Queensland Community Achievement Awards

2022 Finalists 


Mauri Mosaic and Mount Nathan Winery Leadership Award


Dr Heidi Walkden of Lyneham is a neuroscientist and science policy fellow. She has worked on “That’s RAD! Science,” a STEM Engagement outreach project with a focus on publishing children’s books to promote women in science. Dr Heidi has taught and mentored Griffith University students before their oral presentations and outreach. She was previously named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 for the health category.

Sonia Martin of Nambour is a registered nurse who co-founded Sunny Street in 2018 with Dr Nova Evans. Sunny Street began as a mobile outreach service providing healthcare to Australians experiencing homelessness, poverty and complex trauma. In their first three months, she wrote the policies for a national health outreach service. Sonia mentors Australian nurses in the Australian College of Nursing’s Emerging Nurse Leader Program.

Steve Whitfield of Tallai (Sunny) is a veteran soldier who served for the UN Task Force with the Fijian military. After discharge, he worked as a paramedic with the Queensland Ambulance Service. He is now a paramedic academic at Griffith University School of Medicine. He lectures and researches about paramedicine. In 2021, Sunny helped create a publishing platform to encourage paramedics to read, write and share more.

Suzanne Rath or Parramatta Park established a Physiotherapy and Allied Health practice from scratch. The clinic provides outreach to local Aboriginal communities, many of whom have post-brain injury, stroke and other long-term disabilities and no access to physiotherapy. Suzanne created a structured team meeting and mentoring program and a leadership team within the clinic. She also developed career progression pathways for Allied Health and administration.


Bendigo Bank Community Group of the Year Award


Accoras of Yeerongpilly self-funded and piloted the Attachment and Bio-behavioural Catch-UP (ABC) program. An evidence-based program, ABC offers in-home infant mental health interventions to improve both infant and caregiver function where the infant has experienced abuse, neglect, or other trauma. Through Accoras, ‘Parent Coaches’ worked with 30 caregiver-infant pairs, provided toys and other materials for the pair to play together, and gave positive feedback.

Care Kits for Kids QLD Inc of Mansfield provides free care kits to children aged 0 to 17 who are in crisis or entering out-of-home care. Each care kit contains new clothing, toiletries, education supplies, a toy, and a quilt. A handmade heart is also included to demonstrate that each child matters and is not alone. In 2021, they delivered 2,225 orders from Queensland organisations assisting children in crisis.

The Centre for Women and Co. of Logan (CFW) is a not-for-profit that provides specialist domestic and family violence and women’s wellbeing services in Logan and Redland communities. CFW’s team of 57 provides response services to assist with risk assessment, safety planning, and walking alongside women and children for them to have a safe and happy life. Free counselling for women who have experienced complex trauma are also offered.

Multicultural Social Network of Arundel (MSN) was founded in March 2020 to support people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. MSN provided food hampers, hygiene and sanitary products, and warm meals to about 200 young international students stranded on the Gold Coast. In February 2021, MSN started Cultural Meals for the Homeless & Needy projects, which engaged volunteers from culturally diverse backgrounds to prepare meals from their heritage.


Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award


Hussain Baba of Arundel founded Multicultural Social Network (MSN) in January 2020, with an aim of coordinating and promoting social cohesion. MSN has since provided weekly services to homeless and needy members of the Gold Coast community. Hussain has been volunteering in humanitarian and community charity services for 11 years. In May 2022, Hussain was awarded the Queensland Excellence Volunteering Award by the QLD Governor.

Laurie Pritchard of Cairns is the founder and managing director of Small World Journeys, a multi-day educational tour company for student groups. The company aims to educate and inspire young people to connect to the community, culture, and nature. In late 2020, Laurie appealed to Cairns schools to get their kids involved with Small World. All their activities support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Leanne Kum Sing of Mount Isa is a Waanyi and Gangalidda woman who volunteers to help the Mount Isa Community. Leanne has personally taken garbage bags and bottles from the riverbed community. She has encouraged residents to clean up the area where they reside, which includes low socio-economic and disadvantaged citizens. Leanne also runs Shop Til I Drop, a shopping service business that supports Mount Isa citizens.

Melissa Redsell of Warner is a midwife who founded A Brave Life, a not-for-profit organisation that supports young mothers facing a range of challenges, such as domestic violence, poverty, and homelessness. In 2015, Melissa started gifting newborn essentials to young mums struggling. She has since gifted 8,000 Baby Bundles via young parent programs, maternity social work departments, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community centres.


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award


Brett Fenton of Caboolture South opened Red Dragon Martial Arts in 1997. He has grown the business from 20 members to almost 500 members in 2021. During the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, they pivoted to online training through live zoom classes, video tutorials and an online student portal. Brett regularly travels internationally to train and improve the standard of martial arts taught at Red Dragon.

Duncan Powersports of Cairns is a business that supplies and services motorcycles, ATVs and personal watercraft. Founder Troy Duncan has focused on customer satisfaction and treats everybody with respect and urgency. Troy goes out of his way to supply vehicles, parts, and services. He entertains calls on weekends and drives himself and his technicians or flies to hand over rental skis or build buggies.

