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Australia Day Awards a Shout-out for Quiet Achievers

SES flood boat crew members whose bravery and commitment came to the fore during Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie and volunteers who are vital threads in the fabric of their communities are among recipients of Scenic Rim Region Australia Day Awards for 2018.

The awards, presented at The Centre Beaudesert following a citizenship ceremony last night, honoured the contribution of community groups and individuals who were nominated by residents of the region as unsung heroes who make the Scenic Rim such a great place to live.

Before presenting the awards, Mayor Greg Christensen congratulated the nominees from all eight categories for their outstanding achievements.

"They are all of an extremely high calibre and those of you who were nominated should be proud of the contribution you have made to your community," he said.

"Choosing just one recipient for an award is never an easy task and the judging of this year's awards was no exception.

"Scenic Rim Regional Council is proud to present these Australia Day awards, acknowledging that those who give so much to their community also contribute in their unique way to our Australian way of life."

Awards were presented to the winning nominees in the categories of Community Event of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Citizen of the Year and Senior Citizen of the Year, with other outstanding individuals receiving the Spirit of Scenic Rim Cultural Award, Healthy and Active Sports Award and Community Champion Award.

An additional award, The Mayor's Award, recognises personal achievement across all of these categories.

"The calibre of this year's nominees was outstanding and it was a tough decision to choose just one recipient. Importantly, this award recognises someone who has made a significant contribution to their community over many years without any thought of personal gain, and shows the community foundation we aspire to," Cr Christensen said.

In each of the following categories the award winners are: 

COMMUNITY EVENT OF THE YEAR

Turning Canungra Pink                   Canungra
From a breast cancer fundraising campaign by one local business in 2014, Turning Canungra Pink, under the auspices of the Canungra Chamber of Commerce, has expanded to the entire township, seeing businesses and residents hosting several activities throughout the month of October. In 2017 alone, the event raised more than $40,000 for cancer research with all proceeds going to Cancer Council Queensland.

YOUNG CITIZEN OF THE YEAR

Grace Hayton            Boonah
Travelling to China at the age of 14 to work in orphanages with AIDS-affected children gave Grace a love for cross-cultural work and surely played a part in fulfilling her role of Cultural Captain of Boonah State High School. Her goal is to become a nurse so she can work in third-world countries and she has begun that journey by completing a school-based traineeship to gain a Certificate 3 in Personal Support. Grace did this by working as an Assistant in Nursing at the Fassifern Retirement Village during her final year of school. She was awarded Education Queensland's South East Region School-Based Trainee of the Year, as well as Boonah State High School's Trainee of the Year. Additionally, Grace also received an Excellence in Art Award and Silver Academic Award. 

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR

Kim Crow                   Beechmont
Described as someone who epitomises the Australian character, Kim is recognised for her generosity and calm nature, which is appreciated during times of crisis. Sharing her contagious enthusiasm with the community as a willing worker and leader, Kim was the first female First Officer of the Beechmont Rural Fire Brigade. Over the years, she has thrown herself into numerous local community groups, including Beechmont Playgroup, Beechmont State School Parents and Citizens' Committee, Beechmont State School Out of Hours School Care, Beechmont Junior Soccer Association, Beechmont Sports Association, Beechmont Landcare Association, Beechmont Amateur Drama Company, and the Beechmont ANZAC Committee, encouraging others to take part in voluntary work along the way.

SENIOR CITIZEN OF THE YEAR

Heather Kenrick        Beaudesert
Actively involved in a number of community organisations and services, Heather gives her time freely for the benefit of others. She has assisted the Queensland Country Women's Association's Wonglepong branch, since joining in 1975, the Beaudesert Cricket Club, with her involvement spanning more than 30 years, Beaudesert District Girl Guides, for some 20 years, and the Beaudesert State High School Parents and Citizens' (P&C) Association. Although her children completed their schooling nearly thirty years ago, Heather still attends all meetings of the P&C and runs the canteen at the local cricket club every weekend. 

SPIRIT OF THE SCENIC RIM CULTURAL AWARD

Kate Wall                    Biddaddaba
Local photographer, Kate Wall (The Light Chaser), is passionate about capturing and sharing images of the night sky, landscapes, and animals, particularly within the Scenic Rim region. Kate enjoys teaching astrophotography and arranging Instagram meets to share her passion for the many great locations within this region. Her creative influence on local youth
has been recognised through her work as a Teacher Aide at Tamborine Mountain State High School.

HEALTHY AND ACTIVE SPORTS AWARD

Riley Day                    Josephville
Riley has been extremely successful in her specialty area of Track and Field. She was a member of the Australian team that competed in the televised Nitro Athletics Series. In March 2017, she competed at the Australian Junior Titles breaking the Australian record for both the 100m and 200m events. In July, she competed in the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games held in the Bahamas, where she was the Australian Team Flagbearer for the opening ceremony. There she won two gold medals for the individual 200m event and the 4x100m relay. Riley also competed in the World Athletics Championships in London, where she was the youngest sprinter in the competition and the youngest Australian to compete in 41 years. She received the Pierre de Coubertin Award in recognition of her sporting achievements and sports leadership reflecting the values of the Olympic Movement. Closer to home, Riley won the coveted Beaudesert Times Trophy for Sportswoman of the Year.

COMMUNITY CHAMPION AWARD

Scenic Rim SES Flood Boat Crew - 2017 Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie
During the day and night of Thursday 30 March 2017, these two flood boat crews rescued a total of 51 community members from floodwater. This included the night-time rescue of 41 residents from 11 properties, where residents had climbed onto the roofs of their homes surrounded by fast-flowing floodwater. The teams worked in dangerous, dark, and trying conditions to ensure the safe rescue of these people and some beloved pets.

The teams showed commitment and dedication to community safety by working throughout the night and well into the early hours of the following morning. All four members showed tremendous bravery and commitment, as they were required to work in the dark in a dangerous and unfamiliar environment. The rescues required the members to trust each other's ability to work together in a stressful and unpredictable situation. The teamwork displayed by these members during this time was described as exceptional. The members are part of the Scenic Rim SES Unit, a community volunteer organisation whose members train every week and are all very active in providing support to operational tasks.

Scenic Rim SES Flood Boat Crew members nominated include:

Bill Gaudry                Tamborine Mountain SES

Adam Dorricott         Tamborine Mountain SES

Kevin Martin              Beaudesert SES

Ashleigh Bartlett       Beaudesert SES

MAYOR'S AWARD

Wayne Reiser            Boyland
Wayne has been a dedicated member, both past and present, of numerous local community groups, including Canungra Bowls Club, Beaudesert Tennis Association, Beaudesert Cricket Association, Canungra Cricket Association, Beaudesert Golf Club, Beaudesert Rural Youth Club, Queensland Council of Rural Youth, Canungra Rural Fire Brigade, and the Canungra Creek Water Advisory Committee - all while being President of the Canungra Sports and Recreation Reserve Grounds for the past 31 years. Wayne's community fundraising efforts have helped to supply a cold room for the Canungra School of Arts Hall, a truck for the Canungra Rural Fire Brigade, computers for Canungra State School, and a donation towards a defibrillator for the local ambulance service.