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Australia Day Awards Celebrate Community Champions

A community event which lit up Beaudesert during the festive season, a campaigner for public recognition of the wartime service of animals and their handlers and volunteers who are vital threads in the fabric of their communities are among recipients of Scenic Rim's 2019 Australia Day Awards.

The awards, presented by Mayor Greg Christensen at The Centre Beaudesert last night, honoured the contribution of community groups and individuals who make the Scenic Rim such a great place to live.

"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 own way to our unique Australian way of life," he said.

Before presenting the awards, Mayor Greg Christensen congratulated the nominees from each of the four 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."

Awards were presented to the winning nominees in the categories of Community Event of the Year, Scenic Rim Citizen of the Year (16-30 years), Scenic Rim Citizen of the Year (31-65 Years) and Scenic Rim Citizen of the Year (65+ years).

An additional award, The Mayor's Award, recognising personal achievement across all of these categories, was shared this year between two exceptional nominees.

"As always, the calibre of this year's nominees was outstanding but this year it was not possible to choose just one recipient," Cr Christensen said.

"This is an award which recognises aspects of selflessness as hallmarks and attributes which we should celebrate, as they are in short supply across society."

In each of the following categories the award winners are:

Light Up Beaudesert
Light Up Beaudesert -  Beaudesert’s Community Christmas Spirit - was an event to decorate the town to celebrate Christmas for the December 2017 festive season. After months of preparation, the event culminated on 1 December when the lights were turned on throughout Beaudesert, the Santa Hunt began and the works of the 'yarnbombers' were on show. This was a true community effort involving individuals, four schools, 13 community groups which sponsored trees, 25 stores which participated in the Santa Hunt and businesses which dressed their windows or funded decorations. 

Laura Ross
Laura appreciates the value and contribution of everyone in her team and has demonstrated excellent leadership abilities, participating in social service activities at Tamborine Mountain State High School. She worked as a volunteer with the road safety program and her book drive. Laura was nominated for an award for her exemplary values in all facets of life and for taking the lead in achieving tasks.

Nigel Allsopp
Nigel has a long history of working with animals, as well as lecturing at universities and writing books about animals and their military service. As the Founder and President of the Australian War Animals Memorials Organisation, he was a driving force in the establishment of a memorial, commemorating animals and their handlers who served in times of war, which was unveiled on Remembrance Day last year at DJ Smith Park Canungra.

Margaret Manthey
A recent recipient of the Meritorious Service Award from Scouts Australia, Margaret is dedicated to ensuring the Scouts continue to operate in Beaudesert and is a role model for the group's young members. She is a quiet achiever, showing the scouting spirit and overcoming challenges with determination and good humour. 

June Herbohn and Kodi Sawtell
Like many of the Scenic Rim's community champions, June Herbohn works behind the scenes and shuns the limelight - so much so that it was only recently that her committee, the Beaudesert Branch of the Cancer Council, managed to photograph her at her charity work.
She has volunteered for 40 years with the Uniting Church Auxiliary, 15 years with Blue Care Auxiliary and, more recently, as a volunteer with Chicks Conquering Cancer. June's energy and willingness to have a go are an inspiration to others as she tackles all her tasks with enthusiasm and grace.
Kodi Sawtell has been a volunteer for nine years within the Scenic Rim at events including the Boonah Arts Festival Youth Showcase, Boonah Bookfest and the Winter Harvest Festival. Her efforts have helped the Boonah Chaplaincy raise funds and contributed to an education bursary to help students in financial need.