Queensland Community Achievement Awards

2018 Finalists

Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award

Claire Jones of Arana Hills
founded the Australian Refugee and Migrant Care Services. The non-profit organisation assists health professionals who struggle to provide quality care for refugees, due to the extra burdens on their time and resources. Claire has tirelessly and passionately provided health care coordination, health advocacy, education and social support to refugees suffering unnecessary illness and poverty in Brisbane. She was awarded the 2017 National Hesta Primary Health Care Individual Distinction Award.

Kate Rasmussen of Gordonvale is the founder of Justice 4 Workers Queensland. Justice 4 Workers provides advice and hands-on support to psychologically injured Queensland Police Officers. Kate has demonstrated tenacity and strength in the face of adversity, to protect the workplace rights of Queensland Police Officers whilst suffering with PTSD herself. Kate has been a strong advocate against organisational bullying in the force, as well as changes to the workers’ compensation system.


Matthew Gregg of Toowoomba has been instrumental in supporting the lives of young people through his street outreach program known as the METRO Care Street Crews. He has supported thousands of people with nearly 50 tonnes of food collected through the Loads of Love Appeal which he created. Matt has an unwavering belief in the potential of young people, and is committed to the idea that everyone is worthy of a fresh start.

Pullenvale Ward Outstanding Achievement Award

Barry Searle of Chuwar founded The Local Bulletin, a local community magazine covering the Pullenvale Ward, 21 years ago. He publishes 24,000 full-color 52-page glossy magazines every month which are distributed free to households. The Local Bulletin is also available in local shopping centers. The funds from advertising and marketing space are mostly redirected back into sponsoring the community sector by publishing local community groups, news, events, and activities.

Doug Pickering of Bellbowrie has been an active member of the RSL since 1998. Since 2013 he has been the Secretary of the Kenmore-Moggill RSL Sub-Branch. A countless number of Military Veterans have benefited from the selfless work of Doug. Be it by way of a personal visit or a simple phone call, Doug is always there when needed. Doug is also a Delegate to the Queensland RSL State Branch Annual Conference.

Moggill Creek Catchment Group of Kenmore covers an area of over 57 kilometers within the Pullenvale Ward and contains more bushland than any other Brisbane catchment. The Moggill Creek Catchment Group was established in 1997 and now has over 500 members. They assist landholders in managing environmental weeds and provide information and advice on revegetation of native flora. The group educate landholders through their web site, newsletters, field days, working bees and seminars.


Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award

Mike Hayes of Stanthorpe initiated The Vineyard of the Future Project after returning from Europe in search of emerging wine grape varieties. Mike has planted 100 varieties and the vineyard is a training facility for high school students to learn viticulture. The Vineyard of the Future will enable the Australian wine industry to source propagation material to change their vineyards as the climate changes. Mike was awarded the 2017 Australian Wine Maker of the Year.

Mungalli Creek Dairy of Mungalli is a family owned and run, paddock-to-plate producer of bio-dynamic dairy products and Bio-eggs. They have planted rainforest and created wetlands to cultivate a living farm organism. Mungalli Creek Dairy pay local farmers above average rates for their milk and encourage their supplying farms to use environmentally sustainable farming practices. 70 local people are employed and Mungalli Creek Dairy has been awarded over 100 medals for their high quality products.

Agri-Con Equipment of Bundaberg is specialist manufacturing company for agricultural equipment, backed by over 60 years and four generations of experience in farming and harvesting design and manufacture. Agri Con Group differentiates itself by manufacturing heavy duty machinery which outlasts its competitors in terms of wear and tear. They deliver to the market products which not only are innovative but are more energy efficient, assist with improved productivity and reduce fuel costs.

Awards Australia Small Business Achievement Award

Bayside Vegies of Torquay was founded by Darren Yates and Russell Czinege eight years ago. They produced processed vegetables for restaurants, cafes, clubs and organisations. They currently employ 10 people and are registered for the Work for the Dole program. They now process four tons of vegetables each year. Profits are returned into growing the business further and financially donating into the Transformations Rehabilitation Centre, a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.

Freeman's Organic Farm of Currumbin Valley is a 103 year old family farm which has become a leading organic farm and education centre. They grow 75 different organic fruit, vegetable and herbs which can be purchased by the public. The farm has supported charities for over 50 years. There are 300 organic strawberry plants planted in community garden beds, and children can pick their own for free. They also provide weekly public educational farm tours.

QIT Plus of Cannonvale was founded in 2007 after the impacts of Cyclone Larry revealed a need for a mobile software solution to coordinate information for responders. QIT Plus equips responders with the tools to immediately and effectively establishing a coordination centre with maps and job tasks. QIT Plus was used during the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 54 Local Councils are using it for coordinated disaster response. A recent grant will see international expansion.

Simply for Strings of Red Hill was founded in 2005 by Anna Andriolo and Toby Cumpstay and is Australia's largest provider of quality stringed instruments, accessories and servicing. Their 17 employees consists of professional musicians, passionate educators and specialist staff. In 2013 a dedicated education team was established so schools can source their entire string music programs. Simply for Strings envision an Australia where all children have the opportunity to play a string instrument.


