Queensland Community Achievement Awards

2021 Finalists 


Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

Feros Care of Coolangatta is supporting people to live bold lives. Feros Care is a not-for-profit care organisation that provides aged, disability and healthcare services through government partnerships for people to live independent, active and socially connected lives. They support 24,000 people across six states and territories. Feros Care has 968 staff and 300 volunteers. Their holistic and comprehensive response to Covid-19 includes weekly meetings to keep staff informed, the distribution of personal protective equipment and comprehensive training to promote safety practices. They afforded flexible protections, strategically rearranged staff rosters, and provided two weeks unpaid and half-pay annual leave as an additional gesture for the staff.


CentacareCQ of Central Queensland is the social service agency for the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton. They have a workforce of 375 people who have embraced the shift to ‘consumer choice’. They have introduced a sophisticated process for determining worker availability and rostering in line with client preferences. In 2021, CentacareCQ launched a new human resources and payroll system that includes a feature that encourages staff to highlight others whose work and team contributions exemplify the organisations values. They also hold an annual Staff Development Day. All staff are provided with a guide and toolkit to support good mental wellbeing and have the option to identify an appropriate physical wellbeing activity funded for them by the facility.


Embracia Aged Care of Burpengary is committed to people development. Embracia is a private residential care provider. Their purpose-built homes in Burpengary and Woodford are home to 75 and 120 local elders, respectively. Their 256 staff enjoy flexibility, roster changes, requests, holidays and support for placements are facilitated as required. Embracia offers onsite and online training programs, mandatory and optional training on clinical specific care issues, occupational health and safety, infection control and more. They have subsidised meals, free onsite parking and uniform provision and fortnightly massage therapy. Their management has an open-door policy and is committed to supporting staff individually and as a team.


Carinya Home for the Aged of Atherton values dignity, quality care and compassion. Carinya is a community-based not-for-profit organisation offering 131 beds for residents requiring respite care, permanent care, dementia care and high intensity care. They also have 15 independent living units at low cost. Carinya employs 160 staff and has over 40 volunteers. All employees receive a comprehensive induction and engage with a “buddy” to familiarise them with the environment. There are numerous opportunities to learn and enhance skills, including annual mandatory trainings on fire and workplace health and safety. Employees receive above-award wages and enjoy initiatives like monthly coffee van visits and Aged Care Employee Day.


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award

Ultra Essence of South Mackay is committed to going above and beyond. Ultra Essence is a small destination spa that offers personalised treatments, enjoyable and meaningful experiences, and increases guest’s understanding of their health. They have defined their internal customer service strategy starting with their culture and training, ensuring consistent care and energy. They give emphasis on community connection and sustainability and have implemented more innovative services and treatments to cater for the overall wellness demand. They recently implemented a Covid-free zone, where customers can relax and not talk about the pandemic. Ultra Essence won the 2021 Queensland Spa of the Year & National Customer Care Award.


Hello Home Doctor Service of Springfield Lakes is committed to ensuring continuity of care. Founded in 2016 by Dr Niraj Shekhawatia, Hello Home Doctor Service is an accredited medical deputising service providing after-hours primary care to patients at their home or an Aged Care Facility (ACF) on behalf of their regular GP. To ensure ease of booking for ACFs, they have designed HelloDr, a booking platform. HelloDr features follow-up support and training, a 24/7 call centre and ability to send feedback. Hello Home Doctor has created a library of training materials available on-demand for clients. Since April 2020, they have been offering consultations by telephone or video call.


Customer Services, Brisbane City Council of Brisbane is dedicated to driving a customer-focused culture. Customer Services is the frontline, responsible for creating outstanding experiences for customers of the Brisbane City Council. Their staff manage more than 4,200 different service types, and their 24/7 contact centre handles more than 1.3 million customer interactions every year. Customers speak directly with a local person without needing to press buttons or go through a menu. This is a key contributor to their 94% overall customer satisfaction level. All customer services staff are undergo training under a comprehensive learning program.


