Queensland Community Achievement Awards

2020 Finalists 


Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award
Mary O'Brien of Dalby
has a deep passion about helping rural men. Mary founded ‘Are You Bogged Mate?’, a charity focused on rural men’s mental health. It aims to boost awareness and starts a conversation with rural people and the broader community about the rising issue of depression and suicide rates amongst men in rural areas. Using analogies and humour, the ‘Are You Bogged Me’ programme has four fence posts, namely, engaging directly with men, changing the landscape, bridging the gap and being a voice for rural men. They recently partnered with Australian Horizon Foundation which now provides critical funds to support Mary’s work.

Pam Crothers of Dirranbandi has dedicated years of service to the community and is the driving force behind the development of the Dirranbandi Rail & River Precinct. After the last train left Dirranbandi in 2008, Pam began negotiating with Balonne Shire Council and Queensland Rail to maintain the buildings that pre-existed in the rail precinct, with plans for transforming it into a creative hub. Pam initiated the development of the Rail & River master plan, consulted with the community and sourced funding from grant applications. Much of the landscape is now complete and the area is valued as a green oasis within the town.

Brad Crosbie of Bundaberg is passionate about connecting Indigenous youth to community and culture. Brad founded WYLD Projects Indigenous Corporation, a community based Indigenous corporation that specialises in developing legacy based learning programs, providing opportunities for Indigenous youth aged 14 to 24 with their ‘Better to Give’ program. WLYD was formed after a community of energetic people worked together and travelled long distances to rural properties after the 2010-2011 floods. WLYD has a mission to build community capacity and resilience through joint venture collaborative relationships and train and establish specialist Indigenous Disaster Response Teams through their Indigenous Disaster Response Emerging as Mentor (IDREAM) program.

Nick Marshall of Mermaid Waters is passionate about inclusivity. He founded the Albatross Nippers Inc., Gold Coast’s first all-inclusive Sunday Nippers program that is open to all abilities held at Nobby’s Beach Surf Lifesaving Club. Nick has expanded the program to other surf clubs and beaches. By forming the standalone charity, Nick can source funding through grants and sponsorships and has purchased two beach wheelchairs to date. With help from City Council, he was also able to source beach matting. An Assistant Professor of physiotherapy, Nick volunteers as physiotherapist for many local and national sporting teams. Nick was a 2018 Queensland Volunteer of the year runner-up.


Qoin Small Business Achievement Award
Phoenix Security Services Pty Ltd of Mount Isa
is an Indigenous business that cares about their local community and has succeeded through hard work and determination. From securing homes and small business, they have expanded into providing armed guards and armed services. They also offer nightly patrol, cash-in transit, armed security officers, alarm response officers, event security, personal and property protection and storage. Phoenix is committed to employing those often overlooked in the job market, including older workers and women and all are trained in not only security, but customer service. Phoenix was awarded Mount Isa City Council Chamber of Commerce Indigenous Business of the Year Award.

Outdoor Solutions Queensland Pty Ltd is dedicated to creating enjoyable, sustainable lifestyles whilst contributing to the community.
Outdoor Solutions is a local landscape construction and maintenance company servicing the Far North Qld region. In 2016, the company expanded to include commercial landscape construction. They completed $1.5M worth of work at The Village Edge Subdivision and Cairns Special School in just three months. They have 12 full-time and one part-time staff. In 2018, they started an initiative where they invited staff members to donate to a charity box. In 2019, they were nominated for three category awards at the Cairns Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

2 Bent Rods of Victoria Point first offered fishing classes to the children and their families but soon evolved to offer classes and events on health and wellbeing. They offer shore-based fishing lessons with an emphasis on personal and marine safety and fish stock sustainability. Since 2004, they have had over 55,000 participants attend their programs. They also work with local and state government to deliver Pest Fishing Event management to reduce feral fish numbers in local parks. They support Project Booyah, an integrated program embracing a community inclusive approach. 2 Bent Rods was a finalist at the Business Excellence Queensland at the Ausmumpreneur Awards 2019.

