Show your national colours and pride by flying the flag at any of the Toowoomba Region’s community-run Australia Day events on January 26.
The free festivities are an ideal way to join fellow Aussies to celebrate our good fortune to live in this great part of Australia. We’d love residents to join the community activities where we celebrate our diverse society, reflect on our achievements and re-commit to making Australia an even better place for everyone.
Our regional achievers will be announced and honoured at small ceremonies before residents are invited to join a variety of free entertainment and activities.
2018 Australia Day award winners
The following list includes the Australia Day regional awards, which cover service to the region as a whole, and respective service area awards. Congratulations to all of the winners.
Australia Day Regional Citizen of the Year – Terrence Reid
Refer to Rosalie Citizen of the Year
Regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Citizen of the Year for 2018 – Debra Anderson
Debbie Anderson is a proud Murri woman, born from an Aboriginal father and raised by her Aunty who is an Eidsvold Elder from the Willi Willi tribe. Debbie was born and raised in Toowoomba and her husband is from the Wakka Wakka tribe at Gayndah.
A pillar of the Aboriginal community, Debbie works tirelessly to improve the lives of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the Oakey community and throughout the region.
Outgoing and inspiring, Debbie believes that you have to surround yourself with motivated, respectful and positive role models and encourages Aboriginal people to achieve greatness in work and life.
Debbie was inspirational in establishing and running the annual RUOK Day in Oakey and was heavily involved in the Oakey 7 Day Makeover in 2017. A member of the Oakey Lions Club, Debbie also supported the establishment of the Aboriginal Dance Troupe in Oakey that has spread to a wider audience.
Married with four sons and four granddaughters, Debbie always makes herself available for community events and previously worked as a Community Support and Referral Officer for Toowoomba Regional Council, assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members with issues such as housing, health, employment, youth and referrals.
Regional Young Citizen of the Year for 2018 – Bryce Reithmuller
Refer to Rosalie Young Citizen of the Year
Cambooya Citizen of the Year – Debbie Twidale
Debbie Twidale, has been an active and tireless supporter of all Wyreema community endeavours and events for the past 20 years.
An invaluable asset in the area, Debbie is the Vice-President of Wyreema Community Events Inc. and happily volunteers her time to ensure the success of their fundraising activities.
Last year, Debbie also volunteered many hours to assist Wyreema State School with their inaugural fete, contributing to the success of the day immensely.
As co-owner of the Wyreema Store, Debbie sponsors and supports various community events. The store also provides many services to the community including tennis court and community hall bookings.
Debbie always has a smile on her face and works hard for her community without expectation of recognition or reward.
Cambooya Young Citizen of the Year – Samantha Glass
Caring, charitable and community-minded, Samantha is credited for helping people become the best version of themselves and for showing genuine concern for people living in the Cambooya district.
Sam and her husband Tim operate a home gym called Slamfit and are very passionate about promoting health and fitness and active lifestyles.
Passionate about her community, Sam also supports those less fortunate through various initiatives including ‘hike for the homeless’ challenges to raise funds for disadvantaged children at Christmas and gym sessions in the park for the RSPCA.
Sam is a truly fantastic young person who is constantly looking for ways to help those around her and those less fortunate. Health and fitness is paramount in our society and Sam is genuine about addressing obesity and helping people become the best they can be.
Cambooya Cultural Award – Jason Charles
Talented signer, Jason Charles, is known in the Cambooya community for supporting various community events and never asking for anything in return.
The hardworking farmer sings at the Felton Food Festival, Cambooya Kindy Day, Wyreema Long Yard, Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers and Summer Tunes.
Juggling farming with family life, Jason is always willing to help anyone out and support his community through entertainment and participating at local trivia nights and cent sales.
A deserving Cultural Award recipient, Jason is a valuable member of the community and, if he can, he will show up and help at any event.
Cambooya Senior Sports Award – Jessica Duncan
Jess had a phenomenal year playing polocrosse in 2017, representing Queensland on three occasions.
The accomplished athlete represented Queensland against New Zealand and was a member of the Queensland Women’s Polocrosse Team, who played against the Australian Women’s Team. Jess also played an interstate series against New South Wales and Victoria.
Based in Cambooya, Jess has been playing competitive polocrosse for 14 years on her horses Letty and Haydon Dunkirk. Haydon Dunkirk has also won numerous awards for Jess including player of the carnival and horse of the tournament.
Cambooya Junior Sports Award – Ben Hoey
Ben Hoey is a highly committed, well-liked and successful young sportsman who excels in endurance horse riding and triathlon, representing Queensland and the Darling Downs.
Ben represented Queensland against New Zealand and American in Endurance Horse Riding and was placed second in the 2017 Queensland Championships in Endurance Horse Riding.
In 2017, he won the Spirit of Endurance Award at the Queensland Championships, having run the last 18 km on foot to ensure the well-being of his horse.
In 2016, Ben started competing in triathlons (swim, bike, run) and after less than one year of competition was selected in the Darling Downs Schools’ Team. He was also chosen to represent Darling Downs at the 2018 state triathlon championships.
Ben is an avid researcher of endurance riding and triathlon, gaining insights into the latest training techniques and competition strategies. An exciting future in these challenging endurance sports awaits him.
Cambooya Community Event – Wyreema State School Fete Committee
More than 3,000 people attended the inaugural Great Fete at Wyreema State School, raising more than $12K towards the building of a school tuckshop.
Organised by the Wyreema State School Fete Committee, the event is credited for bringing the whole community together in an explosion of festivity!
The first 1,000 attendees received generous sample bags and enjoyed a myriad of market stalls, carnival rides, side show alley, food galore, entertainment from local dance troupes and the school choir.
The inaugural event attracted generous sponsorship and community support, including the Westbrook Lions Club, who ran the fete barbecue.
A pivotal group of parents attended the Great Fete Committee meetings, organising advertising, preparing goods for sale, sourcing sponsorships and generally ensuring that the day would run like a well-oiled machine. Hundreds of hours of decision making and preparation went into the event by this dedicated team.
Cambooya Group – Cambooya Landcare Association
Established in 1989, Cambooya Landcare is a volunteer group that works to promote and support sustainable land management across the district.
Over the years, Cambooya Landcare has run a number of projects covering biodiversity, ground cover and grazing management, pest and weed control, soil conservation and revegetation. Funding for these projects has been sourced from national, state and local government programs.
Information sharing among landholders has been assisted by the employment of a part-time Project Officer, who distributes a wide range of publications and resources for community use from their office at 64 Eton St, Cambooya.
Cambooya Landcare ran a number of awareness raising activities for landholders in 2016 and 2017 including a fireweed field walk in September 2016 in response to the alarming outbreak of the toxic weed across much of the landscape. This was attended by over 100 landholders and agronomists including guest speakers from TRC and Pittsworth Veterinary Surgery, who discussed weed identification, toxicology and management.
In late November 2016, a Small Landholder Expo was held at Cambooya, specifically targeting those with lifestyle blocks. 17 trade exhibits, four guest speakers and two demonstrations assembled at the Cambooya Pony Club Grounds and 101 people spent the day questioning, listening and learning about ways to improve the management of their small holding.
In February 2017, Cambooya Landcare coordinated the successful delivery of an area wide feral pig control program covering 10,000 ha along Hodgson Creek and across the Rubieslaw Ranges. A total of 60 contiguous properties were flown by helicopter and 70 pigs and one dingo were controlled. This capitalised on the intensive work that individual landholders had been doing over the summer with trapping and baiting of feral pigs.
Clifton Citizen of the Year – Trevor Beutel
Trevor Beutel has been an active member of the Clifton community for well over 40 years. He has been involved in many different organisations including the Clifton Jaycees who each year hosted the Jaycees Christmas Tree which dates back to 1966. For many years Trevor was the Master of Ceremonies as well as a performing artist at this yearly event.
Trevor continued his voluntary efforts as Master of Ceremonies of the Clifton Progress Association’s annual Christmas street carnival. He still willingly fulfils this role and each year supplies the PA equipment for this event.