Magnetic Jet Ski Tours of Magnetic Island is committed to offering quality, affordable tourism. Magnetic Jet Ski Tours started offering guided tours in 1996. Peter Smith, the tour leader/guide drives customers aged 10 to 80 around the Magnetic Island coastline aboard a comfortable luxury Personal Watercraft. His wife, Sharon, is in charge of the bookings, housekeeping, bookkeeping and social media. The company treats every customer like a friend or family with their enjoyment and positive experience a priority. For their comfort, customers are provided wetsuits, eye protection, sunscreen and other required safety equipment. Their customer service is reflected in excellent TripAdvisor and Facebook reviews.


Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award

Belinda Adams of Wishart founded Ballet for Brain Injury, a pilot rehabilitation program. Her own journey with brain injury began when she became her son’s carer in 2012 after he was in a motor vehicle accident. Belinda is the Ambassador for the Hopkins Centre: Research for Rehabilitation and Resilience and an Adjunct Research Fellow at Menzies Health Institute. In 2019, she drove for 32 days around Australia for the “Belinda’s Big Bus Tour for Brain Injury Awareness”, raising awareness and thousands of dollars. In 2019, she founded “Banging the Drum for Brain Injury”, a drumming program for people affected by brain injury and their carers.


Juanita Hughes of Inala was diagnosed with younger onset early stage behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia in mid-2019 at the age of 54. She has since dedicated herself to advocacy. As a Dementia Australia Dementia Advocate, Juanita works to raise awareness of dementia, tackle stigma and discrimination and influence decision-makers across the government, aged care and disability sectors. As a Dementia Australia Advisory Committee member, she advocates on matters important to people living with dementia. She is also a member of the National Older Persons Reference Group. In her community, Juanita is creating dementia-friendly communities and is leading the development of the Western Brisbane Dementia Alliance.


Christine Rafter of Carindale is a co-founder and President of Care Kits for Kids Queensland Inc. (CKKQ), which distributes free care kits full of new clothing, toiletries, education supplies, toy, books, and quilts to over 6,451 vulnerable children aged 0-17. Chris coordinates three sewing groups (In Stitches Brisbane, Carina Crafters and In Stitches Sewing) which sew exclusively for CKKQ and use donated fabrics supporting the ‘war on waste’ ethic to make clothing, toys and other items for the care kits. Chris can sew nearly 200 Barbie outfits over a weekend and spends her time sewing to meet shortfalls in requirements of care kit orders.


Sarah Jantos of Tallebudgera is empowering children to become environmental custodians. Sarah is a full-time wildlife carer, environmental activist and mother of three who founded Green Heroes, a non-profit environmental education organisation. Green Heroes is helping children develop a strong sense of belonging and purpose in their lives, community and environment, and to learn that to co-exist with nature is both a privilege and a responsibility. Sarah has engaged teachers, conservationists, wildlife carers, scientists, parents and children to create meaningful and engaging environmental programs for delivery in mainstream early years education facilities. Sarah volunteers 40 hours weekly, managing other volunteers and training educators and teachers.


Awards Australia Community Group of the Year Award

eWaste Connection of Kenmore Hills is empowering people of all abilities. eWaste Connection is a community-based not-for-profit where they recycle electronic waste while providing meaning and connection to participants and volunteers. It was established in 2016 by CEO Monique Lowndes, who was inspired by her son to start a group where disabled and disadvantaged youth could learn to dismantle electronic materials for recycling and to sell the parts. They hold eleven weekly workshops, where volunteers, workshop supervisors and carers work with participants to train them to dismantle and sort e-waste into components. Over 95% of items they receive transform into useful products and by-products.


Active Refugee and Migrant Integration in Australia of Sunnybank is the ‘tree’ that welcomes any ‘bird’ in need. ARMIA started operations in 2015 initially to empower New Australians; that is, refugees and migrants who are no longer part of the Australian Government’s settlement program; to be part of the workforce or business community and become valuable members of Australian society. In 2018, ARMIA started assisting all mainstream and Indigenous disadvantaged persons. In 2019, they began assisting people with disability, so they can live a normal life. ARMIA runs a Multicultural Family Support Hub with a holistic approach. They fund their services through social enterprises, ARMIA Cleaning Services and ARMIA NDIS.


