensland. Apart from the rules regarding the actual races there is also regulations relating to gambling and the sale of alcohol and food. The committee members had to learn and understand all the legal requirements so that they could hold the Surat Races.
Preparation for the race day started months in advance as work on the race track was required so that it satisfied current standards. The new committee were on a steep learning curve and many, many days of research, preparation and volunteer work were required just to get the track ready. And to add another layer of complexity, the whole event was run as a Covid safe event
On the actual race day many community groups and volunteers were recruited to make the day the success it was. All the community groups involved received donations which meant that the race day was not only a huge success that generated considerable income for businesses in Surat and district but also, benefited many community groups, such as Teelba P&C and Rotary, as well.
There were over 700 paying racegoers attend the Surat Races. That almost doubled the population of the town! The day was a huge success with 5 races, a charity luncheon, Fashions on the Field, a bar and canteen, courtesy bus running between the racecourse and Surat town, a multi draw raffle and entertainment well into the night.
The town was buzzing the whole weekend and it was a wonderful opportunity for previous residents to return and catch up with old friends.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Des and Doro Warrian
Des and Doro were a formidable team. One of their key achievements has been the establishment of the much-cherished retirement village in Injune. They raised the seed money to get the project going and have supported it since, filling in during staff shortages and cooking meals for the residents on many occasions.
They have also been very active in the Campdraft Committee and served on the committee for many years.
They worked hard to maintain the Ambulance in Injune, especially in the days when the community had to raise the money locally to keep the Ambulance Service going.
The Injune Bowls Club enjoyed their keen support over many years, and Doro continues to keep a keen eye on the Club.
Des was Chairman of the Injune Hall Committee for 25 years and he served on the Roma Hospital Board as the Injune Representative. At one point in his life Des was Chair of seven volunteer organisations at the same time. In 2002 Des received the Premier's Award for Outstanding Service to the Community and Queensland.
Des was a Life Member of the Injune Bowls Club, Injune Campdraft Association and Patron of the Injune Bowls Club in recognition of his service and support to these organisations, with Doro, always at his side and forever supportive in all endeavours.
Sadly, in 2021 the community bid farewell to Des. Des and Doro had been described as the perfect neighbours, always helpful and cooperative. Moreover, their friends acknowledge they both have a wonderful sense of humour and kept the party jolly.
CULTURAL AWARD | International Day of Difference Organising Committee
The 2022 Australia Day Cultural Award was presented to the International Day of Difference Organising Committee.
Injune's Day of Difference on March 7th, 2021 and was an overwhelming success. Created from an idea to celebrate International Women's Day on a Sunday so that as many local women could attend, the Injune Memorial Hall was transformed into a health and wellness hub for the day. 110 women from Injune and the surrounding areas of Tooloombilla, Bymount and Arcadia Valley gathered for a day of fun, friendship, and fabulous food.
Local health practitioners presented on a range of topics including holistic health, mindfulness, healthy eating, age-appropriate exercise, self-care, and women's health. A finance expert spoke about the importance of good communication for mental health and family cohesion. The local police sergeant spoke about coercive control, how to spot signs of domestic violence, internet safety and personal protection strategies.
COVID has cancelled many opportunities for members of our community to enjoy the company of others and attendees appreciated the determination of the organisers to utilise the funding for local ladies given the restricted number of tickets they could sell.
COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTION AWARD | Valda Hafemeister
Valda was recognised for her very significant contribution to the Injune community through her long-term involvement in tourism. Valda is a dedicated and hardworking volunteer who always puts her best foot forward to see the Information Centre open on weekends and holidays. She readily makes herself available for call-ins and always helpful when assisting other volunteers.
Valda has been an active committee member within the Injune District Tourism Association and held the Treasurer position on the Executive Committee for many years.
COMMUNITY ORGANISATION AWARD | Injune State School P&C and Bymount State School P&C
2021 was a great year for events in our community and being spoilt for choice the committee decided to recognise two Community Organisations. Congratulations to Injune State School P&C for their organisation and hosting of the Injune State School Centenary and Bymount State School P&C for organising and hosting the 75th Reunion Celebration.
The Injune State School Centenary celebrations was a highlight of the Injune calendar in 2021 and included the Centenary book launch, guided school tours, burying of new time capsule, seated luncheon and more. Approximately 500 people attended the Celebrations.
Current staff, teachers and students mixed with past staff, teachers and students who came from near and far to return to Injune and join in the celebrations. Other highlights included cutting the centenary cake, vintage car display, maypole dancing display, book reading, centenary tree planting, and bell tower dedication. The Centenary was a credit to the School, P&C, and broader community who worked together to ensure it was a great success, and the first of a number of Centenary Celebrations for Injune and District.