Many years ago he was a member of the Clifton Amateur Theatrical Society (CATS) and he performed as an acting and musical artist at various cabarets and parties in the district, including many entertaining and well attended Theatre Restaurants at FE Logan Hall in Clifton and the Nobby Hall.
Trevor was the Master of Ceremonies and Coordinator of the Clifton Show Country Music Festival for a number of years and continues his voluntary efforts with the Clifton Show Society, as the host of the very popular inter school Battle of the Brains each February.
With a group of locals he formed the bush band Ridgee Didge which has been popular throughout Southern Queensland.
Trevor has generously donated his time to schools in the area and to the Lutheran Church of Clifton and Nobby. He is renowned for his rendition of the “Heel Toe Polka” and for teaching every school child in the district how to get the heel, toe going.
Trevor and his brother-in-law Howard Ebneter owned and operated a successful business, the Clifton Farming Company, which put Clifton the district on the map in terms of peanut production and processing. Many local school children can remember touring the peanut processing plant at the Clifton Farming Company, which was an important employer in the district.
Clifton Young Citizen of the Year – Jacob Allport
Jacob Allport has worked as a volunteer announcer at the Clifton Show for four years, undertaking his role with a laugh and a smile.
Known for his ‘have a go’ attitude, Jacob has worked hard to learn the announcer’s role and to remember the names of the competitors and animals.
As part of his role, Jacob also announces what is happening in the main ring, acknowledges sponsors, talks to competitors and promotes what is happening in other parts of the showgrounds.
Away from his voluntary work, Jacob is working toward becoming a paramedic.
Clifton Junior Sports Award – William Flynn
Multiple Darling Downs representative athlete, Will Flynn, has enjoyed much success in the sporting arena, placing third in javelin at the Queensland Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships in Brisbane in late 2017.
A quiet achiever, Will attends Toowoomba Grammar School, where he has won the javelin competition for the past three years. Will also won at Darling Downs level in 2016 and 2017, throwing 54.55 metres. This qualified him to represent the Darling Downs at the state tiles.
Despite adverse weather at the state titles, Will threw 51.33 metres which placed him third in the state.
Clifton Community Event – St Francis de Sales Primary School
The St Francis de Sales Primary School centenary celebrations were a resounding success that bought together generations of Clifton residents in the Australian spirit of mateship to celebrate community pride and education.
Held over two days in March 2017, the event attracted hundreds of past students from across the region and interstate to reconnect and reminisce on their schooling days and life in the Clifton district.
The event commenced with a Celebrating a Centenary Dinner on the Friday night and the launch of the Centennial book, A Pictorial Past.
Sunday began with a celebration mass and then a re-enactment of the arrival of the Good Samaritan nuns to the district to teach in the school. This portion of the event was made possible by the co-ordination of the school and the steam train volunteers as well as a donation of a bus to take passengers and Parishioners, incognito as the Good Samaritan nuns, to Warwick to catch the steam train back to Clifton.
The afternoon closed out with a celebration at the School, including tours of refurbished buildings and past and present displays.
The event was a success due to the Australian Spirit of mateship and comradery, as well as pride in community that is so much a part of the spirit of, not only the Clifton, district but all of Australia.
Clifton Community Group – Clifton Meals on Wheels
Clifton Meals on Wheels has been providing ‘more than just a meal’ to clients in the Clifton community since the 1980’s.
Providing daily conversations and welfare checks, the group maintains a large base of dedicated volunteers who deliver more than 1,465 meals every year.
Supported by community groups, service groups and local businesses, Clifton Meals on Wheels successfully passed their first accreditation visit under the Home Care Service Standards in 2017, meeting all of the 18 required outcomes.
The group also met the legal requirement to have all volunteers with a current police check in 2017 and provided additional training for volunteers.
The volunteer group is supported by the Clifton Hospital, who produce beautifully cooked meals for Meals on Wheels clients. The hospital also keeps track of deliveries and communication with clients.
Clifton Meals on Wheels is supported by local businesses, service groups and community members.
Sports Administrator – Michael Kindelan
Michael is a passionate, dedicated and valued member of the Clifton and District Tennis Association, where he has increased membership dramatically.
Michael was nominated and accepted as President of the Clifton and District Tennis Association in January 2016 and has worked tirelessly to grow membership to 118 members, including 63 juniors who play on a Friday after school. Of these juniors, 11 now play JDS tournaments regularly with success.
The tennis club also hosts Saturday afternoon fixtures, ladies social fixtures on Tuesday morning and social play on Wednesday nights, along with competitions with other clubs including Warwick, Toowoomba and Dalby.
A driving force in the Club with his wife Belinda, Michael successfully applied for grants to resurface two courts with synthetic grass, install new fencing around four courts and build a new kitchen in the tennis club house. Constantly working to improve facilities, Michael is currently applying for grants to build a stand-alone shower and toilet block.
A plumber by trade, Michael has also volunteered many hours of his labour and supplies to the Clifton Tennis Association which has resulted in a Tennis Club the community can be proud of.
Michael is also a qualified tennis coach and spends many hours at the court coaching, where he treats all players with enthusiasm and encouragement.
Citizen of the Year – Sarah (Rio) Mocock
Sarah (Rio) Mocock is described by locals as ‘giving, selfless, caring and humble’ – an ‘inspiration’ and a ‘gem’. The mother and grandmother is credited with changing the face of Crows Nest through her community spirit, voluntary acts of kindness and selflessness.
A humble recipient, Rio is an astounding individual who has shown compassion and support to many individuals in the Crows Nest community. Last year, Rio prepared Christmas hampers for families in need and has also helped people who are homeless, ill and escaping domestic violence.
Rio volunteers at the Crows Nest school breakfast club and has organised countless raffles, cent sales and fundraising initiatives to help those in need.
As the Head Administrator of the Crows Nest Facebook page, Rio is also credited for fostering a sense of community and rallying the community together in times of need.
Australian Day is about recognising those people who make a real difference in their communities and Rio’s generosity, kindness and community spirit make her a very worthy recipient of the 2018 Crows Nest Citizen of the Year Award.
Young Citizen of the Year – Valentina Holland
At eight year of age, Crows Nest Young Citizen of the Year, Valentina Holland, is a shining example that we can all make a difference.
In the past 12 months, Valentina raised more than $1,600 for the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave and also donated more than 40cm of her hair to the Alopecia Areata Foundation for kids’ wigs.
A small person with a big heart, Valentina and her sister also provided a whole shopping trolley of groceries, toiletries and toys to the Lifeline Christmas Appeal last year, bringing hope and happiness to countless children on Christmas Day.
Valentina has now set herself a target of providing 70 high quality backpack beds to people living rough in the Toowoomba community.
Crows Nest Cultural Award – The Munro Tramway Historical Group
The Munro Tramway Historical Group was formed in 2015 to research the history of the Munro Tramway, the Munro timber merchant family and local timber harvesting and farming activities from the 1870's. What this 30-member group has achieved in two short years is nothing short of remarkable.
Passionate historians, the group secured ownership of an original Shay locomotive and successfully liaised with Main Roads and Toowoomba Regional Council to locate the machine at Ravensbourne.
In addition to recording details related to the tramway, locomotives and sawmill, the group also installed interpretive signs along the tramway route, attracting visitors to the region.
Uncovering a significant section of previously unidentified track which travels east from Palmtree to Bunker’s Hill, the group has also created a comprehensive and high-quality website to preserve this important chapter of our history.
Worthy Cultural Award recipients, the Munro Tramway Historical Group are keeping history alive and encouraging social interactions, community pride and connectiveness.
Crows Nest Senior Sports Award – Lindsay Blinco
Queensland squash representative and talented sportsperson, Lindsay Blinco is a worthy recipient of the 2018 Crows Nest Senior Sports Award for his achievements on and off the court.
Lindsay is ranked Number 10 in Queensland for boys aged 19 years and under and represented the state in the Open Boys’ State School Squash Team at the TriNations tournament in New Zealand in 2016.