Neeki Designs of Labrador hopes to make the lives of their clients easier. Inspired by her father who had Parkinson’s Disease, Dominique Sanday created a unique style of fitted sheet called Wonder Sheet. Made of satin and polycotton sheeting, Wonder Sheet is beneficial for those that find it hard to turn over or get in and out of bed. Neeki Designs has three employees who regularly visit Community Care organisations and provide education about Wonder Sheet. They also actively participate in fundraising events for Parkinson’s Australia, donating Wonder Sheets and were a finalist in the 100 Faces of Small Business in Queensland in 2019.


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award
Tony’s Tropical Tours of Port Douglas
has been offering day tours showcasing the Mossman Gorge and the Daintree Forest for 23 years and take customer service seriously. They are dedicated in providing guests with an unrushed, private and unique experience. The tours, structured to keep away from mainstream boardwalks give a more personalised experience, away from large volume of guests. The five naturalist guides and one office manager are well versed in communicating and implementing best social and customer service. They have achieved Advanced Ecotourism Accreditation and have won ‘The Best Tour Guide’ award for three years and ‘The Best Daintree Rainforest Tour’ for eight years.

Brett’s Outback Tasting Adventures of Port Douglas takes visitors to Atherton Tablelands to taste unique tropical produce. They are forging a new type of tourism – food tourism – coinciding with Tourism Australia’s promotion ‘Invite the world to dinner’. Owners Brett and Andrea Cameron constantly learn about what is going on, talking to farmers and producers and researching the history of the area. They listen to customer feedback and change itineraries to exceed expectations. Brett is on the Board of Tourism Atherton Tablelands, meeting once a month to discuss about marketing the region. They have been awarded TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame in 2019 for five years of high standard service.

OnTrak Diesel Repairs of North Mackay believes that customers are literally everything. Since 2012, OnTrak has been providing mechanic and maintenance services, moving from one location to another as they outgrew their space. They have had the privilege to service and maintain Queensland’s Ambulances. Their business continues to grow by 20 to 30 customers each month purely by referrals, Google search and customer reviews. Owners Steve and Jessica are driven by creating happy customers and fixing complex vehicle issues. Steve prides himself in being able to explain vehicle repair in easy to understand language. They cultivate a customer centric culture and always go the extra mile

Birrunga Gallery & Dining of Brisbane is a First Nations owned business that inspires culture and delivers experiences in the Brisbane CBD. They are a Black Space Fully Licensed Event and Catering Space that offer guests exceptional service, quality hosting and culture content. They ethically source, exhibit and sell genuine Indigenous Cultural works in the form of original art, prints, artefacts and related products. They welcome local and international visitors, offering ambiance, hospitality, service and delicious specialty coffee and menu items utilising proteins, herbs, spices, fruits and seafood providing recognisable dishes in a reimagined form. An Indigenous employer, the Gallery is a recognised Indigenous Cultural Tourism destination.


Prime Super Agricultural Achievement Award
Michael Camilleri of Innisfail
is a second-generation sugar cane farmer and manufacturer who developed the Responsible Economical Environmental Fertiliser Applicator (REEFA) as a response to the issue of runoff into waterways caused by the practice of spreading fertiliser on the surface of the ground. He incorporated a parallelogram system for mounting a coulter, tine and depth gauge wheel to create a sugar cane fertilising applicator. The REEFA improves responsible farm practices, economy and efficiency levels to protect reef water quality and save money by maximising plant uptake. Michael undertook training in CAD and enlisted a tradesman and apprentices to assist with the project.

Natural Evolution of Walkamin is passionate about creating circular economies. After Rob and Krista Watkins began commercialising green banana flour using excess produce from their farm, other farmers sought their assistance with their excess produce. The Watkins founded Natural Evolution to address the issue of wasted nutrient-dense food whilst employing locals in rural Australia. They commissioned food research and functional health studies and created products for people and animals that benefit their health. Their patented technology, NutroLock, can turn any fruit or vegetable into powder in ten minutes, locking in plant phytochemicals 20-50 times greater than conventional costly techniques. NutroLock received the Gold Edison Innovation Award.

