The outstanding contribution of local events and individuals to communities across the region has been recognised with 17 nominations for the Scenic Rim’s 2023 Australia Day Awards.
Mayor Greg Christensen said the awards, to be announced in conjunction with a Citizenship Ceremony on Australia Day, acknowledged some of the quiet achievers and local organisations which are at the heart of community life.
“The awards nominations remind us of the richness of community life in the Scenic Rim,” he said.
“It is heart-warming to know that we live in communities in which people are still willing to give of themselves and their time without any expectation of reward and are ready to reach out to others when they see a need.
“Everyone who has been nominated for an award should be proud of the recognition they have received and the high regard in which they are clearly held.
“I am grateful to everyone who has taken the time to submit a nomination to honour an individual or organisation making a difference in our community.”
The awards will be presented in the categories of Community Event of the Year, Citizen of the Year (31 to 65 years) and Citizen of the Year (65+ years).
“I am sure everyone will be as inspired as I have been by the level of commitment shown by many of our community champions, often over many decades, and by the example they have provided to others,” Mayor Christensen said.
The awards nominations are as follows:
Community Event of the Year, which is awarded to the individuals or organisations for the most outstanding community event held in the Scenic Rim between 30 November 2021 and 30 November 2022.
The annual Kalbar Show not only brings the local community together but also provides a boost for the local economy by attracting visitors from around Southeast Queensland, many of whom return throughout the year. The show’s stalls showcase the work of the local community and include needlework, cooking, horticulture, photography, woodwork, children’s art, fruit and vegetables, farm produce and a range of livestock such as stud and beef cattle, horses, miniature goats and dogs. Feedback received by the organising committee indicates the show is a keenly anticipated event on the community and regional calendar.
RSL Beaudesert Sub-Branch’s Anzac Commemorations
While honouring all service personnel, the RSL Beaudesert Sub-Branch’s Anzac Day commemorations on and around 25 April bring the wider community together, forging new bonds and friendships. Many veterans appreciate the commemorations as an occasion to pause, reflect, continue healing and be acknowledged. Strong community involvement in the event continues to grow, with younger people respectful of the service and sacrifice of others and more aware of the world they have inherited from those who gave their tomorrow for our today.
Dancing With Celebrities
The Dancing with Celebrities dinner/dance involving Mountain Mates was staged for the first time on 15 October 2022 at the Vonda Youngman Community Centre, Tamborine Mountain. It highlighted the importance of inclusion for people with a disability, in line with the aim of Mountain Mates to create a kinder, happier, more openhearted and accepting community by increasing interaction between people whatever their strengths and abilities. More than 180 people attended the event which was the culmination of more than six months of planning, including seven dance workshops, a make-up workshop, and numerous other activities.
Rockin’ the Rainforest
This memorable eight-hour concert held on Easter Sunday 2022, featured eight bands, providing an opportunity for local talent to shine and culminated in a closing performance by Australian rock legend, Paul Kelly. Initiated by Tamborine Mountain State School’s P&C, Rockin’ in the Rainforest drew a capacity crowd of 2000, including interstate visitors, and raised more than $68,000 for the school. Organisers sourced as many local suppliers as possible to deliver the event, from staging elements to printing concert merchandise and catering, and AUSLAN interpreters were engaged to support members of the hearing-impaired community.
Tamrookum Hall 70th Anniversary
The Tamrookum Hall 70th Anniversary was held of the weekend of 2 to 3 April 2022 and celebrated 70 years since the hall was officially opened on 5 April 1952. The weekend, which drew more than 350 to the hall, included an anniversary ball on the Saturday evening, and high tea with a dance on the Sunday, providing an opportunity to reminiscence on all the many events held at the hall during its history. Many older citizens who attended the official opening as teenagers in 1952 joined in the celebrations, which brought families from far and wide, including 94-year-old Mr Ray Drynan and 92-year Mrs Nell Sykes, to recognise the significant role the hall had played in their lives.
Citizen of the Year (31-65 years), which is awarded to an inspirational member of the Scenic Rim community who has shown outstanding service over a number of years.
Barry Gill was nominated for his contribution to the Tamborine Mountain and Canungra communities and his commitment, dedication, care and hard work that have contributed to the operations of the Long Road sports complex on Tamborine Mountain. Over the past 10 years, Barry has been responsible primarily for the maintenance and pitch preparation of the Chris Wills oval, which is recognised as a first-class facility and one of the most aesthetically pleasing cricket grounds in South East Queensland. The Tamborine Mountain and Canungra cricket club has continued to contribute to the health and social wellbeing of the region, and Barry has played a pivotal role in the club’s success.
Gary Hamblyn has been involved actively with numerous local groups since 1995, either as a member or executive officer, and is a respected community member known for his readiness to lend a hand or offer advice. As President of the Tamborine Memorial Hall Management Committee, Vice President of the Tamborine Village Lions Club, Past President of the Tamborine & District Citizens Association, and a member of the Tamborine Cenotaph Committee, Gary was nominated for his community involvement across many local groups including the Scenic Rim Regional Cadets.
