Jessica Watson joins the Australia Day Awards judging panel for 2012
  • Monday 12 December 2011

Sunshine Coast Council Australia Day Award recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award, Jessica Watson, has confirmed she will be joining the judging panel for the 2012 Awards.

Jessica, who was honoured earlier this year for her momentous achievement of becoming the youngest person to sail solo non-stop and unassisted around the world, said she was honoured to be recognised at the awards last year and is excited to be contributing as a judge this year.

"The recognition was all very humbling and the hometown award last year meant a lot to me," Ms?Watson said.

Since completing her life long dream back in May 2010, the accolades have continued for Jessica.

While her father was in Noosa accepting her 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award at the Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards ceremony in January this year, Jessica was in Canberra accepting the prestigious title of Young Australian of the Year.

Jessica has also recently been confirmed as the new (and first) Brand Ambassador for Australian owned and operated leisure and corporate travel agency Mobile Travel Agents (MTA) at their Brand Launch Christmas party held at Sanctuary Cove, Queensland last month.

The Sunshine Coast Council Australia Day Awards celebrate the contribution of individuals, community organisations and businesses in the region. The prestigious awards are designed to pay tribute to those who make extraordinary contributions to society or who are outstanding achievers in the community.??

Nominations for the forth annual Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards are open until 5pm Friday 30 December 2011 in the following categories.

  • Community
  • Creative
  • Business
  • Environment
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Young Citizen of the Year
  • Senior Citizen of the Year

Community Policy and Programs portfolio holder and fellow 2012 judging panel member Councillor Jenny McKay said she finds it inspiring being a judge for the awards.

"It’s a truly inspiring experience learning about the wonderful people in our community who go above and beyond every day," Cr McKay said.

"I encourage the community to take the time to nominate their heroes for these important awards."

To complete the impressive panel of judges for these prestigious awards is Sunshine Coast Daily Deputy General Manager Colleen Lucas, Sunshine Coast TAFE Institute Director Ross Hepworth and Associated Director of the Sustainability Research Centre, Bill Carter.

Winners of the awards will be announced at council's Australia Day Awards ceremony on Wednesday 25 January 2012 at the Maroochy Baptist Centre, North Buderim from 4.30pm.

Nomination forms and entry kits can be downloaded from council's website or picked up from customer service centres, libraries, Sunshine Coast University and TAFE.

For more information visit council's website or email ausdayawards@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au