As a school boy he represented Darling Downs Schools Squash in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and was also a recipient of the ‘Spirit of Squash Award’ for sportsmanship.
An outstanding role model for younger players in the sport, Lindsay was involved in the Friday afternoon squash development program at Crows Nest Squash Club, assisting the development of skills with the younger players.
A gifted athlete, Lindsay participates in a variety of sports including golf, cross country, Crows Nest Day Fun Run, Crows Nest Trail Bike Ride, touch football, bush walking, Kokoda Gold Coast 96km, indoor cricket and tennis.
Crows Nest Junior Sports Award – Stephanie Hartwig
Crows Nest State School student, Stephanie Hartwig, has had a wonderful year competing in Led Steer competitions, winning Grand Champion Led Steer at the interschool competition at Farmfest and Grand Champion Led Steer at the Toowoomba Show.
Stephanie showed her first steer at the Crows Nest Show at the age of nine and competes confidently around the show ring with steers, bulls, cows and heifers, successfully winning many awards, ribbons and trophies.
Active in the show community, Stephanie won Miss Junior Princess at the Goombungee Show in 2017. She was also named Junior Princess at the Crows Nest Show in 2016, where she works as a steward in the photography section.
Stephanie is an active member of the local youth group, a member of U Dance Academy and a competitive swimmer. Known for her good work ethic and ‘give it a go’ attitude, Stephanie won a year six school achievement award and the teachers award at swimming club.
Crows Nest Community Event – In Studio Art Trail
Each year, on the third weekend of August, hundreds of people join the In Studio Art Trail to visit local artists, sample produce and experience the beautiful High Country of Hampton, Ravensbourne and Crows Nest.
An initiative of Crows Nest Community Arts, the InStudio Art Trail is a free, self-drive trail designed to encourage locals and tourists to visit artists in their studios and exhibition spaces. Held since 2011, the event gives artists an opportunity to educate members of the public on their creative processes and purchase original artworks.
Participating artists are also encouraged to promote the event via Facebook and other channels, brining tourism to the region, with up to 400 ‘Trailers’ taking part in the event each year.
Crows Nest Community Arts and Crafts also provide a retail outlet for local artisans 7 days per week, donate $500 annually to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and take part in Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea to raise funds cancer.
Highfields Citizen of the year – Maureen Timperley
Maureen Timperley, is well-known in the area for her work as a Youth Group Leader and a mentor, friend and support person for troubled children and adults in the community.
As a Teacher Aide at Highfields State School for more than 30 years, Maureen was a valued librarian and classroom assistant and also volunteered her time as a Religious Instruction Teacher and Coordinator. Her calm, friendly and approachable manner meant that any child could talk to her about their problems and worries. For many children, just having someone to confide in, made their worries disappear, or at least, less burdensome.
Maureen was instrumental in establishing and running various Senior and Junior Youth Groups, Kids’ Club and Sunday school sessions for children and teenagers in the Highfields area. Offering fun and interesting activities, these initiatives were also welcomed by parents who could relax in the knowledge their children were supervised by responsible and caring adults.
Maureen currently works as a volunteer within the Education Department, coordinating Christian Religious Instruction and is a member of the Chaplaincy Committee.
Highfields Cultural award – Jody Dodds
Talented local artist and dedicated volunteer, Jody Dodds, has dedicated her life to preserving and promoting the region’s cultural heritage.
Highfields born and bred, Jody studied Arts at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and at University of Southern Queensland, where she obtained Honours in 2004. Her works have been exhibited in the United Kingdom and America and closer to home in Melbourne, Brisbane, Toowoomba and Crows Nest. Jody has also donated artworks to local charity auctions and competed in state and national competitions. In 2006 Jody opened the Village View Gallery and has hosted many successful exhibitions in the Gallery and now concentrates on private commissions.
Jody began volunteering with her family at local historical museums from an early age and has been described as a ‘guiding light’ at the Highfields Pioneer Village, where she has volunteered since 1993. She was elected Secretary of Highfields Pioneer Village in 2004 and has held a committee position every year since, now operating as the Treasurer of the organisation.
Jody was the first Secretary of the Toowoomba Regional Council Cultural Heritage Network and designed their logo. Passionate about supporting our heritage, Jody has also designed logos for other cultural organisations in a volunteer capacity.
Highfields Senior Sports award – Steve Haywood
Passionate supporter of local rugby league, Steve Haywood, is an active member of the Highfields Eagles Junior Rugby League Club, where he has volunteered countless hours to facilitating junior sport.
Totally committed to his club, Steve has coached teams for eight years, including two teams in 2017. A Coach Coordinator for the past five years, Steve has organised training and upskilling for coaches and organised preseason training for kids from 5 to 16 years. He also coordinates and raises money to purchase training equipment for players.
Steve holds extra training sessions for kids who want to improve their skills and organisers and coordinates trial matches with other clubs. At home games, he is always there to assist with the set up and pack up and has helped out on the gate, as a handyman and in official capacities.
Highfields Junior Sports award – Ellen de Jong
Highfields Junior Sports Award recipient, Ellen de Jong, has had a sensational year, representing Queensland and Australia in orienteering.
Ellen competed in the Senior Girls’ team at the Queensland Schools’ Championship in July, finishing second in both the sprint and long distance events and recording the fastest split in the relay.
As Captain of the Queensland Schools’ Team, Ellen then competed at the Australian Orienteering Championships in Bathurst, where she finished second in the sprint and third in the long distance and relay events, with fellow Toowoomba team members, Nina and Laurel Gannon.
Following the Schools’ Championships, Ellen was named in the Senior Girls’ Australian Schools’ Honour Team. In her first year in the Women's Junior Elite Class (17-20 years), Ellen was third in the sprint, sixth in the middle distance and fifth in the long distance. She was then named in the Australian Relay Team, along with Toowoomba's Laurel Gannon and Brisbane's Caroline Pigerre, to contest the Australia-New Zealand challenge. In this event, Ellen recorded the second fastest split behind Kiwi, Katie Corey-Wright.
As well as being an accomplished athlete, Ellen is also a willing helper at orienteering events. She is also prepared to help out coaching junior athletes, and is one of the Ultra Mini Cyclones Squad coaches.
Highfields Community Group – North Eastern Downs Lions Club
The hardworking members of the Highfields North Eastern Downs Lions Club are dedicated to making Highfields a better place to live, work and grow through their support of various local events including Peacehaven Carols by Candlelights, the Highfields Block Party, Creative Exhibitions and Pioneer Village Australia Day events.
Celebrating 30 years of continuous service in 2018, the Club also raises money for local, state and international initiatives including health research, sight awareness, drug awareness and youth programmes. Locally the Lions Club has donated monies to the Toowoomba Hospice, Peacehaven Park and funded mobility aids for physically disadvantaged children.
During the Carnival of Flowers, the 24-member club also support the Toowoomba Orchid Society and K&D Drew Open Garden, while at the same time running their ‘Show & Shine Family Fun Day’ at the Blue Mountains Hotel. Now in its third year, the day has grown into a wonderful community event featuring a classic car drive, live music, a jumping castle and face painting, while raising money for the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation.
This year Club members have also volunteered 4,000 hours to building a Clubhouse at Shostaki Rd, Cabarlah. A Lions Centennial year project, the club will be available for use by other local not-for-profit groups and will provide a much needed community asset in the Highfields area.
Highfields Community Event – Crave Food Festival
More than 2,000 people attended the inaugural Crave Food Festival in August last year. Since then, the monthly gourmet food festival has become a popular event in the Highfields region, with people flocking to enjoy a casual dinner and live entertainment.
Held on the second Saturday evening of every month, the event is an initiative of the Mary MacKillop Catholic College Parents and Friends Association and boasts a variety of food vendors, an outdoor family film, outdoor games and bar facilities. Guests are encouraged to visit the Highfields Village Markets in the afternoon and then wander across to the College in the evening to enjoy family-friendly fun, food and entertainment.
Event organisers have been credited for fostering a sense of community within Highfields, while raising funds for major P&F projects including a dedicated playground for students.