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award

Kuranda Visitor Information Centre is open seven days a week, 364 days a year and staffed with 37 volunteers and a full-time Information Officer. The Centre promotes the alternative lifestyle of an artistic community and the natural rainforest environment that surrounds the village. The Visitor Centre strives to provide a level of customer service that exceeds expectations and tourism industry Awards have been received consistently since 2012. Over 97,000 visitors were recorded last year.

Camp Kokoda of Maroon is a 660 acre Outdoor Education property that provides camping experiences for schools and groups. Camp Kokoda contains six self-sufficient campsites with adventure activities designed to develop personal growth and team cohesion. Within this safe, controlled environment, participants are given opportunities to explore their comfort zones, conquer fears and experience a great sense of accomplishment. Camp Kokoda also provided camp experiences to more than 600 people with a disability.

Mungalla Aboriginal Business Corp of Forrest Beach is an incorporated body of Nywaigi traditional owners. They run sustainable enterprises, training, and education projects and manage Mungalla Station, a 2000 acre cattle property. Recognising the potential for a tourism enterprise, Mungalla Aboriginal Tours was created. The 2-3 hours tour tells the unique stories of culture and history and the restored wetlands and waterways are on show. Mungalla Station won the National NAIDOC Caring for Country Award.

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award
Carinya Home for the Aged of Atherton is a not for profit, community based facility. An in-house Education Coordinator conducts mandatory and ongoing staff training. Employees maintain an active Social club and regularly fund and host staff well-being and appreciation days.

Mundubbera MPHS provides a comprehensive range of acute, out-patient and community health care services. Staff are provided with training onsite, at tertiary facilities and via video conference. A staff wellbeing fund ensures that staff are provided with recognition for work well done and birthdays are celebrated with zest. Exercise bikes and a treadmill are available and a cooked, sit down Sunday breakfast is a valued staff tradition.

De Paul Villa of Southport opened in 1991 and is a welcoming home for the elderly. They provide a supportive environment for staff, from flexibility in shifts to financial support for professional growth. Through the Enterprise Bargain Agreement, employees enjoy improved conditions and above award pay rates. The staff wellbeing programme encourages better health and helps develop a work/life balance. A robust staff training programme is overseen by the Quality and Education supervisor.

University of Southern Queensland Teaching Excellence Award

Iain Hodge of Maryborough is an outstanding educator who led initiatives at Maryborough Special School to evaluate and improve knowledge of content and teaching strategies. He demonstrates exemplary curriculum knowledge by developing a model of productive and inclusive curriculum across the school. He reviewed inclusive strategies world-wide and exploring current approaches to engage and support students with a disability. His research has resulted in the current model that focuses on "the whole child”.

Annabel McKay of Wooloowin has been a great team leader of the haematology and oncology team at Mater Private Hospital for the past two years. Annabel took on the portfolio of university students while at the Mater. Not only was she kind and gentle towards students but understanding as to each individuals needs and tailored education requirements to each student. Annabel used her experience and teaching expertise, volunteering in Cambodian hospitals.

India Bryce of Centenary Heights is committed to providing preservice and practicing educators awareness of child maltreatment and cumulative harm. She aims to equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to identify, assess and respond to child maltreatment and trauma in their classrooms. India provides free and low cost resources, training and events for vulnerable families to promote better outcomes by interrupting and ending the cycle of cumulative harm in children.

DSS Law Community Group of the Year Award

Orange Sky Australia of Albion has since 2014, grown exponentially with 27 mobile laundry and shower vehicles operating in in Australia, including the first remote laundry vehicle located in Lockhart River, Queensland. The dedicated Orange Sky team, consisting of over 1600 volunteers, has delivered over 670,000kgs of washing and provided over 4,200 showers. They have connected communities through over 120,000 hours of genuine non-judgemental conversations with people experiencing homelessness, whom they call friends.

The Compass Institute of Palmwoods is a registered charity born from CEO David Dangerfield's vision to assist young adults with a disability, experience a productive and fulfilling working life. The organisation employs 60 specialist staff, plus volunteers who provide support to over 140 trainees. In 2003 a leading edge day program for young people with disabilities was opened, changing the philosophy of passive recreation to a pathway of lifelong learning, skills based training and vocational opportunities.

Townsville Region Used Disability Equipment of Rosslea was founded Forest Lake in 2016 after coming home from hospital after spinal cord rehabilitation and told to wait until funding came through for equipment. Knowing that others were facing the same issue, he decided to do something about it! He finds Ads posted in buy, swap and sell groups, then contacts the sellers to join his group. His unified group for 2nd hand medical equipment has over 1,100 members.

Lighthouse Care of Loganholme delivers 45,000, $25 food trolleys to struggling families across South East Queensland each year, with thousands being donated freely. The not-for-profit organisation has a dedicated team of over 100 staff and volunteers. The majority of Lighthouse’s work is self-funded through occasional fundraisers and a low cost grocery store. Lighthouse Care is dedicated to creating a place of hope, support and encouragement for vulnerable families in need.