Cattlesales.com.au of Clermont is Australia’s first and only online advertising platform solely for cattle. Cattlesales.com.au was founded in 2016 after Elisha Parker and Annabelle Woods realised that no platform existed to enable livestock agents and sellers to advertise and market cattle for sale. The founders, who live 1,000 kilometres apart, built a platform that offers innovative marketing tools, technology and solutions to advertise cattle nationwide quickly, conveniently and cost-effectively. They made their platform user-friendly to make it address the needs of a very traditional Australian agricultural industry. Offering benefits to both sellers and buyers, they now have over 10,600 followers on social media.

Benjamin Martin of Bowen is committed to improving operational efficiency and economic benefit to the mango industry. Benjamin, with his wife and two children established their own mango production after purchasing their farm in 2008. They have created a farm management App that collates data for quality assurance, training, inventory and more. They are also installing a new Maf Roda fully automated grading system, the first machine in Australia capable of grading to specific customer standards and requirements, colour and defects. Benjamin won the 2019 Kondin Group National Young Farmer of the Year. He is currently the Chair of the Australian Mango Industry Association


Synaco Safety Award
Oncology Services Group, Children's Health QLD of South Brisbane
is the tertiary centre for children and young people who need care for oncology or haematology conditions or for palliative care needs. Due to a high and complex workload and constantly changing work environment, staff experience challenges to their resilience and wellbeing. In 2016, they implemented the Oncology Staff Wellbeing Program to improve wellbeing and resilience of staff, enabling them to cope with stressors and critical incidents inherent in their work, and to flourish. Their education program includes Coping with Critical Incident, Introduction to Wellbeing and Resilience workshops. They also provide mindfulness sessions, mindfulness facilitators training and an Employee Assistance Program.

Glen Cook of Kawungan is a Principal Community Safety Specialist who is passionate about raising powerline safety awareness across all communities. For over 29 years, he has been first responder to serious injury/burns and fatalities due to third party accidental contact with powerlines. Glen initiated the Look Up and Live mapping tool which allows users to adequately plan works near powerlines, putting control measures in place and access to free, expert safety advice. He has worked to share safety messages and highlight the real consequences of wrong attitude to powerline safety. Glen has been awarded Australian Health and Safety Professional of the Year in June 2020.

Brisbane Markets Limited of Rocklea is a major marketing and distribution hub for fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers. It has the largest concentration of forklifts in South East Queensland, making it Queensland’s highest risk workplace outside the mining industry. BML introduced the Brisbane Markets® Regulations which included rules for the safe operation of forklifts and sanctions for breaches of rules. However, it was not until BML removed sanctions and adopted a risk management approach based on education and employer involvement when the safety culture on-site improved. They initiated the BML’s Forklift Operator of the Year (FOOTY) initiative in 2015. In 2019, they enjoyed an 80% decrease in the severity of forklift incidents.

Verton Australia Pty Ltd of Milton is on a mission to pursue safety and productivity in lifting operations. Verton has reinvented lifting operations using the world’s first remote load-control system that removes taglines – the ropes that manage crane loads from crane operations. Aiming to solve their clients’ critical issues associated with lifting operations, they offer products that reinvent lifting and orientation by using angular momentum stored in gyroscopic modules to precisely rotate loads in either direction. This removes workers from harm’s way as they don’t need to be near or under moving loads. Verton’s technology eliminates injuries caused by taglines and helps workers get home safe each day.


Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award
Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) of Windsor
services over 2,600 Indigenous Elders through the Commonwealth Home Support and Home Care Package. IUIH has over 640 employees, half of whom are Indigenous. They have a unique insight into the needs of Indigenous Elders and the essential role of an Indigenous workforce in providing culturally safe aged care. IUIH’s direct care workers are supported to complete a Certificate III in Individual Support. They ensure accredited training is provided including best practice response to the Aged Care’s Royal Commission’s Interim Report and Mental Health First Aid. Employees enjoy a Health and Wellbeing Program and have access to a qualified Workforce Development Coordinator.