Millmerran / Cecil Plains Citizen of the Year – Margaret Anderton
Margaret Anderton is a quiet achiever and extremely dedicated in her volunteer work, playing a very active and significant role in the Millmerran community.
Margaret was a needlework steward for the Millmerran Show for 21 years, a Sunday school teacher for 15 years and is the past treasurer of the Kooroongarra Tennis Club. She is also the past secretary and treasurer of the Lavelle/Rocky Creek CWA and was the secretary and treasurer of the South Millmerran Neighbourhood watch.
Born in 1942, Margaret attended primary school at the Millwood Provisional School and completed her studies at Toowoomba State High School. Margaret married Mel Anderton in 1964 and farmed at Lavelle with her two children, Jill and Russell, before semi-retiring in Millmerran in 2000.
Margaret currently volunteers at the Uniting Church and the Yallambee Retirement Village, where she works as a volunteer at Bargain Boutique.
She has been a member of the Historical Society for 10 years, working as a gardener, caterer, hosting visitors and providing assistance where needed. Margaret has also worked as the Driver Reviver co-ordinator for eight years and is an active member of Coolmunda Fish Restocking. For the past two years, Margaret has also volunteered as the publicity officer for Senior Citizens and is a volunteer at the Tourism Information Centre.
A valuable member of the community, Margaret was involved in the planning workshop for the Millmerran 7 Day Makeover in 2017 and volunteered her time to this community rejuvenation project through painting and gardening services.
Millmerran / Cecil Plains Young Citizen of the Year – Thomas Lindenmayer
Thomas Lindenmayer is a well-mannered and respectful young man who has shown exceptional leadership qualities at school and in Scouts.
Thomas was Millmerran Primary School Captain and Millmerran Secondary School Captain and also captained the school band in 2016.
An all-rounder, Thomas has a distinguished school record with Academic Excellence Awards every year since 2011. He has also received awards in manual arts, maths and science and was awarded most improved male swimmer of the Millmerran Swimming Club for the 2016-17 season.
Thomas shows ability at physical, intellectual and emotional levels and obtained the highest Cub Scout Award – the Grey Wolf - in 2013.
As a Scout, he was appointed to Patrol Leader of the Kookaburra Patrol and led them to First Place at Nighthawk 2015, against 140 other teams. Nighthawk involves teams hiking at night between bases where they score at different activities requiring skill and initiative.
Thomas has since received the highest award at Scout level, his Scout medallion.
Millmerran / Cecil Plains Junior Sports Award – Brooke Ball
Brooke is a committed and focused athlete, who travels long distances to train and compete in hockey and horse riding.
A wonderful role model for children in Cecil Plains, Brooke has been playing hockey since she was eight years old and by the time she reached Under 11s, she was selected for Darling Downs and Toowoomba.
Brooke also represented Toowoomba in Under 13s and Under 15s, serving as Vice-Captain at the State championships. In 2018 Brooke will trial for both Under 15 and Under 18 years and continue playing for her club – Rangeville.
Brooke has ridden horses since she was five years old and has won many ribbons and trophies. In 2017 Brooke qualified for the Queensland State Pony Club Championships in Roma, while riding for the Millmerran Pony Club. During a heatwave Brooke rode very well, making zone teams in the stockman’s challenge and camp drafting.
Brooke will continue to ride for Millmerran Pony Club in 2018 and hopes to qualify for state.
Millmerran / Cecil Plains Community Group – Millmerran Lions Club
Celebrating 50 years of continuous service in 2017, the Millmerran Lions Club has a proud history of service to the local community, the wider communities and disasters support throughout Australia and overseas.
Each year, the Club raises approximately $18-20K through barbecues, a second hand furniture auction and a cattle fattening project with local farmers that has been operating for about 35 years.
Funds raised have been used to purchase seven motorised scooters, which are loaned free of charge and provide mobility to elderly residents in Millmerran.
The Club also operate ‘Survive the Drive’ coffee stations during public holidays and make donations to various organisations including local schools, scouts, the Millmerran Hospital, Ambulance, Historical Society, Show Society, Cancer Council, Lions Medical research, Life Flight, Leukaemia Foundation, disaster appeals and any other organisation that needs assistance.
Hardworking Club members also donate countless hours running barbecues for various community groups including the Historical Society, local schools, the swimming club, Yallambee and the Show Society.
Oakey Citizen of the Year – Glenda Underwood
Oakey Citizen of the Year, Glenda Underwood, is a committed volunteer who has made a significant contribution to the Oakey Community for more than 50 years.
Glenda’s volunteering began soon after she left high school in 1966, when the Jondaryan State School was downgraded to a three teacher school. With the absence of anyone to teach the girls sport, she was asked to fill this role and refereed games against other schools.
After her marriage, she could be found working in the canteen at all home football games, and was instrumental, along with her husband and others, in raising money to build the Oakey Bears Clubhouse.
In 2002 when Neighbourhood Watch was formed in Oakey to combat the rising crime rate, Glenda became a member. Subsequently she has held the positions of Secretary and Treasurer, and has been Area Co-ordinator for a number of years, attending several State Conferences representing the Oakey group.
While caring for her ill husband, Glenda became a volunteer at the Oakey Hospital working with Community Health Nurse, Ann Klibbe. On occasions, she was called on to run sessions if Ann was absent. At the same time, she joined the Oakey Carers’ Support Group and for the past five years has been Co-ordinator. This role involves organizing monthly outings and providing information and practical and emotional support to local carers.
Glenda is a dedicated worker for the Anglican Church and is currently the Parish Treasurer. She attends meetings and works at many church functions, catering and selling raffle tickets.
As a member of the Oakey Show Society, Glenda was a show steward for several years, and currently assists with catering on show day. She is a keen volunteer at the rodeo and associated fundraising events.
A volunteer for JP’s in the Community, Glenda is often seen outside the IGA on a Tuesday morning performing this service.
Oakey Young Citizen of the Year – Lachlan Darr
Oakey State High School student, Lachlan Darr, is a professional and genuine young man who has a bright future in the agricultural sector.
Lachlan has excelled in local shows, where he shows cattle for himself as well as other exhibitors, winning various Young Judges’ and Paraders’ awards. In 2017, he was eligible to progress to state finals and won all three categories - Prime Beef Young Judges, Paraders and Young Judges - in the sub chamber competition. Lachlan was the only person at the Brisbane Royal Show to qualify in all three categories in the open section, at 15 years of age.
Lachlan is a member of the Oakey State High School Cattle Show Team and won Reserve Champion at the Pittsworth Show and Grand champion Open Parader at Farm Fest in 2017. He was also Winner of the Open Young Judges’ Competition at Pittsworth Show and Winner of the Brisbane Royal Show Young Judges’ Competition 2015.
Lachlan's passion for the agriculture sector is evident with many achievements. Specifically, he was awarded the 2016 TASTE Scholarship with Queensland Agriculture Training Colleges (QATC) at Longreach and received a school and community service award for Agriculture and Horticulture.
Lachlan is an agriculture school-based trainee with Oakey Beef where he works two days a week in the livestock department. A valued member of the team, Lachlan has already been asked to be a cattle buyer for their company at local cattle sales.
Oakey Cultural Award – iDance Studios
iDance Studios is recognised locally as a professional performing arts studio that ‘gives back’ to the community through fundraising and event support.
Celebrating 12 years in the Oakey community, iDance promotes a lifestyle of fun, fitness and confidence for all students, as well as promoting dance and performing arts.
Over the past five years iDance has raised more than $30,000 for different charities including their 2016 recipient charity, the McGrath Foundation.
iDance performs regularly for the Oakey community and enjoys taking part in events that allow their students to be a part of the wider community including nursing home visits, Santa Fair, fundraisers, rallies, eisteddfods and dance festivals.
Offering jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop/funk, classical ballet, musical theatre, acrobatics, private lessons, eisteddfods and examinations, iDance has also performed internationally in the USA and the Bahamas.
Passionate about promoting the arts, iDance Studios continually strive to provide a safe, welcoming and community-minded environment for all their students.