In addition to the School Centenary the P&C ran the very successful “Beef In The Buffel” Ball, following a break from the event in 2020. This was a great success again this year. Injune State School P&C is a wonderful organisation, not only for the School, but for the broader community in the things they do to make our community great.
The Bymount East School Reunion honouring the 75-year milestone, which was reached in 2020, was held on the first weekend in November 2021.
Several events were scheduled across the weekend to cater for different ages and preferences. They kicked off with the Dingo Club on the Friday Night, 75 Year Re-union on Saturday, Gala Dinner on the Saturday Night, and Bymount Community Recreation Association Tennis Fun Day on the Sunday.
The Gala Dinner Under the Stars featured fabulous food, fantastic entertainment and a festive atmosphere as well as an Art Auction featuring artists connected to Bymount East State School and entertainment from Walmsley Trio Band. The event was a wonderful weekend of celebration and reminiscing of times gone by.
YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD | Injune Youth Group Senior Girls
It was wonderful to recognise the female members of the Injune Youth Group for the Young Achiever Award, with special reference to their contribution to the International Women's Day, Day of Difference function, held at the Injune Memorial Hall on March 7th 2021.
Over the years many projects have been completed by the Youth Group. These include oiling the timber gateways entrance signs on each end of the highway into Injune, weeding and mulching the community gardens, picking up rubbish, and baking Christmas gifts for the local emergency services workers.
COVID-19 meant the youth group program was halted for many months and so the girls welcomed the opportunity to be involved in an event such as the Day of Difference.
The girls were included in all aspects of the event and were able to get insight into what is involved in running an event with a plan to now help them facilitate a tailored event for the Youth Group.
The girls received wonderful feedback from attendees and many commented on how proud their parents and the community should be of their efforts on the day. This event was held in the middle of strict COVID-19 guidelines for hosting an event and every one of the girls ensured that the day was compliant and enjoyable for the women attending.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Michael Taylor
Michael joined the Wallumbilla branch of Apex in 1990, he held the position of Secretary and was a very active member whilst the club was operational. Michael was awarded Apexian of the Year and won a trip to New Zealand for his public speaking ability.
Michael also joined the Wallumbilla SES and Rural Fire Brigade groups in 1990 where he has held high ranking positions in both groups. Michael became 2nd Officer of the Wallumbilla Rural fire Brigade in 2011 and was heavily involved with the Wallumbilla Combined Emergency Group that was formed to gather information for construction of the new Combined Emergency Services Centre Shed.
Michael is qualified and accredited in flood boat operations, road crash rescue, traffic control, chain saw operations, air observation and airside (ground crew), vertical rescue and working at heights. Michael’s ability to coordinate resources and relay information to Firecom is outstanding as is the support and experience he gives to new members.
Michael has been a past member of the Wallumbilla Hall committee when operational, is a member of the Wallumbilla Campdraft Association, has been chairman of the Anzac Committee since 2016 and is currently an active member of the Wallumbilla Town Improvement Group after holding the position of President twice.
Michael is very passionate about his community and his commitment to our area shows in the services in which he has been involved.
LOCAL HERO AWARD | Colin Stafford
Colin is the owner and operator of the Yuleba School Bus Run which transports school children from Yuleba to attend the Wallumbilla State School.
On the afternoon of 14 May 2021 the Yuleba Bus with 16 school children on board was involved in a traffic accident. An oncoming vehicle lost control slamming into the school bus, the children report the bus went up on two wheels during the impact and even though it was badly damaged Colin’s skill and quick reaction to the incident bought the bus to a safe stop.
Not noticing his own injuries, Colin stayed calm and was swift in getting the children off the bus while smoke poured from the engine. He double checked the bus to ensure no one was left behind then comforted the children whilst accessing their injuries. Colin then put the injured children into groups of three so they could comfort each other which in turn maintained calm within the group until help arrived. After the accident he remained in close contact with the children and their parents checking on their physical and mental wellbeing.
Colin treats every person who travels on his bus as an individual whom he cares about and the dedication to the safety of all those that travel with him always comes first.
YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD | Dylan Ogden
Dylan is a humble young man with bright future who throughout his young life has always given 100 percent in everything, whether it is work, school or sports.
His biggest achievement thus far was completing his Year 12 education at Roma State College holding the position of one of the School Captains and where his academic achievements were recognised by the following:
- Year 12 Dux award
- The Australian Defence Force Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award
- The Ampol All Rounder Award
- Origin Science Top Achiever
- Biology Subject Award
- Chemistry Subject Award
- Physics Subject Award
- Math B Subject Award
Dylan also received an ATAR score of 95.25 which was in the top 23 % of the State and will be attending James Cook University this year to undertake a field in Veterinary Science.