Pinaroo Roma Inc of Roma is a project of the Rotary Club of Roma. Pinaroo is a 60-bed facility that includes a 12-bed dementia wing. Their 53 staff enjoy flexible working conditions and a fortnightly roster. They offer training to all staff including annual handling training and ensure that employees are kept updated with the current requirements of their job. Pinaroo communicates openly with staff and welcomes ideas and insights on how to make Pinaroo a better place to work. Staff gets free morning and afternoon tea and can purchase meals from the kitchen for a small price. They have a high staff to resident ratio.

CentacareCQ of Rockhampton is a social service agency with a purpose of providing relief of suffering, stress, misfortune, disability, sickness and the effects of poverty. 73 per cent of their workforce of 334 provides aged care support. They undergo a Support Worker Availability project, allowing workers to communicate what they can and can’t do in terms of flexible working hours. Staff receive competency-based training to provide skills development and career progression opportunities. CentacareCQ provides staff with a toolkit to support good mental wellbeing. They offer an Employee Assistance Program and hold a conference yearly. In 2020, they piloted a Mindful Self-care and Resilience Program.

Feros Care of Coolangatta is a People Care organisation that supports over 65,000 people in Australia, providing aged, disability and healthcare services through government programs. They employ over 1,300 staff and volunteers who enjoy Feros’ measured and inclusive approach. Staff development opportunities help future-proof their employees. There is a National Training Curriculum for all staff which focuses on building 21st century skillsets. Staff get access to education on demand and external education programs. Feros offers flexible working arrangements and even allows staff to work from anywhere in the world using their mobile working kit. Their ‘Bold to the Bone’ Leadership Program offers formal mentoring.


Awards Australia Community Group of the Year Award
Queensland Youth Services Inc of Townsville
has been operating for 41 years. They believe all youth have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, to be assisted without judgment or discrimination, and have access to physical and emotional safety. They initiated the Recycle Your Dreams Program under the Federal Government's Empowering Youth Initiative, providing hands-on training in a supportive work environment and developing their employability skills. Another program, the Learn It Driving Mentor Program, provides opportunities for targeted youth, such as those in youth shelter, to access supervised driving hours, road safety education and opportunity to link young people to members of the community.

Ability Enterprises of Darling Heights provides meaningful employment opportunities to marginalised individuals. Founded in 2012, Ability Enterprises provide a social enterprise vehicle to support individuals living with mental illness, people with disability, refugees and Indigenous Australians to undertake vocational training. Aiming to create a sense of personal value and inclusion, they have partnered with Toowoomba Regional Council, QBuild, Carers Queensland, Building and Assets Services and The Royal Hotel to provide real employment opportunities and pay people full award wages. They employ 78 staff, with 56 per cent being Indigenous and 8 per cent refugees. They have assisted over 190 people facing barriers to employment.

Men's Information and Support Association of Strathpine is a not-for-profit focused in the area of domestic violence. MISA is tightly integrated into local communities through a referral process with police services, child protection and domestic violence support organisations. Services are provided by both paid professional counsellors and volunteers experienced in supporting men with issues related to situational distress. They offer a 12-week workshop called “Transformation 24/7”, a psycho-education course that helps enable participants to understand what drives their behaviours and how they can better manage these responses and behaviours. They deliver a Personal Enhancement Program to support students who have been victims of family and sexual violence.

GingerCloud Foundation of Virginia was formed to help the community gain the skills, knowledge and tools to become more inclusive and to drive long-term social cohesion. To do this, GingerCloud speaks at community events, groups and schools to raise awareness of families of people with learning and perceptual disabilities. In 2014, they created the world-first club-based Modified Rugby Program, which specifically modifies the game to meet the needs of children. They also hold GingerCloud Leadership sessions featuring Modified Rugby Program Ambassadors. In 2020, they launched the Disability Inclusion Leaders Program called ‘Inspire and Include’ to continue developing young people’s leadership skills and knowledge.