Oakey Senior Sports Award – Aaron Cherry
Talented sportsmen, Aaron Cherry, capped off a phenomenal season with the Oakey Bears, taking out Toowoomba Rugby League’s highest individual honour as 2017 Player of the Year.
Despite often playing in a losing team, the Oakey forward impressed throughout the season and regularly polled player of the year votes, being crowned the Price-Webcke Medal winner.
Aaron also achieved a place in the TRL Team of the Year and picked up the Oakey Bears Senior Rugby League Player of the Year Award and the Toowoomba Rugby League Best and Fairest in all grades for 2017.
Raised in Oakey, Aaron played for the Oakey Junior Bears from U8’s to U16’s and is known within the community for his hard work ethic and sporting achievements.
Oakey Junior Sports Award – Lauren Laird
A talented and versatile horsewoman, Lauren Laird, has received numerous accolades in equestrian and campdrafting since joining the Brymaroo and District Pony Club 13 years ago.
Competing on family stockhorses, Isurava, Gemini and Guiness, Lauren has represented her club and schools at local, state and national level in dressage, show jumping, eventing, combined training and sporting and campdrafting events.
Lauren finished fourth in the team dressage event at the 2011 National Interschool Championships in Melbourne and represented Queensland for dressage and combined training at the National Interschool Championships in Toowoomba in 2014.
In 2017, Lauren represented Queensland once again at the Marcus Oldham National Interschool Championships in Toowoomba, finishing ninth overall on Guiness in the Eventing 80cm Intro Team.
Lauren is completing a Cert III in Agriculture at Wonga Plains feedlot as part of a school-based traineeship and was named Oakey State High School Junior Sportsperson of the Year in 2014 and 2015.
Oakey Community Event – Oakey Urban Landcare Groups
Oakey Urban Landcare is a small volunteer Landcare Group that is focused on native flora and fauna conservation, pest plants and animals in an urban environment, and community education and awareness
Founded in 1970 as Greening Oakey, the group changed its name to Beautifying Oakey in 1989 and became Oakey Urban Landcare in 1996.
A sub group of North East Downs Landcare, the hardworking volunteers take a special interest in riparian restoration and enhancement of Oakey Creek.
Each year, the group partners with Black Toyota and the Girl Guides to plant trees in Oakey on National Tree Day. Volunteers from the group also water and maintain planted trees until their maturity for the benefit of the whole community.
Oakey Urban Landcare has partnered with Toowoomba Regional Council and Oakey State High School to implement erosion control, increase koala habitats, reduce weeds and improve park facilities.
The Oakey Creek Corridor Master plan presently being implemented by Toowoomba Regional Council resulted from a submission by Oakey Urban Landcare at a public forum in Oakey.
The group also runs sausage sizzles at the Oakey IGA to fund their on-ground works and have partnered with North East Downs and QMDC to collect roadside litter.
Pittsworth Citizen of the Year – Judy Krieg
Judy has been an active and contributing member of the Pittsworth and Brookstead communities since 1967 and co-founded Care Pittsworth to establish a palliative care room in the local community.
Judy Krieg grew up in the Postle family of Broxburn, attending both Broxburn State School and Pittsworth High School. She gained her Certificate in Nursing at the Toowoomba General Hospital.
In 1967 Judy married Glen Krieg and they raised their children in the Brookstead and Pittsworth Anglican Church communities. During this period, Judy contributed to various Anglican Church events such as street stalls and the Pittsworth Craft and Fine Food Spectacular. She also worked in school tuckshops and held positions with school auxiliaries.
Judy has been a Brownie Leader and Girl Guide Commissioner in Pittsworth and a member of CWA, Apex and the Pittsworth Show Society. She helped to establish the Brookstead Park and the planting of trees around Brookstead.
Judy has been a long-time volunteer with the Pittsworth Hospital, including a Hospital and Beauaraba Living Auxillary member and office bearer. She formed a monthly carers’ morning tea group and has been a carer for five of her own family members including her husband, Glen. She also volunteers at the Beauaraba Living Opportunity Shop and has been a member of the Queensland Cancer Council for 26 years.
In 2015 Judy Krieg, Angela Scott and Rhonda Harris co-founded Care Pittsworth with a view to improving palliative care in people’s homes and establishing a palliative care room at Beauaraba Living. This group has provided an invaluable service to the Pittsworth area, enabling many people to pass with dignity in their own community close to their loved ones. Previously the only options for local people were to access palliative care either in Toowoomba or in general wards.
Pittsworth Young Citizen of the Year – Kate Lack
Kate works tirelessly and with enthusiasm to support the Pittsworth community through a range of avenues and has taken on various leadership and mentoring roles.
Kate is the current Pittsworth Showgirl and has worked enthusiastically to promote the Show Society. She has taken a keen interest in assisting and mentoring the 2017 Showgirl and Junior Showgirl entrants and manages the popular children's Passports on Show day.
Kate is an executive member of Robogals and has delivered over 70 hours of Lego robotics workshops across the Downs, promoting science, technology and maths to school children, particularly young girls. Kate's contribution to the group played an integral part in the Toowoomba chapter's prestigious win of the Largest External Impact Award at the 2016 Robogals Asia Pacific conference.
She is the Vice-President of the Darling Downs Poultry and Pigeon Breeders' Assoc. and takes an active role in organising club activities.
Kate is a member of Pittsworth Amateur Basketball Association where she plays, coaches an U18 side, and referees, as well as assisting the treasurer and secretary.
She has continued her involvement with Pittsworth High basketball since graduating there in 2012, by refereeing each year on the school's behalf in the St Mary's Old Boys’ competition in Toowoomba.
Kate has eagerly represented USQ at six University Games. She captained the USQ team in 2016 and the women's basketball team in 2014 and refereed basketball at the Games in 2014 and 2015. Kate has played six different sports at the games, filling in with gusto though not necessarily skill, wherever required, at times playing two sports at the same games so that the University could field a team.
Kate’s contribution was recognised with receipt of the USQ 2016 Community Service Award and 2016 Sport's Woman of the Year Award. Kate was also shortlisted for the USQ 2016 All Rounder Award, which she won in 2015.
Kate recently completed her Bachelor of Spatial Science (Honours) degree. She was one of 2000 applicants for BHP's 2017 Graduate Program and was successful in gaining the only surveyor position offered.
During her studies Kate received scholarships from Ambre Energy, AngloAmerican and the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy.
Pittsworth Cultural Award – Alastair Silcock
Alastair Silcock has made a sustained and valuable contribution to Pittsworth’s cultural heritage by recording the history of organisations, events and people in the community over many years.
Through his interest and historic events, Alastair has bought a renewed enthusiasm to many people, with his professional approach to researching and documenting, not only Pittsworth’s history, but also stories of individual residents who have made a valuable contribution to the Pittsworth community.
His publications include the history of the Pittsworth Shire Council, selected stories of early burials in the Pittsworth Cemetery and the history of Pittsworth Health Care. Alastair published Reflections in 2017 to mark the 50th year jubilee of the Pittsworth State High School and is currently researching and compiling articles on soldiers who were killed during World War One, titled Year of Salute to Sacrifice.
A former teacher, librarian and journalist, Alastair is dedicated to recording Pittsworth’s history and producing publications the community can treasure forever.
His is a dedicated member of the Pittsworth Pioneer Village, volunteers his time to bird watching tours with U3A, has organised bus tours to historic sites and is a member of Landcare.
Pittsworth Senior Sports Award – Bruce Von Hoff
Bruce Von Hoff has been President of Pittsworth Tennis Club for the past 15 consecutive years, after first joining the committee in 2000. Under his leadership from 2003, the club has progressively modernised their facilities to a high standard and continued to provide sporting opportunity and fellowship for residents of the Pittsworth community.
Major upgrades have included a new amenities block with toilets and showers, re-surfacing of the courts in 2005 and a total clubhouse roof replacement in 2012. Bruce has also successfully led grant applications to paint the exterior and interior of the clubhouse, with assistance from the Toowoomba Regional Council, the Queensland Government and other sources.