Green Fox Training Studio of Salisbury believes in the untapped potential of those who want to change. Green Fox Training Studio (GFTS) is Australia’s first not-for-profit creative agency operating a training facility inside a high-security prison. Operating since 2019, they employ inmates through in-prison internships, training and working side by side with them in graphic design, desktop publishing, 3D animation and more. This provides real-world employment and experience within the creative industries. GFTS hires selected prisoners in their studio upon release to ensure sustained rehabilitation. In the last 12 months, GFTS has trained almost 100 inmates; 25 of these have left prison and only one has returned.


Backpack Bed for Homeless of Cleveland partners with over 770 homeless agencies in Australia to distribute custom designed material aid to people without shelter. Founded in 2009, they distributed their first backpack beds in 2009, which used materials that include fire retardant fabrics and foam. The 3-kilogram backpack bed is five products in one: an ergonomic backpack, a two windowed tent, a bed, a shelter and a full-body mosquito protected mesh. They have since distributed 8,000 sleeping bags and expects 8,000 more to arrive. A study found that for every homeless person helped with a backpack bed, the community saved $3,319 in health and justice costs.


Synaco Safety Award

Road Accident Action Group of North Mackay is dedicated to holistically improving road safety. Road Accident Action Group (RAAG) is a not-for-profit incorporated association that brings together the community, industry, government and university sectors to develop road safety culture. RAAG has delivered fatigue presentations to over 20,000 workers in the Bowen Basin and coal district. They deliver road safety messages and work closely with the heavy vehicle industry to promote safe driving practices. They have developed audio-visual resources imploring young drivers to make safe choices. They successfully run their ‘Work Out Visibly’ campaign, which helps ensure walkers, riders, and runners are visible to other road users.


Glen Cook of Kawungan is a passionate powerline safety advocate. Glen is a Principal Community Safety Specialist who has been working as an electrician for over 29 years within the construction and utilities industries. He has been a first responder to serious injury/burns and fatalities due to third party accidental contact with powerlines. Glen works tirelessly to share safety messages and highlight the very real consequences of the wrong attitude to powerline safety. He communicates his presentations and safety information in terms easily understood by the Agriculture, Aviation and Construction industries. Glen was named Australian Health and Safety Professional of the Year in June 2020.


SGESCO-MAX of Archerfield is helping increase safety and productivity. SGESCO-MAX was founded in 1962 and has over 200 apprentices. Since 2002, SGESCO-MAX has started developing several safety solutions under their MAX-SAFE brand. Their flagship product MAX-SAFE Brake Anti-Rollaway System has become the de facto standard in the waste management industry. They are working on a Vulnerable Road User Protection initiative with SUEZ, aimed at protecting their operators and Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs). The initiative is finding the best technology to install on vehicles to warn operators of VRUs when they are turning left. They also recently signed onto the National Road Safety Partner Programme.


Mendi Group of Bohle strives for safety every day. Mendi is a civil construction business that employs 70 personnel, labourers and operators. They are one of a few locally owned and operated civil construction businesses who have obtained Federal Safety Certification. They also have Safety, Quality and Environmental ISO Certifications, and National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme Certification. In 2017, the Director decided to invest in recruitment and resources to champion a Safety Team, specifically to have a measurable improvement in safety performance. Their mascot, Mendi Mick, is included in project signs and safety posters onsite to remind workers about safety rules. In 2021, they achieved a 5-year Lost Time Injury Free.


Special Event Presentations Local Sporting Club Making a Difference Award

Fight 4 Youth of Currumbin is building confidence and acceptance through sport. Fight 4 Youth is an inclusive, multicultural youth centre established in 2015. They have a boxing club that trains fighters and offers classes for all ages. Youth programs include mentoring, girls’ and boys’ empowerment and therapeutic-based programs. Their ‘The Suspension Project’, is a program developed to help young people suspended from school, disengaged youth and youth offenders to make positive behaviour choices. The Project provides young people opportunities to strengthen relationships with their community and gives them access to qualified mentors, counsellors and program facilitators. The registered charity is run entirely by volunteers.