Small World Journeys of Cairns is an educational tour operator founded in 2008 that creates multi-day tours in the natural world for student groups. For an all-inclusive educational experience, each tour includes the perspectives of Australia’s indigenous people, an option for community service projects, and unique activities focused on sustainability and conservation. Small World Journeys follows a customer service mantra: Be Honest. Be Helpful. Be Grateful.

TIACS, This is a Conversation Starter of Toowong offers free, confidential and accessible counselling over the phone and text to tradies and blue-collar workers. TIACS provides professional development and 1:1 coaching. The team designed their services to fit the needs of the blue-collar community with longer opening hours and the ability to call or text. Since it started, TIACS has supported 10,000 clients in their journey to mental wellness.


Synaco Safety Award

4RFM of Moranbah is a community radio station dedicated to promoting Road Safety. They have been holding a Road Safety Week since 2019. In 2022, they ran a poster design competition, which would be transferred to vinyl banners to hang on school fences. They also hold a special Road Safety parade with schools, where kids can ask questions to Emergency Services attending the parade.

EPIC Assist is a not-for-profit that delivers a personalised service to help people with disability achieve their employment goals. EPIC has a fleet of 97 cars primarily used for staff transportation purposes. It implements a Fleet Safety Program. The comprehensive Program includes a one-on-one induction conducted by the Fleet Coordinator before staff are allocated a vehicle, online driver training, and monthly vehicle inspections.

Mendi Group of Bohle is a civil construction business that has been operating for over 60 years. It is one of the few to obtain a Federal Safety Certification. In 2017, the company’s Director introduced an experienced Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Team. In 2019, they introduced Mendi Mick as team mascot and safety ambassador. Mick is featured in all project signs and safety posters onsite.

Michael Wenzel of Kallangur works as gatehouse attendant at Gray’s, an e-commerce business offering business and consumer products from motor vehicles to consumer electronics. Michael has been instrumental in ensuring that safety protocols are followed by their customers and vendors before entering their Brisbane site. At the height of Covid-19, he helped minimise risks and ensure the safest possible environment for his colleagues and customers.




Special Event Presentations Local Sporting Club Making a Difference Award

Eagleby Giants JRLFC of Eagleby is helping develop a culture to assist players in becoming not only good footballers but also good people. The Club has created a community hub to support the wider family and community. The support includes a drop-in centre and mental health check-ins with teams. It holds an Annual Mental Health and Suicide Awareness Week and a weekly 12-step mental health program.

Special Olympics Mackay Fire of Mackay is making ability visible. It was founded in 2012 from a dream of families who wanted to begin genuine competition pathways for people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Mackay is sanctioned to fundraise for the benefit of the athletes. In January 2022, they sent their first-ever team of female athletes with an intellectual disability to compete in a mainstream competition.

The Boss Boxing of Zillmere is a gym that offers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities a culturally safe space that allows for meaningful connection, inclusivity and mentoring. Since 2019, The Boss Boxing has grown to a 150-strong member base. They offer sponsorship opportunities to marginalised children and disadvantaged youth. This helps overcome financial and social barriers and promotes equal access to a brighter future.

Therapy and Dance Association Inc. is a not-for-profit dance school established in 2014 by a group of mums who wanted to provide a safe environment for children to experience dance, building new friendships, confidence and courage. Classes offered are built around the needs of the class, allowing for everyone’s style, ability and age. Third- and fourth-year Therapy students gain work experience with children with additional needs.


Evolt Health and Wellbeing Award

Conquer of Kingaroy is implementing solutions and advocating for improving healthcare across the board. Established in 2015, the gym offers services that include free health and diet checks, affordable Evolt scans, personal training, coaching and group fitness. All trainers and support team hold a minimum of Certification 4 in Fitness. Conquer recently converted a 1,000-sqm old building into a state-of-the-art health and fitness centre.

Julie Lyons of Slacks Creek co-founded Diversity with Dance after many instructors and the community requested her to share her joy of dance wellness. Julie taught dance that catered to all ages and abilities in a way that built stronger communities. Julie has assisted instructors with pathways to employment. Eight of the instructors who were taught by Julie now assist Logan City and Access community hubs.

Marc Newman of North Mackay runs a Sports Clinic in his capacity as an internationally accredited Human Movement Specialist and Professional Sports Trainer. He volunteers as an Accredited Sports Trainer for several high school rugby union teams. He also provides Advanced Sideline Emergency Care for Rugby League Mackay District, where he provides support and advice to accredited sports trainers and first aid officers from 19 clubs.

The Physio Movement (TPM) is a holistic healthcare clinic. It assists people to live, move and perform well individually and in group classes designed to work alongside GPs, sports doctors and surgeons. TPM is the only registered provider in Townsville to offer GLA:D, a program designed for people living with osteoarthritis. Other initiatives include a Corporate Health Program and Youth Performance program for local youth.