CULTURAL AWARD | Wallumbilla Show Rodeo Committee
The annual Wallumbilla Rodeo is one of the most popular and celebrated events on the Wallumbilla Social Calendar.
The event brings people from all areas of the community together each year in a celebrated country tradition of a rodeo, allowing both town members and rural citizens an opportunity to socialise together and enjoy a wonderful community event.
This event attracts visiting competitors each year and their positive feedback is always impressive as they look forward to the next year’s event.
The event organisers always present a professional, entertaining afternoon and evening of fun for the community. The event itself was a wonderful success and one that the committee strive to improve on every year.
COMMUNITY ORGANISATION AWARD | Wallumbilla SES Group
On the 14 May 2021, the Wallumbilla Unit were activated to a road accident involving a school bus and a vehicle.
There were 16 students on the bus and being a small, close community many of the students were children and known to the members attending.
The team was also confronted with one deceased person and another critically injured person in the vehicle. While some members attended to the injured in the vehicle, the priority was to extract the school students and get them away from the scene to reduce the level of trauma.
The members of the Wallumbilla SES group attended to the very difficult extraction of the injured person in the vehicle and then the extraction of the deceased passenger. Despite the horrific scene that they were confronted with the volunteers completed the task with professionalism and the level of RCR skills they possess.
Wallumbilla SES members are volunteers and provide valuable assistance to the community year after year. It is a credit to the groups training hours to be able to provide the skillful task required in these trying situations.
SPORTS AWARD | Dylan Ogden
Dylan’s representative football career began many years ago when he started playing Under 10 Rugby League and over the years, he has been selected many times to play in both Roma and District and South West Queensland rugby league football teams.
Whilst in Year 12 one of his physical education assignments resulted in that work being selected by QTAC for inclusion in the 2022 curriculum for both students and teachers.
Dylan has always led by example and never asks of others what he wouldn’t do himself, hence his election as Captain of the Under 18’s Wallumbilla/Surat Red Bulls rugby league football team for 2021.
COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTION AWARD | Karen Sainty
Karen has been a member of the Wallumbilla community all her life and prides herself in offering her time and help to multiple community groups and events.
Over the years she has held numerous committee positions including but not limited to the Wallumbilla Show and Wallumbilla Campdraft committees.
She volunteers willingly to support events happening in the community and can be seen at the annual local Show, Campdraft events, ANZAC Days and many more asking, ‘do you need a hand’ or ‘I can help with that’.
Karen’s passion for our community is evident in all that she does and is recognised here today.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Jan Chambers
Jan has provided service and support to the Maranoa region for over thirty years. She has held many voluntary positions over this period in a variety of areas, with a goal of continual improvement of services and support for the residents of the area.
Jan is an inaugural member of the Mungallala progress Association undertaking the Secretarial duties for numerous years. This group work with the community to achieve improved services and facilities, through advocating to their elected members whether it be local, state or federal governments.
Jan has accepted the roles of President, Secretary and Treasurer for the Mitchell/Tomoo Isolated Children Parents Association, advocating for improved service delivery for education and support of isolated children and their families not only for this area, but across Queensland.
Another organisation that benefited from this skilful nominee, was the Charleville school of Distance Education P&C, becoming the President and Secretary for several years. This organisation provides support for isolated children and their families of this school, and the group organise and hold an annual presentation and sports day each year.
Jan nominated to become a Councillor in 2004 joining Booringa Shire Council as an elected member. In 2008 with the amalgamation of the five local government areas of Roma, Bungil, Booringa, Bendemere and Waroo; the community elected Jan to represent them in the local government decision making process, which resulted in her becoming the Deputy Mayor in 2016 until she didn’t seek re-election in 2020. In this time, Jan held many portfolios within Council ensuring equity for all residents and rate payers. Sixteen years being elected member for her community, saw many improved services through out the Maranoa.
Jan is a Trustee of the Norah Fallon bursary, that provides financial assistance to local children for their further education each year. A very worthy program that has supported many children achieve their goals, opening up opportunities for their future.
Jan currently is on a board of members of the South West Queensland Health and Hospital, holding the position of deputy chairperson – working to improve the health services for the south west area of Queensland.
In 2007, Jan displayed her leadership skills be reinvigorating the Mitchell Diggers Race Club, whom had not held their annual race day in five years. She bandied her committee together, holding events to raise enough money for a ‘self funded’ race day. This involved obtaining support from local and regional businesses as well as the community and such foresight resulted in an outstanding and successful race days that continue to be supported by businesses and the community as well as funding from Queensland Racing. Improvements made at the race club grounds, new kitchen, bar facilities, new running rail and external fencing, power installed demonstrates how the nominee can work with a number of people to achieve results that benefits the community now and into the future.