Bruce is also the club’s maintenance man and is regularly seen on-site attending to necessary repairs. He has provided his own modified ride-on mower with broom to sweep the courts, ensuring the surface pile plays better and lasts longer.
Pittsworth Tennis Club continues to offer night fixtures on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, ladies fixtures Thursday, junior fixtures Fridays (from April to October) and coaching. With grants assistance, the club has subsidised coaching, organised sessions for local school children and promoted tennis in the community. The club also hosts an annual tournament in August which attracts around 50 players aged 10 to 17 years from across southern Queensland.
Perhaps Bruce’s greatest contribution to the community comes through his passion to help young players improve and enjoy the game of tennis. He has been the club’s Junior Captain since 2006, running the junior fixtures on Friday afternoons from 3.30pm to 6pm from April to October. He has done this single-handedly since 2011. He also assists local coach, Ruth Von Pein, and holds practice sessions with junior players.
Bruce has been supported by his wife Roslyn, who has continually held executive positions since becoming secretary in 1998 for five years, and by Ross Smythe who has been the Club’s Treasurer for the past 24 years.
Pittsworth Junior Sports Award – Patrick McGinn
Patrick or Pat, as he is known, is the epitome of a true sportsperson, showing determination, a strong work ethic during training and competitions and outstanding leadership skills. Always encouraging of his teammates, Pat can be depended upon to always do his best and not give up, while rallying his teammates to do likewise.
During 2017 Pat was selected to represent Darling Downs and Queensland in Rugby League at schoolboy level. Pat was a standout at the Under 15 State Rugby League Carnival where he made headlines for his try scoring exploits. Pat was also a highly valued member of the Pittsworth Danes Rugby League team and made the Mustangs regional representative training squad and represented Inner Downs in touch football.
Pat demonstrated his versatility as an athlete by representing Inner Downs and Darling Downs in the 200 metres in athletics, as well as competing at the 2017 Darling Downs Cross Country trials.
In addition to reaching elite level with his sporting endeavours, Pat has maintained a very high standard of academic results at school. He was also recognised for his effort, behaviour and community engagement at Pittsworth State High School where Pat was recognised with both a Gold and Silver Award.
Pittsworth Community Event – Pittsworth State High School Jubilee Committee
Pittsworth State High School’s Jubilee Celebration was a fantastic community event that allowed the community to reconnect with their past and celebrate the present.
The year-long celebration started with a successful afternoon tea at the school exactly 50 years to the day that students first attended PSHS, attracting 130 past and present students, six past principals, staff and parents.
A major project was a paved area between B Block and the Auditorium, with anyone associated with the school invited to purchase an engraved paver as a permanent link to the school. Installed by Jubilee committee, parents, students and 19ACU cadets, the paver sales were well supported with close to 500 pavers sold.
The major event was the Open Day on Saturday 9th September with over 700 people in attendance. The Open Day started with a welcome and presentation of six colourful and symbolic banners to the school by home economics teacher, Mrs French, made with assistance from community members, staff and students.
There was also an official opening of paved area by the school’s longest serving Principal, Greg McKitrick, and displays of past and present student work and an extensive memorabilia display in the resource centre. A Jubilee sign was also erected at the school with each stage of construction completed by past students who are now businesses owners.
Entertainment was provided by the school band, school choir, Pittsworth Judo Club, Pittsworth Amateur Theatrical Society and Chenyl Dance Academy and community operated food stalls.
Attendees were also given the opportunity to purchase memorabilia including coffee mugs, coolers and a magazine of the school’s 50 year history, compiled by Alastair Silcock.
As a precursor to the Jubilee Open Day, Year 12 BCT students also hosted a successful Jubilee Concert on the Friday night with approximately 250 people in attendance. The concert showcased the talents of both past and present students and staff of the school performing musical numbers, poetry and dance items.
Pittsworth Community Event – Garden of the Downs
Gardens of the Downs is a self-funded not-for-profit organisation formed to promote outstanding garden displays in our local community and boost tourism.
Motivated by the passion, skills and expertise of Penny McKinlay, the group was established following the closure of the popular and long running Australia’s Open Garden Scheme in February 2015.
The inaugural Gardens of the Downs meeting was held in May 2015 with 30 people in attendance, including people from the Pittsworth, Millmerran, Highfields, Clifton, Bowenville, Norwin and Greenmount areas.
The group’s first official event was a rose forum in Pittsworth on 19 August 2015 which attracted 150 participants and raised sufficient money to fund the first Gardens of the Downs weekend in October 2015, which saw four gardens in the Millmerran district open to the public.
Other successful events over the past 30 months have included the Gardens of Pittsworth, Allora, Hampton and Greenmount, along with a garden seminar in August 2016. The group also hosted a guided bus tour of the Granite Belt and New England in March 2017, with further open garden weekends scheduled for Bongeen, Jondaryan, Oakey and Brookstead districts in 2018.
Admittance prices are kept to a minimum and visitors under 18 years of age, the gardeners of the future, are admitted free of charge. In two years, the committee has donated over $23,000 to charities and community groups and more than $14,000 to gardeners to help them cover their costs.
Founding committee members, President Ros Scotney, Secretary Peter Ross and Treasurer Belinda McKinlay have continued in their roles, assisted by gardens’ co-ordinators Penny McKinlay and Jo Saal and other passionate gardeners and supporters.
The events provide an opportunity for locals and tourists to appreciate the Darling Downs through the open gardens and stimulate the regional economy by attracting visitors from across the region and further afield.
Rosalie Citizen of the Year – Terry Reid
Forthright, strong in his convictions and always ready to help his fellow human beings, Terry Reid embodies all that is Australian and has immersed himself in numerous causes and organisations since retiring in Yarraman 16 years ago.
Terry is Yarraman RSL Sub Branch's longest serving President, serving with distinction for the past 10 years. An advocate and welfare officer since 2003, he has established much needed care for the needy, organised regular hospital and home visits for returned men and women and their families and secured grants and funding in excess of $150,000 to meet the needs of his RSL community. Recently he was awarded Life Membership to the Queensland RSL in recognition of his work.
A passionate historian, Terry successfully researched 40 of the 93 men and women who enlisted in World War I to celebrate the Anzac Centenary. This magnificent tribute is permanently displayed in the Yarraman Memorial Hall.
Terry supports youth programs through the Yarraman State School and Yarraman P-9 State School and is an active member of the Yarraman Hall Committee and the Yarraman Progress Association.
Passionate about positioning Yarraman for economic and tourism opportunities, Terry was instrumental in leading his community to develop a plan for the beautification of the town that was successfully presented to Toowoomba Regional Council. The plan engaged people from all walks of life and brought community together with a common goal for improvement. Terry also sourced funding in excess of $100,000 to enable some of the projects in the plan to be achieved.
Terry is also involved in the Clean Up Australia Day program at Yarraman, that celebrates the environment we live in through a community working bee to clean up the highway litter and surrounds.
Rosalie Young Citizen of the Year – Bryce Reithmuller
Bryce has brought honour to his school, workplace, family and himself through self-motivation and resilience. He supports his community and is a great role model.
Bryce leads a very full life incorporating a diverse mix of interests ranging from table tennis to bull riding, school work to butchery, cricket to cattle judging, as he helps out on the family farm and supports his community.
In addition to his secondary education, Bryce commenced a school-based apprenticeship at Maclagan Meats in August 2015. Two years on, his commitment to his education, school and workplace saw him named 2017 Queensland School-based Apprentice of the Year, after winning the Darling Downs South West Regional level of the competition.
Since 2016 Bryce has been a member of Oakey High’s Cattle Show Team and in 2017 he became one of the school’s two Cattle Captains. This role involves not only working with the school cattle and preparing them for shows, but mentoring and engaging younger students in showing. Bryce has represented Oakey High in Young Judging competitions in cattle rings at various shows since 2014.
Because of his farming background, he has voluntarily assisted the school’s Ag Assistant with fencing and other tasks in the school’s agricultural enterprise. Bryce has also served as a volunteer in a school based community access team performing a number of community service tasks including cleaning an Oakey park, visiting a nursing home to chat with residents and working at the Oakey showgrounds preparing cattle stalls for Oakey Show.
