QUEENSLAND

Queensland Regional Achievement & Community Awards

Current Finalists:

2013

The Prime Super Community of the Year Award

THE COOLOOLA COAST MEDICAL TRANSPORT INC.

Cooloola Coast Medical Transport Inc. evolved from an idea from a local resident needing medical transport for her sick husband. In 2003, the official Cooloola Coast Medical Transport was established and a small group of local residents used their own cars to provide non-urgent door to door transport to specialist appointments & hospitals. The Services have since grown from 2 owner cars to a fleet of 5 cars owned by the organisation. The service relies on 37 volunteer drivers to provide transport services for the frail, aged and disabled to reach vital medical services when no other transport is available; often traveling over 250km a day. The Cooloola Coast Medical Transport Inc. became incorporated in 2011, and have appointed dedicated fundraising volunteers manning raffle stalls twice a week and at monthly local markets to support the Transport services. With strong community support, the services continue to gain volunteer drivers and are accredited under QLD Transport & Main Roads Authority to ensure all drivers go through annual training to meet safety driving requirements.

 

WEENGALLON PINK LADIES DAY

Established in 2000, the Weengallon Pink Ladies Day raises money for local breast cancer charities and provides an opportunity for women from remote communities to come together and enjoy a wonderful day out. Each year the event brings over 500 women to the small community of Weengallon, between Goondiwindi and St George. The Pink Ladies Day combines good food, good company and the chance for breast cancer survivors to share a day out with their friends and family as a form of healing. With strong support from volunteers who often travel over 150km to attend meetings, community organisations and businesses, the Pink Ladies Day raised over $30,000 this year for support groups and breast cancer charities through local art auctions, a gourmet ladies lunch and through generous donations from organisations in the area. With the help of a dedicated committee, the Weengallon Pink Ladies Day hope that can continue the breast cancer fight for years to come.


The Peabody Environment and Landcare Award

CQ LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION

The CQ Local Government Association works with primary schools throughout Central Queensland, educating students and staff about recycling and reducing waste through the EarthSmart Schools program. This behavioural change program encourages schools to actively participate in reaching a reduction of 50% waste to landfill over a time frame of three years. The program provides a holistic approach to waste management for schools, linking education to practical support, to create an expectation of real long term change for schools. The program takes education about recycling from theory into practice, with students and staff being able to see measurable results for their school. The EarthSmart School Program works directly with two of the most valuable assets of any community - children and the environment, and was delivered to 94 schools across Central Queensland, influencing over 24,000 students, their families and communities from five local government areas of Banana Shire, Central Highlands Regional, Gladstone Regional, Isaac Regional and Rockhampton Regional Council.

 

GANGALIDDA AND GARAWA RANGERS AND THE NORMANTON RANGERS

In 2008 the Gangalidda & Garawa Rangers and the Normanton Rangers were established to care for country in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria, covering over 650,000 square kilometers. Currently there are fifteen rangers caring for this expansive area undertaking activities that include taking steps to preserve the Traditional Knowledge of natural resource management in the area, invasive animal management and weed eradication and also developing relationships with traditional land owners and local farmers. The Rangers preserve the key wetlands and ecosystems of high biodiversity and cultural importance. The Rangers have developed and implemented landscape fire regimes for biodiversity improvement on country and within communities incorporating both cultural and scientific practices, and also carry out ecological and cultural heritage restoration and remediation works. The Rangers are strong in community engagement projects including working with local schools to encourage children to participate in junior ranger programs and to instil long term environmental messages for future generations.


The Origin Energy Regional Service Award

COLIN JOHNSON

Colin is passionately committed to ensuring Aboriginal people are treated fairly and equitably and is actively involved with the Indigenous Wellbeing Centre, an Aboriginal community controlled Non-Government and charitable organisation. The organisation operates as a ‘one stop shop’ model that offers central management and administration across a wide range of programs in the local Bundaberg, North Burnett and Fraser Coast communities. Serving as a volunteer, Colin is also the Chairperson of The Yaamba Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Corporation for Men, and works with the Jukanula Afterschool Care Program to ensure language and culture are reinforced in the development of Aboriginal culture for the younger generation. Overcoming a variety of personal barriers including stereotyping, health issues and “tall poppy syndrome”, Colin is self-educated and hopes to encourage other indigenous people to strive and participate in their local community and be aware of local issues impacting their community.

 

DIANNE SPENCER


In 1994, Dianne established a not for profit organisation ‘Breaking Free’ on the Sunshine Coast to support adults who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and family dysfunction. With strong community support and stemming from her own personal experiences, Dianne has self-fundraised to support, design and deliver a 10 week recovery program to support those who have been affected by abuse. Dianne has undertaken extensive professional training and education courses to aid in allowing her to work with child abuse survivors. With strong voluntary support, Dianne works with her team to network and uses both formal face to face and informal social group mechanisms to spread her message through the community and highlight the continuing need for resources throughout the region. Dianne hopes to enlist local government and business organisation to fund programs that allow her work to continue. With strong passion and commitment, Dianne hopes to continue to make a difference to those who need it most in the community.


