Australia Day

Australia Day Banner 2022

Australia Day Award Recipients

  • 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.

    CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Baden Waldron

    CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Baden Waldron


    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. 




    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.

    SPORTS AWARD | Mathew Gane

    SPORTS AWARD | Mathew Gane

    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.

    CULTURAL AWARD | Janet Rowlings

    CULTURAL AWARD | Janet Rowlings


    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.

    CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Elizabeth McLean

    CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Elizabeth McLean


    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.

    CULTURAL AWARD | Wendy McAlpine

    CULTURAL AWARD | Wendy McAlpine


    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.

    CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Des and Doro Warrian

    CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Des and Doro Warrian

    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.

    CULTURAL AWARD | International Day of Difference Organising Committee

    CULTURAL AWARD | International Day of Difference Organising Committee


    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.

    YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD | Injune Youth Group Senior Girls

    YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD | Injune Youth Group Senior Girls



    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.

    CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Michael Taylor (accepted by Mitchell Taylor)

    CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Michael Taylor (accepted by Mitchell Taylor)


    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.


    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.

    CULTURAL AWARD | Wallumbilla Show Rodeo Committee (accepted by Brendan Seawright)

    CULTURAL AWARD | Wallumbilla Show Rodeo Committee (accepted by Brendan Seawright)


    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.

    SPORTS AWARD | Dylan Ogden

    SPORTS AWARD | Dylan Ogden


    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.

    CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Jan Chambers

    CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Jan Chambers


    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.

    SPORTS AWARD | Bella Witt

    SPORTS AWARD | Bella Witt


    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.

    COMMUNITY ORGANISATION AWARD | Booringa Fire & Water Festival

    COMMUNITY ORGANISATION AWARD | Booringa Fire & Water Festival


  • 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.

    ANDREA MURRAY MEMORIAL AWARD | Myrtil (Tilly) Butler-Woodall

    ANDREA MURRAY MEMORIAL AWARD | Myrtil (Tilly) Butler-Woodall


Australia Day Ambassadors 2022

  • Biography - 2022 Australia Day Ambassador Program

    Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM, Co-founder, Doctors with Disabilities Australia

    Dr Dinesh Palipana was the first quadriplegic medical intern in Queensland and the second person to graduate medical school with quadriplegia in Australia. He is the co-founder of Doctors with Disabilities Australia, works in the emergency department at the Gold Coast University Hospital and is a senior advisor to the Disability Royal Commission. He is a lecturer at Griffith University, researcher at the Menzies Health Institute of Queensland and doctor to the Gold Coast Titans disability rugby team.

    Dinesh was awarded the Gold Coast Health's 2018 Junior Doctor of the Year, Medal of the Order of Australia in 2019 and the Queensland Australian of the Year in 2021. He was also the third Australian to be awarded a Henry Viscardi Achievement Award.

    2022 Australia day ambassador program photo dinesh palipana

    2022 Australia Day Ambassador Program photo: Dinesh Palipana

  • Biography 2022 Australia Day Ambassador Program

    Gail Ker OAM, Chief Executive Officer, Access Community Services Ltd

    Gail Ker is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Access Community Services Ltd and has more than 20 years' experience in the Australian multicultural, humanitarian and community sectors. Gail is currently a board member on the Migration Council Australia and SeqWater. She formerly served on several boards and advisory committees, including Settlement Services Advisory Council and Community Advisory Committee of SBS.

    Renowned for her expertise in innovative service solutions for newly arrived migrants and humanitarian entrants, Gail is a recognised thought leader in needs-based community planning, innovative business models, social cohesion, strategic partnerships, employment pathways, funding opportunities and strategic direction. In 2010, Gail was awarded an Order of Australia Medal.

    2022 Australia day ambassador program photo: gail ker

    2022 Australia Day Ambassador Program photo: Gail Ker

  • Biography 2022 Australia Day Ambassador Program

    Jordyn Francis, Child Protection and Human Trafficking Project Officer, Australian Federal Police

    At just 16 years of age, Jordyn Francis became aware of the issue of child exploitation throughout Thailand and Cambodia and was determined to make a difference. She organised concerts to raise money for Destiny Rescue, a charity which frees girls from sex-trafficking in South East Asia and provides them with a home, skills training and a fresh start to life. Jordyn’s fundraising concerts contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the work of Destiny Rescue. In 2013, Jordyn moved to Cambodia to volunteer for Destiny Rescue and worked with rescued children.

    In July 2012, Jordyn received the Queensland Day Community Award, and in 2014 was named Queensland's Young Australian of the Year. Jordyn now works in the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation, a Federal government initiative led by the Australian Federal Police. Jordyn’s role is to liaise with federal government agencies, non-government organisations and law enforcement to develop strategies, campaigns and educational programs which aim to help prevent children in Australia and South East Asia falling victim to online child exploitation.

    2022 Australia day ambassador program photo jordyn francis

    2022 Australia Day Ambassador Program photo: Jordyn Francis

  • Biography 2022 Australia Day Ambassador Program

    Dr Robert McGregor, Consultant Paediatrician

    A medical practitioner specialising in child health, Dr Robert (Bob) McGregor has made an outstanding contribution to Queensland’s community. Bob has been devoted to his role as consultant paediatrician at both the Mater Children’s Private Brisbane Hospital and Ipswich Hospital. Many of his current patients are the children or even grandchildren of former patients. Bob was the long-time chair of a hospital fund which raised more than $126,000 for medical equipment and children’s amenities. He has been involved in community outreach programs to prevent child abuse and has presented many papers at medical conferences.  He is equally dedicated to his community, working in a number of voluntary roles for local schools and Lions clubs. 

    Bob was named the 2014 Senior Australian of the Year and was the baton holder in the 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay.

    2022 Australia day ambassador program photo bob mcgregor

    2022 Australia Day Ambassador Program photo: Robert Mcgregor

  • Biography 2022 Australia Day Ambassador Program

    William Nancarrow, Simulation Assistant, Queensland Health

    William (Bill) Nancarrow became involved in powerlifting training in 2000 after a motorbike accident in Townsville. In 2002, he met the team at Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association in Brisbane and forged a great relationship with the team, attending several state and national competitions over the next few years, building on his strength and forming close friendships. In 2005, Bill had further surgery on his right leg as his hip had deteriorated to the extent that he was unable to walk on it. After some setbacks in 2006, Bill was offered an assistant coaching role at Sporting Wheelies, and the rest is history. Bill has held many assistant coach, coach and team manager positions over his coaching career with some highlights including the Beijing Paralympics and the recent Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Bill was awarded the Col Marsh Volunteer of the Year a few years ago and Coach of the Year in 2017.

    2022 Australia day ambassador program photo william nancarrow

    2022 Australia Day Ambassador Program photo: William Nancarrow

Australia Nominations 2023

  • More information on nominations for the 2023 Australia day Award will be made available later in the year.