The 2013 Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards go to…
  • Friday 25 January 2013

The founding member of Road Trauma Services Queensland, Garry Church, was named the Sunshine Coast Australia Day Citizen of the Year at a special ceremony held this evening at Buderim.

Garry, a founding member and president of the free service which offers counselling to those affected by road trauma, joined some of the Coast’s most noteworthy residents at a celebration of their outstanding achievements – on Australia Day Eve.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said he was humbled by the achievements of all the nominees and honoured to announce the winners of the 2013 Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards.

“This year we received almost 100 nominations for the Awards and today we had the opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge their achievements,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“We are extremely fortunate to have dedicated people like this in our community – people who make a difference through their outstanding contributions to this region.

“It is only through awards such as these that we can provide some much-deserved, public recognition for the work these people do.

“On the eve of Australia Day, these winners epitomize what it means to be an Australian – a quiet achiever, an unsung hero, a hard worker who expects no fanfare but works hard to make Australia, and this community, a better place.

“I congratulate them all – the nominees and those people and programs named as winners – for being outstanding ambassadors for this region.”

The 2013 Australia Day Award recipients were nominated by the community and selected by a panel of local leaders and experts:

Garry Church – Citizen of the Year Award

Garry is a founding member and President of Road Trauma Services Queensland. The service offers free counselling to those affected by road trauma incidents. Garry is also the coordinator of Safe Driving Awareness, a program in high demand by both the Department of Communities Youth Justice Conferences and the Magistrates Court, which recommends it to people who have committed driving offences.

Adem Crosby – Young Citizen of the Year Award

Adem is a spokesperson for the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Leukaemia Foundation and Bloomhill Cancer Help. He has his own website, to promote these organisations and to encourage people to donate blood. Team Adem proudly finished sixth nationally in the World’s Greatest Shave 2012.

Colin White – Senior Citizen of the Year Award (tied result)

Colin has led the Caloundra Tidy Towns team to a string of awards over the past five years. He has been acting President of the Probus Caloundra 86 Club, and held roles such as Assistant Director of Queensland Cricket Coaching – Juniors, State President of Junior Cricket Queensland and Northern Zone President of Cricket Queensland.

Esma Armstrong – Senior Citizen of the Year Award (tied result)

Esma is an Order of Australia Medal recipient whose list of community involvement, volunteer work, awards and achievement in fields such as environmental, cultural, historical and agricultural are significant and too numerous to mention. Her work with natural resource management and general community are her greatest legacies to the Sunshine Coast.

Jean Sandell – Creative Award

Jean has led the Kenilworth Arts Council and Kenilworth Arts Festival and has a long association with the Country Women’s Association. Jean has fostered the young musical talent in the Kenilworth region through her work as a piano teacher as well as students who live in remote areas who she teaches via School of the Air. Jean also offers her considerable music talent to the community by playing organ and piano for local aged care facilities as well as the Maleny and Kenilworth Presbyterian Churches. To all her know her, Jean Sandell is a generous, kind and loving lady whose tireless contribution to the arts has made her a pillar of the community and an inspiration to all

Supporting Teenagers with Education, Mothering and Mentoring (STEMM) – Community Award

The Supporting Teenagers with Education, Mothering and Mentoring program provides specialised support to pregnant and parenting school aged young women to help them remain engaged in education while caring for their children. The program is a leader in the provision of unique and holistic education programs while providing a caring environment for the children.

Noosa and District Landcare Group – Environment Award

Noosa and District Landcare Group is a dynamic and proactive not-for-profit organisation which promotes the value, protection and rehabilitation of the Noosa Biosphere. The group works with teachers to integrate local environmental issues and threats into the school curriculum, and this year has trained 50 Green Army and Community Jobs Program participants, university students and volunteers.

Leanne Hipwood – Sport and Recreation Award

Leanne Hipwood has been a positive role model for members of the Caloundra AFL Club and surrounding community with her pursuits in raising awareness for active lifestyles. Leanne has worked hard to boost club sponsors and participation numbers as well as organising the ‘buy a brick fundraiser’ to help rebuild the Caloundra AFL Club after a devastating fire in 2012. As the 2012 Fundraising Coordinator Leanne built on her work from the previous year establishing the AFL Sunshine Coast Women in Football fundraising evening that is now a highly regarded event on the AFL calendars.

To get involved and find out what’s happening on Australia Day in your local area or for details on the Australia Day celebrations at Kings Beach Parklands Caloundra, head to council’s website or look out for a copy of the Sunshine Coast Festive Season Guide 2012/13 available from your local library, visitor information centres and council’s customer contact centres, venues and facilities.