Is there another Esma in our midst?
  • Tuesday 29 October 2013

If you know someone inspirational like Esma Armstrong OAM who dedicates her time to the community – we would love to hear from you.

All you need to do is nominate them for the 2014 Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said Esma Armstrong was a shining example of one of the region’s passionate volunteers who dedicate their time to the community.

“Esma shared the Senior Citizen of the Year category at this year’s Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards and has just added a Queensland Landcare Award for the SunCoastFarmFLOW partnership project to her impressive list of achievements,” Cr Jamieson said.

“Council was one of the many partners of this project which achieved significant outcomes to minimise the impact of farm practices on the water quality of the Mooloolah, Maroochy and Noosa Rivers which was administered through the Maroochy Landcare Group.

”If you know someone like Esma, please take the time to nominate them for the Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards.”

Esma was born in Toowoomba and started farming with her family near Chinchilla in 1954, moving to Belli Park near Kenilworth in 1967 where she raised four daughters while working dairy and beef farms until 2007. Esma began her community work with the Junior Red Cross and went on to perform numerous voluntary roles including the Queensland Country Women’s Association, Rural Fire Brigade and the peak body for Landcare in Queensland and the National Landcare Network, just to name a few.

Esma received an Order of Medal of Australia in 2003 for her service to the environment, particularly in the areas of land and water quality management.

As Chair of Maroochy Landcare, Esma recently accepted the Queensland Partnerships with Landcare Award on behalf of the project’s partners.

She said the award was testament to the success of the three-year program.

“The project improved grazing land for cattle and horses, mangrove rehabilitation near the Maroochy canefields, wetland and streambank rehabilitation and improvements in horticultural practices, especially in turf farming to name a few”, she said.

“We have just signed another  agreement for this project to continue the valuable work of protecting the catchments that flow into the water supplies on the Coast.”

Esma said there were numerous  benefits  in carrying out a role as Sunshine Coast Australia Day ambassador.

“Nominations are now open for the 2014 Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards in a range of categories, so if you know an individual or a community group who fits the criteria, don’t hesitate to take the time to nominate them,” she said.

“I would encourage people to nominate locals who work tirelessly, giving back to the community, by volunteering their time.

“Volunteering is very rewarding as it provides an opportunity to share information, network and make lasting friendships.

“The Sunshine Coast is such a big place and there are so many facets for people to be involved in, for instance, aged care which has a growing need for assistance. Finding what fits is important.”

Nominations are being sought for the following categories:

  • Citizen of the Year sponsored by Seven Local News
  • Young Citizen of the Year sponsored by University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Senior Citizen of the Year sponsored by Maroochy RSL
  • Community Group or Organisation sponsored by Sunshine Coast Daily
  • Creative
  • Environment sponsored by Cleantech Industries Sunshine Coast
  • Sport and Recreation sponsored by Sunshine Coast Sports Federation.

Nominations close 13 December 2013 and entries can be completed online, downloaded from council’s website or picked up from customer service centres, libraries, Sunshine Coast University and TAFE.

The sixth annual Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards will take place on Friday 24 January 2014. The event will include performances by local musicians, special guest speakers and the presentation of awards by the Mayor.

For more information visit council’s website or email