Queensland Community Achievement Awards

Current Finalists:

2017 Finalists

Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award
• Phoebe Jay Foster-Griffith of Bargara is a country singer. She launched her debut EP 'Higher Than This Day' after the successful release of “14 cents at the gate” in support of the Dairy Farmers crisis. She is currently raising money for a young Para Athlete to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. Phoebe is the 2017 Independent Country Music Awards, Most Popular Independent Australian New Talent.

 Dale Mansfield of Robina is passionate about helping sick children. She has volunteered 30-60 hours per week since 2010 and has helped organise 150 events, which raised around $800,000 for charities. She became a full-time volunteer for TLC for Kids in 2015. She won the 2017 International Women’s Day Award for Leadership in the Community and has been nominated in the 2017 Women in Business Award.

• Reverend Jonathan Brook of Bundall is the Director of Mission and Ministry at St Johns Crisis Centre, a volunteer organisation providing care for the homeless. St Johns provides services such as short-term needs including food and shelter, to long-term administrative needs like Centrelink support and drug addiction facilities. Jon Brook has been instrumental in the sustainability of this initiative for over four years, coordinating volunteers and sponsors.

• Selena Wool of Capalaba lost three sons and several pregnancies. She created 'Little Lionhearts' to support the pregnancy loss and bereaved community. Selena has fundraised $40,000 to purchase and donate four 'Cuddle Cots', so that families can spend precious time with their babies who have passed away. Selena has also provided 350 memory boxes to bereaved families, filled with nurturing items so parents don’t leave hospital with empty arms.


Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award
• NoosaCare Inc in Tewantin is a not for profit organisation. They have 142 beds over two facilities, employing over 300 staff and 100 volunteers. They offer flexible shifts, have many staff staying for over ten years and have a staff turnover of only 1.8%. Staff are encouraged to bring their children and pets to interact with residents. Their staff attend charity days, wellness programs and monthly recognition programs.

• ECCQ – Berlasco Court Caring Centre in Brisbane is a not for profit 60 bed, high care residential facility with 82 employees. Recruitment focuses on “attitude rather than skill or experience”, with ongoing education and training provided. They have low staff turnover and long term staff tenure. Staff have flexible rosters, bring children to work when necessary, and have access to an Employee Assistance Program and English lessons.

• Kaloma Home for the Aged in Goondiwindi is an 80-bed not for profit facility. Their 125 staff range from 16 to 75 years and are provided with competitive wages and family friendly rosters. Staff with children over eight can bring them to work. Local unskilled people are provided with on-the- job training and complete a trade qualification. Kaloma provides on-site training and an annual $2,000 education scholarship grant.

• RangeCare in Flaxton is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1986, providing comprehensive in-home, respite and social support services. RangeCare offers flexible work conditions for its 90 employees and 170 volunteers and has implemented a client management system to increase efficiencies. Their Employee Assistance Program provides access to a professional psychologist. They have regular staff training and online learning modules keep staff up to date with procedures.


Access Community Services Cultural Diversity Award
• Dalby Welcoming Community Inc was formed in 2008. They initiated the annual Dalby’s Delicious & DeLIGHtful Festival, a multicultural festival with food, entertainment and a spectacular lantern parade. Now Dalby’s signature event, it attracts 7,500 people with 20 local cultural groups performing. The committee produces a free monthly newspaper, runs “G’day Day”, provides Conversations in English groups and negotiated to hold a Citizenship Ceremony at the festival.

• Graduate Women QLD Sunshine Coast Branch, Dalby was founded in 2004. They have demonstrated leadership in promoting cultural diversity and acceptance with their Refugee Education Program. They provide two week intensive English courses, bursaries to assist students with school fees and private group swimming lessons for Islamic female students. They have raised $3,500 for swimming lessons, $12,000 for bursaries and $1,800 for English dictionaries.

• Darling Heights State School is a culturally diverse school with 325 students having language backgrounds other than English. They have employed a community engagement officer to provide programs such as small courses for new Australian parents, friendship, play group and language groups. The school works with refugee and migrant organisations to enable them to understand each group’s cultural requirements to ensure the success of their projects.


University of Southern Queensland Teaching Excellence Award
• Kathy Lavery-Wilson is a teacher at Oxley State School and the internal coach for Positive Behaviour for Learning. The program aims to decrease reactive management, maximise academic achievement and improve support for students with extreme behaviours. Kathy has collaborated with colleagues to design matrixes and rubrics to improve student’s assessment outcomes, and to refine the reading program. She mentors beginning teachers and models good teaching practice.

• Michelle Gray is the Japanese teacher at Robina State High School. She creates a strong culture around language learning and developing globally minded students. She invites visiting Japanese school students for genuine Japanese conversation, runs a weekly Japanese style cram school and facilitates extensive student participation in the annual Japanese Speech Competition. Michelle organises and accompanies a student team to Japan each year for the Parliamentary Debate World Congress.

• Morgan Stebbings is a Philosophy and Chemistry teacher at Cavendish Road State High School. She has written new subjects and organised academies that are pioneering, Australian firsts. Morgan volunteered to walk the 100km Oxfam challenge with her visually impaired student. She runs an after-school Chemistry tutorial and is both a mentor and judge in the Queensland Philosothon. Her passion is reflected in her outstanding student outcomes.

