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.


 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.



2019 Finalists

Queensland Government Small Business Achievement Award


Phoenix Security Services of Mount Isa cares about community safety. Phoenix Security is a small Indigenous-owned security firm who has gone from securing private homes and small businesses to taking in a major client, Prosegur. This led to their expansion into the armour guard armed services area. Phoenix employs locals and those overlooked in the job market, including older workers and women. Workers undergo training in security and customer service. Other services they offer are cash-in-transit, event security, personal protection, property protection, and soon, short-term storage of highly valuable items. They won the 2018 Mount Isa City Council Chamber of Commerce Indigenous Business of the Year award.


Strait Support of Erub provides sustainable employment and training opportunities for Indigenous jobseekers. Strait Support is a 100% Indigenous-owned, licenced labour hire, plant hire, fencing and building maintenance provider. With offices in Cairns, Thursday Island and Darnley Island, they provide support to construction projects in the Far North region. After completing his schooling and developing his professional skills on the mainland, owner Shane Lui was determined to build a business that was owned by a Torres Strait Islander, employing Torres Strait Islanders. Strait Support collaborates with principal contractors for a structured pathway to employment success whilst assisting businesses to achieve compliance for Indigenous employment criteria.


Tambo Teddies of Tambo has a passion for promoting the Outback. For 26 years, Tambo Teddies has been creating Australian hand-made teddy bears from natural woollen sheep skin. The business grew from a 1992 government initiative to identify new opportunities to stimulate the economy of towns amid severe drought and the crash of the wool industry. Tammy Johnson and Alison Shaw purchased the business when its remaining director decided to retire. They now have 14 staff and recently started employing refugees. A Woolmark licensee, they are a member of the Outback Queensland Tourism Association and have been recognised as a Best of Queensland Experience.


Thom & Ann's Restaurant Deli of Yarrabilba takes pride in using local produce. Thom & Ann’s is a 50-seater fully licensed restaurant that offers healthy food six days a week for breakfast, lunch and larger functions. The menu changes seasonally to showcase fresh produce and local deli products. The Restaurant currently employs 10 staff and makes all meals and cakes on site. Thom & Ann’s endeavours to work with local businesses to provide a sense of community whilst keeping costs down. The Restaurant won the 2018 Logan Business Distinction Award for Restaurant and Caters and was state finalist in the Queensland Training Awards, Small Employer of the Year category.



Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award


NewDirection Care Bellmere has created a culture of trust and openness for employees. NewDirection Care is the world’s first residential aged care ‘microtown’ community, with six streets and 17 homes with seven people per home. Residents can socialise, pursue hobbies and continue to live the lives they lived before. The 134 employees include House Companions who provide assistance with daily activities. Apart from flexible work hours, staff enjoy a rewarding work environment and opportunities to learn new skills and progress their careers. Employees can call the management with their ideas and inputs and the “Employee Recognition Day” aims to provide wellness and de-stressing options.


CentacareCQ of Rockhampton places importance on employees’ values and attitude. CentacareCQ is the official Catholic social service agency for the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton, serving people of all religion, race, age and economic circumstance. It’s 293 staff provide family relationship support and community care services, with 69% providing aged care. CentacareCQ undertook a support worker availability project to allow workers to schedule working hours around their responsibilities. They provide competency-based training and career progression opportunities. They provide a guide and toolkit to support good mental wellbeing, along with an Employee Assistance Program. An Identity and Employee Engagement team develops a personalised professional development plan.


Peninsula Palms Retirement Village of Rothwell gives emphasis on staff education, training and motivation. Administered by the Mueller Community Church, the Peninsula Palms Retirement Village is a not-for-profit organisation which consists of 103 independent living units and a three-storey 65-bed aged care facility. They have 97 staff who care for over 200 residents. Staff members enjoy flexible rosters and can place their availability into a software program, allowing them study time for diplomas or degrees. Employees go to external education opportunities and conferences. The organisation subscribes to the education site, “Nurses for Nurse,” which helps ensure best practices and a trained councillor is available free of charge.


Woombye Care recognises the essence of work-life balance. They are a not-for-profit, non-denominational residential aged care facility whose founding purpose was to provide quality care to those with only their pension as their income. Caring for those who are severely marginalised, Woombye Care currently has 55 funded beds and 11 beds across two adjoining properties for the middle aged to elderly. Its 63 local employees enjoy additional education opportunities such as funded Diploma and Bachelor studies. Staff attend extra training provided by the facility to ensure their knowledge is up-to-date. Their permanent fortnightly roster allows them to see in advance when they are working.



Synaco Safety Award


Komatsu Mining Corp. of Rockhampton has a goal of “Zero Harm” to its workforce. KMC is a service centre that houses an Electronics Centre of Excellence principally for building, servicing and repair of Joy Underground Mining Equipment. KMC electronics technicians Daniel Visser and Robert Mackenzie identified through a risk assessment process, a hazard that presented a potential risk of contacting live 400-volt electrical components whilst testing Variable Frequency Drive circuit boards. This led to the technicians designing and developing a purpose-built test cabinet that included electrical interlocks, fail-safe mechanisms and customised software to prevent access to the live electrical components until all residual power is dissipated.