Since founding the Beaudesert Boxing Club some 16 years ago, Justin O’Leary has taught the skills of boxing to hundreds of young men and women, improving their self-esteem, fitness and self-discipline, and was nominated for his extraordinary contribution to the youth of Beaudesert and the wider Scenic Rim community. He has supported numerous young Indigenous men and women, whose lives had threatened to unravel, and has been a key figure in the promotion of a PCYC for the local community. Justin’s work through the NDIS has earned him the respect of community members who have been inspired by his generosity, his capacity to reach out to others, and his ability to treat everyone with equality and respect.
Mina Ibrahim has operated the St Mary’s Pharmacy at Kooralbyn since 2008 and has become a beloved member of the community, who goes above and beyond to help others whom he always treats with kindness and respect. Nominated for an Australia Day Award for his exemplary character and for being an inspirational role model to members of the local community of all ages, Mina is known for delivering medicines on his days off, during holidays and after hours. Mina supports local businesses and community groups including the Men’s Shed, the Op Shop, the local Sunday School and Community Centre and is respected by others for his example of Christian service to others.
Beginning with a pencil, a blank sheet of paper and a dream, Sue Ludwig has put the Scenic Rim on the map through her breeding of knee-high miniature goats as pets and companion animals, rather than for livestock production. After breeding these tiny animals for years, Sue’s efforts were rewarded when the Australian Miniature Goat was officially recognised as a breed in February 2000. In January 2009, Sue was devastated by the loss of her husband Andrew in a car accident. With three young children, she turned to study, completing a bachelor of nursing, starting a new career in mental health with a public hospital, where she continues to work as clinical nurse and is considered an inspiration to others.
Citizen of the Year (65+ years), which is awarded to someone who proudly gives back to the community and presents a positive image of ageing.
After moving to Kooralbyn some four years ago, Adrian Sandell saw a need to provide help to men who were experiencing feelings of isolation and loneliness, establishing the Kooralbyn Men’s Shed which now has up to 15 regular attendees. The Men’s Shed provides the community with bagged firewood during winter and also works on projects which include the making of bird feeders and possum boxes as well as furniture restoration. Adrian’s community involvement goes beyond the Men’s Shed and, through his role as President of the Kooralbyn Community Group, has supported many local events by providing volunteers to assist the Mountain Bike Group, the annual Scarecrow Competition, Christmas Lights Competition, publication of a yearly calendar and staging of a community Christmas event.
Better known as Cec, Cecil Miles has lived and operated a business, CF and JE Miles Building Contractors in the Harrisville area since 1976 in partnership with his wife, Jan, and has been an active member of the Boonah Rotary Club, in which he has held numerous positions, since 1977. At 71, he is still actively involved with his business, Rotary and the Fassifern Rugby League Football Club and has become the face of the local gym, inspiring older members of the community to maintain their fitness. Cec and Jan’s business, which began with two apprentices 46 years ago, now employs more than 25 people and some of his former apprentices have gone on to establish their own successful enterprises. Cec takes on work experience students from local schools and he is known for his willingness to provide opportunities to young people.
Geoff Mills has been the principal of the Kooralbyn International School for almost 20 years, during which time he has seen hundreds of children pass through the school and become outstanding young adults. Nominated for his leadership through many difficult years, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Geoff has led the school through tough times without seeking recognition and has worked tirelessly, always putting the school, its students and the wider school community first. In the face of challenges presented by the pandemic, Geoff provided computers and offered mobile internet to all families to ensure students could continue to learn from home.
A familiar face in the Canungra community, Michael Luke has combined his fondness for fitness with his concern for the environment by picking up rubbish along the streets and roadsides while out exercising. Mike can be seen most days running along roadsides outside Canungra and along the streets in the town carrying a large shopping bag full of the rubbish he has collected. Described as an inspiration to all, Mike demonstrates the importance of fitness at every stage of life and an appreciation of the environment, and has shown others that doing even the smallest things can make a difference.
Gwen Tyson was nominated for a Scenic Rim Australia Day Award for the warmth of the welcome she provides to new residents at Kooralbyn and her concern for the local wildlife. Gwen has produced an informative booklet for new residents to help them settle in and has become known for her generosity, willingness to help others and her contribution to community events in Beaudesert and Kooralbyn. She also supports her husband, who is an active member of the Kooralbyn community.
Honorary Secretary of the Tamborine Mountain Progress Association, Amanda Hay was nominated for an award as a dedicated defender of Tamborine Mountain’s fauna, flora and lifestyle. Amanda is a past treasurer of the Tamborine Mountain Garden Club Inc and co-convenor of the Springtime on the Mountain festival. Prior to moving to Tamborine Mountain from Logan City, Amanda was a management committee member of Neighbourhood Watch and the Ethnic Communities Council and was an in-home tutor teaching English as a Second Language to women unable to attend classes.
Jeanette Lockey’s nomination for a Scenic Rim Australia Day Award recognises her more than 20 years in the role of Honorary President of the 107-year-old Tamborine Mountain Progress Association and her efforts to protect the Mountain’s village atmosphere, which is loved by the residents, and the unique flora and fauna of the plateau. She is a member of the local tennis club, the Tamborine Mountain Garden Club, and has served on a number of community committees including the local SEQ Development Forum. Jeanette is respected in her community for her strength of character and willingness to help others.