The Reay Services Group Energy and Sustainability Award

CQ LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION

Stemming from the implementation of the Earth Safe Environmental Sustainability Strategic Plan which identified key sustainability targets for schools across Queensland, the CQ Local Government Association consulted with local Earth Smart Science coordinators in their region to discuss ways, that they could support schools to meet their own environmental management plans. Through this consultation the CQ Local Government Association EarthSmart Schools program was established. As a sustainable program, initiatives such as maintaining and establishing quality data about each school’s waste stream and the development and implementation of waste reduction strategies, EarthSmart hopes to increase awareness in participating students and the community about the benefits of recycling on an environmental level. Since the establishment of the program, CQ Local Government Queensland have increased local employment of the CQ Materials Recovery Facility and other industries who benefit greatly from the increased sustainability practices in the community.

 

NORTH EAST DOWNS LANDCARE


Established for 19 years, North East Downs Landcare Group believes in the ‘Our Place, Our Future’ initiative which assists communities to increase their capability to build more socially, culturally, economically and environmentally sustainable communities within the north-eastern Darling Downs. Promoting and implementing sustainable land use in the region, North East Downs Landcare Group also enter into short and long term partnerships with organisations and individuals to achieve mutual goals and objectives. North East Downs Landcare engage local community members to up skill their conservation management to improve, protect and preserve the environment, increase local knowledge regarding the importance of biodiversity and sustainable farming practices and continue to monitor threatened ecological communities identified in their region including the white box – yellow box grassy woodland and local endangered species.


The Safeguard Events and Tourism Award

ANGEL FLIGHT OUTBACK TRAILBLAZER

Established in 2009, as a bi-annual event by the Barcadine Regional Council the Angel Flight Outback Trailblazer event is a four Wheel Drive event, based in the community of Barcaldine in Central West Queensland. The event progresses through a chosen route throughout regional Queensland each year and participants have an opportunity to experience the remotest corners of Queensland. The event aims to raise money to support the work of Angel Flight in Queensland. Since its establishment the event has raised over $300,000 for Angel Flight. In 2012, the Trailblazer had 53 vehicles participate with attendees coming from interstate and internationally to participate. One of the original ideas behind the Trailblazer was to establish new events in towns that they visited along the way. It was envisaged that these events would gain momentum and continue to operate in the communities. Many new events have been established such as the Oktoberfest, which has now become an annual event in Jundah and the Teddy Bears Picnic in Tambo.

 

BURRUM COAL DISCOVERY FESTIVAL INC.

Held for the first time in 2013, the Burrum Coal Discovery Festival is a family friendly event which celebrated the 150th Anniversary of the discovery of coal in the District by the Miller Brothers which bought changes to the community including population, employment, infrastructure, rail, steamships and agriculture. Held in the small low socio-economic towns of Howard and Torbanlea on the Fraser Coast, the Festival attracted visitors from North Queensland to Tasmania and not only stimulated the economy, it instilled local pride and community involvement. The event was designed to enable and support non for profit organisations where they were encouraged to host their own functions throughout the festival to raise valuable funds for their groups. The Festival boosted local business trade through the encouragement to exhibit and sell their wares and provide workshops for the general public. With over 4,000 people in attendance, it is estimated the 2013 event injected $100,000 into the local community.


The Styleprint Youth Leadership Award

KINGAROY STATE HIGH SCHOOL

'People first' has been the focus of the Kingaroy State High School's Active Citizens Program. Since its first launch in 2003, this program has grown and has engaged over that time well over 400 Year 11 & 12 students. The program provides a 'hands-on' approach for students to gain skills and knowledge in the day-to-day operations with a wide range of Community Service Organisations within the South Burnett district. While students regularly express surprise at how much they receive by putting others first, service organisation members also comment on how their views have change by having 'younger people' work alongside them. This program provides immediate help to others in need while building a foundation for continuing Australia's proud heritage of volunteers helping community. Many activities that students partake in are out-of-school demands and students are often joined by parents and other family members in their activities which encourages wider participation from the community.

 

SELENA MCMURRAY

Selena is actively involved within her community and has been since a young age. Selena has overcome an Autoimmune Disease, Joint Hyper- Mobility Syndrome and Chronic Pain Syndrome among other health issues and contributes to over 11 local charities and organisations. To date Selena has fundraised close to $20,000, delivered meals to the elderly and disabled as well as instigated and organised a variety of local events and community functions. In 2013, Selena co-organized the Cairns Regional Council’s Australia Day Celebrations that were held in Babinda and is currently actively organizing ‘Legacy for Lily’ functions and fundraisers for her own founded charity. In the next 12 months, Selena is planning to establish a new festival to aid the community in bringing everyone together and bringing new enterprises and experiences to town. She hopes to encourage others in the community to get involved and for young people to take action and help organise and contribute to the event.