Since his father’s death in 2015, Bryce and his family have conducted two fundraising events at Peranga Bowls Club in memory of his father for the benefit of other people diagnosed with cancer. Hosted at the Peranga Bowls Club, Jacko’s Hawaiian Bowls Day attracted large crowds in 2016 and 2017, benefitting the Queensland Cancer Council and a local Oncology Ward.
Over the past three years Bryce has been an enthusiastic member of his school cricket team, and in 2017 he was a Sports Captain for Teevan House. At Quinalow State School he was Stars Sports Captain in 2012.
Bryce is a keen supporter of local sporting teams and plays night tennis at Quinalow, cricket with Quinalow Cricket Club in the Dalby Open Competition and table tennis at Maclagan. For the past three years he has been training and competing in Junior Bullriding events.
Rosalie Cultural Award – Sarah Stewart-Koster
Talented singer and performer, Sarah Stewart-Koster, is an exceptional young leader who loves to share her love of music with others, supporting many community undertakings with her music.
Sarah was the Captain of Oakey State High School in 2017 and, as a TIP Leader, was responsible for assisting Year 7 students transition to high school. She was named Oakey Lions Youth of the Year and won a 2015 Oakey State High School USQ Excellence award. Sarah was also the 2016 Oakey State High School Cultural Chairperson on Student Council and won the Oakey State High School Service to School and Community Award for the Arts in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Born with a passion for music, Sarah represented her primary school and Oakey State High School in Creative Generation over three years. CGen is Queensland’s largest youth performing arts event, attracting 1,800 performers over two days in 2017. Sarah was selected into the Core Choir in 2010, 2013 and 2017, and was one of a small number of backing vocalists in 2015. Time and travel issues precluded Sarah from involvement in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
Sarah has also performed at various local agricultural shows including Cooyar, Crows Nest, Toowoomba Royal, Oakey, and Goombungee/Haden. Other events and venues where she has performed include Norma Murphy’s CD launch, Oakey Lions Markets, Oakey Hospital Spring Fair, TADOMS, Oakey Santa Fair, Oakey Combined Churches Choir, Jondaryan Woolshed Festivals and Queen’s Park Christmas Lights.
Sarah was a member of the Oakey State High School Drum Crop and School Choir and performed school showcase productions and lunchtime concerts. She has regularly led the National Anthem on special assemblies or performed contemporary songs as a soloist. In addition to singing, Sarah enjoys playing piano, violin, guitar and ukulele.
Volunteering at Jondaryan Woolshed’s Heritage Festivals and Draught Horse Expos until she was 12, and then exhibiting Clydesdales at the Ekka, has given Sarah a unique understanding and appreciation of times past. She has driven a pair of Clydesdales at the Ekka in the traditional ‘Blessing of the Plough’ and has won various horse awards, including overall Junior Handler at Gatton Heavy Horse Field Day in 2015.
Rosalie Community Event – Jacaranda Day
More than 2,000 people flocked to Goombungee on the first Saturday in November to celebrate the 25th Jacaranda Day.
Organised by the Rosalie Shire Historical Society Inc., the community event provides an opportunity to celebrate Goombungee’s magnificent Jacaranda and Silky Oak trees that carpet the town in purple and gold.
A fully restored horse-drawn grader from the former Rosalie Shire Council led the street parade, making its grand entrance to the beat of the Toowoomba Municipal Band the Caledonian Pipe Band.
Rosalie Shire Historical Society President, Denise Iseppi, and her dedicated band of volunteers also organised street buskers, local produce and cuisine and encouraged attendees to dress up as their favourite animated movie character.
Rosalie Community Spirit – Dr Janina Machin
Dr Janina Machin is credited for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty in her role as a General Practitioner in the Boodua area and surrounding districts.
An outstanding medical professional, Dr Machin has demonstrated a resolute commitment to providing care for people in the community for more than 30 years, often visiting people in their homes at any time of the day or night with no personal gain.
Dr Machin’s services range from providing urgent medical attention to providing simple ‘How are you today?’ phone calls to make sure a person is OK. This care has allowed elderly and unwell residents in the area to stay living in their own homes for longer than may have been practical before going into further care, which is an amazing service to the community.
Toowoomba Citizen of the Year – Campbell Crisp
Sergeant Campbell Crisp has worked tirelessly to support numerous individuals and community groups in the region, through his role as a Branch Manager of the Toowoomba Police Citizen’s Youth Club.
Well respected within the Queensland Police Service, PCYC and Darling Downs region, Sgt Crisp is recognised as someone who ‘gets things done’ and epitomises what is great about Australia.
Sgt Crisp started as Branch Manager of the Toowoomba Police Citizen’s Youth Club in 2004 and has devoted countless hours of his time on a voluntary basis, in excess of his paid position. During his tenure, the branch has grown from four to 61 staff and attracted more than 60 wonderful volunteers who facilitate 9,500 attendances per month.
As a not-for-profit organisation, the PCYC relies heavily on volunteers and has increased its services due to Sgt Crisp’s vision, dedication and enthusiasm.
Innovative programs have included the PCYC Community Maintenance Crew – a work-for-the-dole program that provides volunteer maintenance, painting and landscaping services to not-for-profit groups in the region. This successful project also provides participants with valuable experiences and facilitates a path to paid employment.
Sgt Crisp has also grown The Restart Program from a grant-funded program to a fully user pays program targeting children on long term suspension from school. This successful program now employs six youth workers, supported by Sgt Crisp, who is a positive role model and mentor to many young people.
Under his direction, the PCYC also offers No Boundaries Mail that engages people with disabilities in volunteer work, crime prevention initiatives, Love Bites and Totally GRIT.
The Sunday markets have been a major fundraiser for PCYC Toowoomba for over 20 years and remain very successful. Funds raised via the markets enable the provision of social and competitive sporting opportunities to all age groups and people with disabilities and youth development programs.
Toowoomba Young Citizen of the Year – Prudence Melom
Prudence Melom is the founder of E-Raced, a non-for-profit organisation that aims to erase racism through story telling.
An exceptional young leader, Prudence was born in a little village in Chad called Bebalem, which she was forced to flee with her family at the tender age of four. Her family then spent seven years in a remote refugee camp in Benin before getting accepted in Australia through the UN Refugee Agency in 2007.
Even though Prudence did not speak English on her arrival, she did not allow her disadvantages to make her feel inferior or incapable of achieving her gaols. She finished primary school, high school and is currently completing a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Southern Queensland.
As the founder of E-Raced, Prudence aims to erase negative perceptions and stereotypes that result from lack of contact with immigrants. As part of the program Prudence and her team of young, new Australians share their stories with high school students across Queensland, including their life, culture, traditions and journey to Australia. These friendly, local events work to erase racism by demonstrating to rural Australians the positives in difference and build tolerance, understanding and supportive communities.
Prudence was a finalist in the 2017 Queensland Young Achiever Awards and was a recipient of the 2015 and 2016 African Australian regional champion Awards. In 2015, she was named a finalist for a Young Human Rights award and was also listed under Triple JJJ’s 25 under 25 Nailing It List.
Prudence is an advocate for social change and equality and believes nothing is impossible.
Toowoomba Senior Sports Award – Anthea Moodie
Multiple Darling Downs and Queensland representative athlete, Anthea Moodie, has achieved phenomenal success in athletics, representing the Darling Downs and Queensland in high jump and long jump numerous times.
In 2017, Anthea reached new heights, winning a gold medal in the Under 18 division at the Oceania Championships. Battling a head wind in the run up, Moodie sprung over the bar at 1.67 metres, smashing records set by both Under 20 and open age female athletes in Fiji.
Athletic, determined and ambitious, Anthea has also won the respect of her school community for remaining humble and grounded, despite her tremendous success. She was named The Glennie School Sportswomen of the Year in 2017 and is described as a ‘fantastic role model’ who brings light and enthusiasm to all she attempts.