FuturePros Tennis Academy - Beenleigh Tennis Centre of Beenleigh is creating pathways for inclusion in sport. FuturePros was established in 2011. They moved to Beenleigh in 2020 in a location that supports and aligns with their objectives and community goals. Their strength and connections are with the underprivileged youth and people with disabilities specialising in wheelchair and autistic players. They have paved and led the way with Tennis Australia’s II3 program for autistic people. In 2019, they won the Autism Queensland Futures Community Award. In 2020, they received a high commendation award from the Governor of Queensland. Over the last 12 months, they experienced a 168% increase in community participation.


Burleigh Heads Bowls Club of Burleigh Heads is committed to being the centre of the community. The Burleigh Heads Bowls Club had an inaugural opening in 1937. Today, they cater for all demographics and encourages participation regardless of age or skill. During the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, over 10,000 non-member barefoot bowlers enjoyed the facilities of the Club. The Club hosts school development programs and has started offering junior scholarships. The Club’s Ladies’ Section raises money every Thursday to be donated to organisations like Blue Care and the Children’s Brain Tumour ward at the Queensland Children’s Hospital. The Men’s Section fundraises for the Gold Coast Hospital Children’s ward.


Souths Logan Magpies of West End is providing hope and happiness to the community through tough times. Formed as South Brisbane in 1908, the South Logan Magpies is the only surviving club from the first Brisbane Rugby League competition. They compete in the Intrust Super Cup and pride themselves on their values of excellence, family and community. In conjunction with Micah Souths, they were heavily involved in the 2020 Christmas Hamper Run. All club staff, players, coaches and volunteers contributed to making 500 hampers that were delivered to those in desperate need. They have committed to being involved in the 2021 Christmas Hamper Run.


Qoin Small Business Achievement Award

Go For Zero of Caloundra is making positive change simple. Go For Zero was founded by Ellie after her daughter developed rashes using ‘mainstream’ skincare products. Ellie’s research led her to toxin-free products that were produced in plastic containers. Since they launched in 2019, Go For Zero has helped over 30,000 households switch to products that are healthy and waste-free. Their small team of 4 employees ensures that their products are 100% toxin-free, low-waste, and Australian owned to help create jobs for local families. From getting only five orders per week, the business has grown to achieve a revenue of $868,000 in the past financial year.


Bare and Boho of Upper Coomera is striving for sustainability in every way. Bare and Boho was founded in 2017 by Jordan McGregor who had a vision of offering an innovative range of reusable cloth eco wares for Australian families whilst saving money and preventing excess waste from ending up in landfill. Their cloth range can be reused and therefore reduces single-use disposable waste. After Jordan was featured on Shark Tank, she was contacted by supermarkets for collaborations, and the products have since become available internationally. They have secured key partnerships with ALDI Australia and many more distribution networks. They have four full-time and two part-time employees.


Sabbia Co of Burleigh Heads is creating a positive environmental impact. Sabbia Co was founded in 2019 after ocean lovers Katie and Dave Eales found themselves devastated over the amount of single-use items littered on a beach they were visiting in Sri Lanka. It is an ethical brand that creates unique facial kits out of sustainable, biodegradable, reusable and chemical-free tools. Sabbia Co now has over 20 unique sustainable skin tools and sustainably sourced and packaged skincare products. They have one part-time wholesale manager and two marketing interns. They have launched a podcast, Authentic Verdict, to connect and build a business mentor group with other Australian founders.


Sobah Beverages of Burleigh Heads is breaking down the stigma of socialising sober. Sobah Beverages is an Australian Aboriginal, family-run company that makes a range of premium non-alcoholic craft beers infused with native fruit and spices based on the Kombumerri Lands of the Gold Coast. It was established in 2017 by proud Gamilaroi man and psychologist, Dr Clinton Schultz and his wife, Lozen. Sobah is sold in more than 700 venues and stores across Australia. They have two full-time and two part-time staff, one casual employee and few contractors. The business has grown 300% every year since 2017. They have started selling in New Zealand.