• Zainab Ali is a teacher at Forest Lake State High School. She leads the Academic Signature Program and the Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow program. Zainab was responsible for setting up the ‘Innovate’ course where students experience robotics; forensics; chemical sciences; 3D printing; graphics; drones; media and project based learning. One of the school's signature programs; ‘Innovate’ sees emerging technologies, global events, real life situations and has a futures oriented outlook.


Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award
 Bugs for Bugs of Mundubbera has over 35 years’ experience providing crop monitoring services and assisting growers with integrated pest management. They currently produce over 10 species of natural enemies, to help manage pest problems such as scale and mealybug. They operate over 50 climate controlled rooms and use 250 tonnes of butternut squash and 24 tonnes of wheat per year for their beneficial insect production.

• Professor Andre Drenth of Bellbowrie has researched innovative solutions to reduce disease losses in tree crops in horticulture and forestry. His research on husk spot disease on macadamias, and Freckle and Panama wilt TR4 on exotic bananas, has led to a successful eradication campaign for Freckle and a containment campaign for Panama wilt TR4. A national screening program is reducing the impact on the environment and human health.

• Hive Haven in Beerburrum are delivering a solution to the global decline in food crop pollination. Founders, Ann and Jeff Ross have designed an innovative stingless native bee hive box. It combats hive overheating and enables efficient and sustainable harvesting of food grade native honey, with minimum disturbance to the bees. Made on the Sunshine Coast, their native bee hive assembly and native bee honey have export potential.


Pullenvale Ward Outstanding Achievement Award
• Moggill Creek Catchment Group in Brookfield covers over 57 square kilometres and was established in 1997. They have 500 members and are run entirely by volunteers. The group aims to retain and restore local native biodiversity and health of the catchment watercourses. They run annual events like the Photography Competition and ‘Kid’s Day at the Cottage’ to engage and educate the community about the environment.

• Jilanna Craig of Kenmore is the Chaplain at Kenmore South State School, where she goes above and beyond because she cares for the children and their families. Jilanna has organised a weekly space for parents to meet together to prevent isolation, and provides a craft activities group for children struggling to make friends. Jilanna is passionate about connecting and supporting families through challenging times, illness or bereavement.

• eWaste Connection Ltd in Chapel Hill was founded by the family of a special needs boy who has a love for disassembling all things electrical. Ewaste Connection provides meaningful engagement to young adults with a disability preventing them from obtaining regular work. This social enterprise creates opportunities, skills and friendship through recycling.
Their 45 participants and 21 volunteers refurbish computers and recycle 1.5 tonnes of electrical waste every month.


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award
• Paws & Relax in Eagle Farm was established in 2014, providing off leash doggy day care, training and grooming. Paws & Relax understand their client’s needs and provide exceptional customer service. They provide their clients with a WOW experience, which has gained them a 5 star review rating on Facebook and Google. They are the only doggy day care recognised as an official RSPCA Corporate Supporter.

• Round Table Coffee in Bracken Ridge is owned by Jeremy and Allie Jucha, where quality coffee is served with unrushed courtesy. They provide special chairs for elderly diners, children’s activities and colouring competitions. 50% of sales from their huge shelf of books is donated to local schools. Jeremy and Allie have hosted coffee making classes for Jabiru Community College students and sponsor the local netball team.

• Joanna Bender of Chinchilla is the Manager of Chinchilla Cinema, a single-screen independent cinema and the Chinchilla Cultural Centre. Commencing as a projectionist and Office Box attendant she was promoted to Manager in 2012. Since becoming manager, Joanna has achieved consistent attendance growth with a record-breaking year in 2015. Joanna created an online presence which has increases bookings and awareness for the venue for corporate and private hires.


Awards Australia Community Group of the Year Award
• United Synergies Get Set for Work Program in Maroochydore is an employment training program designed to assist 15-19 year olds who were disengaged learners. 150 young people have so far benefited from the program and an extremely high number of participants have reengaged back into school, training and/or employment. 77% of them completed a Certificate II qualification in Employment & Vocational Pathways.

 Burdekin Men’s Shed Association Inc actively builds partnerships with both government and non-government agencies and local community organisations. The Shed has 62 financial members and addresses men’s health issues such as physical, emotional, isolation, loneliness and depression. The role of the shed is to promote various activities that focus on recreation, skill-building, and community projects that improve the health and wellbeing of men in the Burdekin Community.

• Lighthouse Care in Loganholme is an organisation providing for the most vulnerable in their community with food, support and encouragement. With 25 dedicated staff and 50 volunteers, Lighthouse Care assists over 1,000 families each week. 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 and encouragement for families in need.

• Umbrella Network Rockhampton was formed in 2012. A non-profit organisation, it supports families who have special needs children. Families are provided with tools to access therapy, interventions, medical and educational assistance. The Network is volunteer run, many of whom have a disability. Disability Yard Care is a lawn mowing and maintenance service provided by young adults with a disability, empowering them with life and teamwork skills.