Anthea was voted Sports Captain of The Glennie School in 2017 and did an outstanding job in this leadership role, working hard to educate her peers on the benefits of physical activity and how exercise forms part of the holistic health of individuals.
She was also Chair of the Sports Committee and regularly attended out-of-hours meetings to represent the school at P&F meetings.
Toowoomba Community Group – Rotary Club of Toowoomba East Inc.
The Rotary Club of Toowoomba East (RCTE) has provided vision, commitment, faith, hope and respect for youth in our community, through the conception and ongoing commitment to the Toowoomba Flexi-School (Flexi) for more than 20 years.
Flexi began when RCTE Club member, Professor Glen Postle, joined with a regional Education Guidance Officer, a Toowoomba Regional Council Youth Worker and a teacher to create a service in the Bell Street Mall to provide education, care and hope to marginalised youth.
RCTE provided essential maintenance and considerable improvements to the Bell Street Mall facility which was the 'home' of Toowoomba Flexi School for the first four years. Computer workstations were built to accommodate eight students, with RCTE providing in excess of $15,000 worth of goods and services.
In 2000, in partnership with Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC), RCTE invested over $60,000 to establish a new community youth facility in Chalk Drive. The new building was the old Telstra Training Centre located on the premises of the Armstrong Auto Group.
John Armstrong, a principal of the company and member of RCTE, donated the building and it was transported to its current location in Chalk Drive. RCTE members (with TRC staff) erected the building on the new site and it was renovated and refurbished under the guidance of Col Davidson, a local architect and member of RCTE.
In 2005, RCTE donated $30,000 to employ a community liaison person to link business and industry and obtain places for work experience. Signage, a Flexi Honour Board, landscaping and the refurbishment of a new verandah were also achieved through collective and individual member’s efforts and donations.
RCTE introduced TOMNET to Flexi in 2005 and later provided $10,000 to design and deliver a program to train TOMNET mentors and tutors to develop literacy skills of Flexi students.
RCTE also provide funding for students to participate in the Rotary Youth Leadership Award program and on-going funded and in-kind support for equipment, facilities and maintenance.
In providing these services, RCTE has improved the lives of many young people and helped to change the beliefs of those young people about themselves and their perceived limitations. The courage, commitment and care shown by RCTE over 20 years in its partnership with Flexischool is also an inspirational example of community capacity building.
Hardworking members of the RCTE also constructed a scented garden for the visually impaired in Laurel Bank Park and have supported various drought appeals over the years.
RCTE hosts a 4WD week-long Outback Getaway Tour every second year for up to 35 vehicles. Held since 1997, the tour has raised approximately $400,000 in total, including a $50,000 donation to The Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Australia Day awards
We are a proud supporter of Australia Day, coordinating and assisting local committees in planning and conducting Australia Day events. The awards are administered by local committees, a coordinating committee and an awards committee on behalf of the Toowoomba Regional Council.
Australia Day awards are presented annually on Australia Day to local citizens and groups who have made outstanding contributions to their community. The awards operate at two levels – local and regional. Local Australia Day committees select each local award category winner and may forward nominations to the awards committee to be considered for a regional award.
Nominations close 31 October each year.
- Citizen of the Year
- Young Citizen of the Year
- Cultural Award
- Sports Award (Junior and Senior)
- Community Group / Event of the Year
- Citizen of the Year - Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander.
Citizen of the year criteria:
- Nominee resides in the council area
- Nominee is older than 26 years of age as at January 26 in the award year
- Activities result in short and long-term benefits and promote the welfare and wellbeing of the (local or regional) community
- Provides a positive role model for others
- Contributions being completed on a voluntary basis or exceeding the normal requirements of the person's paid work
Young citizen of the year criteria:
- Nominee resides in the council area
- Nominee is not older than 26 years of age as at January 26 in the award year
- Activities result in short and long term benefits and promote the welfare and wellbeing of the (local or regional)community
- Providing a positive role model for others
- Contributions being completed on a voluntary basis or exceeding the normal requirements of the person's paid work
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander - Citizen of the year criteria:
- Nominee resides in the Council area
- Nominee is a person of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent
- Activities result in short and long-term benefits and promote the welfare and wellbeing of the (local or regional)community
- Provides a positive role model for others
- Contributions being completed on a voluntary basis or exceeding the normal requirements of the person's paid work
Cultural award criteria:
- Nominee resides in the Council area
- Level of contribution to, and achievement in, local or regional cultural life and activities. Examples include, but are not limited to: performing/visual arts, literary, and historical conservation.
Sports award criteria:
- Nominee resides in the Council area
- Major sporting achievement or significant contribution to sports administration (including coaches and officials).
Community group / event of the year award criteria:
- Group resides in the Council area
- Delivery of outstanding community service
- Purpose of event and outcome achieved
- Impact of event/group activity on local or regional community
- Level of community participation
- Reflection of Australian values
- Nominations must be submitted on our official nomination forms (posted or electronically submitted).
- In the event that no nominations are received in any of the categories, the relevant committee reserves the right to extend the nomination period or make the award to an individual, event or group of its choice.
- Awards will not be granted after death.
- Sitting local, state and federal politicians and current vice-regal officers are not eligible.
- Nominations can be made for only one local area e.g. a person cannot be nominated in two districts. Selection panels may choose to contact the nominee to determine which jurisdiction is most appropriate.
- A person would not usually be awarded the same award more than once; however, a repeat award may be made in exceptional circumstances. In this case, particular consideration will be given to work undertaken since the last time the person was awarded - the award should not be given twice in recognition of the same work. Community Groups can be considered for repeat awards.
- Unsuccessful nominees may be re-nominated in subsequent years.
- The decision of the Australia Day Committee is final and no correspondence will be entered into in regards to that decision.
When you fill out the nomination form, there are a few things you should consider to ensure your nomination provides us with enough information about the achievements of the person you are nominating. Here are some hints to help you get started:
- Fill out as much of the form as possible. Even if you do not know the person you are nominating well, try to provide as much detail as you can.
- If possible include the nominee's date of birth. If you are not certain of the person's date of birth, then make an educated guess and insert an approximate age.
- Include any supporting documentation with your nomination. This can include personal references, portfolios, resumes, newspaper articles, etc.
- Please do not nominate the same person more than once for the same award. Recipients are selected based on selection criteria, rather than the number of times they are nominated.
The nomination form provides space for the nominee's details. In providing this information, consider the following:
- In what area and/or roles has the person excelled?
- How does the person stand out from the pack? How has their achievement/service been greater than what might be normally expected of a person their age and in their field? Focus on both the quality and quantity of their achievement/service.
- How much of their work has been voluntary, focused on helping others or making their local community a better place?
- Has the person overcome particular challenges or adversities to make their achievement? How difficult has their achievement been?
- How has the nominee shown achievement/service outside of their particular specialty? For example, personal interests and involvement in the wider community.
- How has the nominee's achievement/service been acknowledged elsewhere - other awards, commendations etc?
- How does the person nominated make you proud to be Australian? Is your view shared by others in your community? If so, who?
- What personal qualities make the person inspirational?
- Why should other Australians look to the person as a role model?
- Has the person shown great bravery, vision or particular strengths of character?
Provide examples to support your statements for all of the above. Don't just make a statement - demonstrate it with examples. To help you get started here is an example of an answer that provides a great amount of information:
If you are nominating, you can attach supporting documentation to the form. Supporting documentation can include:
- Personal references
- Newspaper articles
Requesting further information or help to fill out the nomination form
Please contact Council’s central telephone number of 131 872 or by email email@example.com
Cambooya and Clifton Districts - Contact: Sarah Rossiter
Crows Nest and Highfields Districts - Contact: Lisa Goodman
Millmerran & Cecil Plains Districts - Contact: Linda Weymouth
Oakey District - Contact: David Totenhofer
Pittsworth District - Contact: Ann D'Arcy
Rosalie & Yarraman Districts - Contact: Bronwyn Holland
Toowoomba District - Contact: Breanna McCarthy or Simon Underwood