This local resident works across the community in many different facets, to achieve results that benefit the community now and into the future. She is a quiet achiever, never wanting and accolades for the unselfish personal time and effort put into the community work.
COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTION AWARD | Laurane Martin
Laurane makes a valuable contribution to the Mitchell community in many ways. Laurane sells fund raising tickets down the street for multiple committees, buys a Christmas cake to raffle every Christmas with the money raised going to local groups.
Laurane is also involved with delivering meals on wheels and raising money for the hospital auxiliary by selling Melbourne Cup sweeps and money boards.
Mitchell is Laurane’s home; she is committed to making Mitchell a wonderful place to live. Recognition of her valuable contribution to the growth, development and increased participation by others in activities within the Mitchell community is deserved.
SPORTS AWARD | Bella Witt
Bella is an outstanding sportswoman, in 2021 Bella and her chestnut mare Pepper competed in 10 different pony club Events. This resulted in them winning Overall Grand Champion once and Age Champion seven times.
Bella represented Zone 20 at the Queensland Pony Club Championships at Goondiwindi in September. She won sliver on the first day of competition and Gold on the second day. She was one of the top four riders selected into the Queensland Team and then was awarded the Ned Twohill Perpetual Trophy for being the highest point scorer for the Queensland Team.
Bella began competing in the Equestrian Australia Interschool Queensland competitions in Showjumping and Dressage, covering a distance from Toowoomba to Charleville and various spots in between. Bella has won Grand Champion three times, Reserve Champion three times, Age Champion four times, as well as being placed in the rest of the competitions.
Bella has also competed in the Darling Downs & South West Regional Championships in Toowoomba where they won Overall Grand Champion in the primary 80cm Showjumping and the Reserve Champion in the Primary 80cm Combined Training. They went on to compete at the Interschool Queensland State Championships in Maryborough and then the Combined Training State Championships in Warwick where they placed in the Top 5 in the State.
YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD | Karly Cicero
Karly as an 18-year-old has already demonstrated her commitment to contributing and growing the community of Mitchell. For many years Karly has been the artist behind most of the window displays in many of the shops in Mitchell for such events as; Paint the Town REaD, Christmas, Late Night Shopping and the Fire and Water Festival.
Karly in the past year has won every art award in Mitchell in a variety of categories. However, what is more outstanding is her commitment to ensuring that people with a disability are also represented in their community as Artists.
Karly works for Access Learning and Training having originally undertaken this position while still at school. In 12 months, Karly has fulfilled all requirements to be a Support Worker for disability and aged care. In addition to this, Karly is the youngest student to be accepted into an Advanced Diploma in Art Therapy because it was demonstrated that Karly had a natural ability to be able to engage with people who have disabilities is such a way that they are able to find self-worth in their own abilities and achievements.
Karly finds no task to difficult to tackle, she is passionate about everything that she does, and her level of maturity exceeds her age. She has great compassion for those in the community who are marginalised. Karly is always looking for ways that the community can engage with youth in the community and has undertaken many projects that inclusively draw people together.
COMMUNITY ORGANISATION AWARD | Booringa Fire & Water Festival
The Booringa Fire and Water festival was held on the 16th – 18th September 2021. Booringa Action Group host this event bi-annually. 2021 was a three-day event which incorporated many activities including:
- Booringa Art Exhibition
- Grazing on the Maranoa – dinner spectacular
- Poet’s Breakfast and Markets
- Mitchell Yumba traditional lunch and story telling
- Booringa Fire and water festival
The festival provided several events at different times and a range of show cases and entertainment that provided everyone with multiple choices and opportunities to attend or get involved with one or all of the events.
ANDREA MURRAY MEMORIAL AWARD | Myrtil (Tilly) Butler-Woodall
Myrtil (Tilly) is extremely involved in her community, having worked in the disability sector her entire adult life.
In 2019, Tilly founded the disability support company, Access Learning and Training and has grown it into a very successful and much-loved support provider in the Booringa area. This year, the company made the top 3 in Australia for “Most Outstanding Remote Service Program”, according to the Australian Disability Service Awards.
Alongside her work with disabled people, Tilly also provides general assistance to those in aged care – she’s often port of call for anyone in the community who may require help and often provides assistance for those needing to gain access to NDIS. Tilly, with her husband Kel have welcomed many people into their home caring and assisting them in anyway they can. Tilly is an absolute force of good to the Booringa and surrounding areas. She is always looking for new ways to help others and implement real changes within the community.