Troy Matthews of Maroochydore recognises the duty of care. As Workplace Health and Safety Manager of Vantage Holdings Australia, Troy ensures the health and safety of employees and contractors and helps the company comply with requirements of applicable state or federal legislation, industry standards and codes of practice. Troy undertook a complete re-write and rollout of an AS4801 accredited Work Health & Safety Management System. His Behavioural Observation Initiative provides an opportunity to interact with Subcontractors, Suppliers and Consultants to identify safe and at-risk behaviours during daily operations. For over 12 years, there have been no severe injuries in any of his projects.


Frucor Suntory of Carole Park is dedicated to workplace health and safety. Frucor Suntory is an Australasian drinks company that is part of the Japanese mother company, Suntory. They have 40,000 employees globally and nearly 1,000 workers in Australia. Frucor has gone from having workplace related incidents to being Lost Time Injury-free for nearly eight years. They achieved their zero-harm policy by implementing several different controls such as daily warm-ups, ensuring normal safety guidelines, Collision Awareness Sensors and Lights and a visual for High Risk work. They engage their staff in all safety conversations and take a collaborative approach to make safety part of their day.


Tristan Casey of Mansfield has collaborated with academia, government and industry, to develop the LEAD model of safety leadership, now applied across Queensland’s industry with demonstrable improvements in safety performance. He developed a toolkit consisting of workforce training, a short and automated safety survey tool, a management workshop and additional guidance materials. In the first phase, 80 organisations trialled the toolkit. Tristan implemented training sessions and worked with organisations for 12 months to develop action plans. He hosted an industry conference in collaboration with Safety Leadership at Work for 640 attendees. Nearly 100 organisations currently benefit from the LEAD model of safety leadership initiative.



Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award


Emma Montgomery of Talwood overcame personal adversity to lead her rural community. For four years, Emma has been President of the glamorous bush charity event Weengallon Pink Ladies Day, which attracts hundreds of women to the middle of nowhere for a luscious day of shopping, lunch, laughter and inspiration. In 2016, Emma was diagnosed with breast cancer, but with support of her girlfriends and family, she determinedly continued in her role. Weengallon Pink Ladies Day raises funds for cancer charities and the Breast and Prostate Cancer Association of Australia. Through Emma’s lobbying there are now Breast Care Nurses in St George and Goondiwindi.


Dr Claire Jones of Arana Hills was formally a specialist veterinarian in South Africa and migrated to Australia in 1998, and completed her Masters of International Public Health in 2012, Claire founded the charity, "Australian Refugee and Migrant Care Services," to address the health inequality experienced by refugees. She provides health care coordination, advocacy, education and social support to refugees suffering unnecessary illness and poverty in Brisbane. Claire was awarded the 2017 National Hesta Primary Health Care Individual Distinction Award. In 2018, she presented a TEDx talk at the University of Queensland, describing the unique model she developed to bridge the refugee health gap in Australia.


Prerna Pahwa of Runcorn founded an all women-led eco-friendly Indian restaurant called Poppin Papadums. Through this enterprise, she aims to encourage and empower women to work towards their dream. She started the ‘Help Ujwal Campaign’ in 2015 for an international student diagnosed with Leukemia, raising $88,000 and founded Simply Human Inc. – Superheroes without Capes to help raise cancer awareness. Prerna has worked selflessly and voluntarily for innumerable community events and charities for almost a decade contributing to over 7,300 hours. She was the first Australian of Indian Origin to receive the prestigious Lord Mayor's Australia Day ‘Achievement’ Award in recognition for her community service.


Nikki A Creber of Marcus Beach is mission-fuelled and purpose-driven. Having Parkinson’s disease herself, she coordinates the Tewantin Noosa Parkinson’s Support Group in areas covering Cooroy to Cooloola. Believing that movement is a key ingredient in maintaining a great quality of life, Nikki established a WrapAround Team which provides beneficial activities such as boxing, exercise, singing, speech therapy and dance. As Coordinator of the Tewantin Noosa Parkinson’s Support Group, Nikki led a campaign to gain a dedicated Parkinson’s Support Nurse for the Sunshine Coast area and continues to campaign for a further two nurses. She connects with media, individuals, business, the local Mayor and State Members.



Pullenvale Ward Outstanding Achievement Award


Pullenvale Progress Association was founded in 2014, by several women joining forces to keep the Hall from falling into despair and to provide a safe space to meet and play. They are an incorporated association consisting of volunteer members that run and maintain the Pullenvale Hall. Pullenvale Progress Association believes that having a communal meeting place is a crucial part of maintaining strong community connections. They receive no regular outside assistance and are reliant on hall hire, fundraising and grants. The Hall provides a space to support tradition, local businesses and connect families. Future plans include improved bathroom facilities and better disabled access.


Dot Dalglish of Brookfield is dedicated to empowering girls and young women. Dot was first invited to assist the Kenmore Girl Guides by her friend and district Girl Guide Commissioner Beris Tune in 1981. She became unit helper and then a volunteer, until she became a full-fledged Girl Guide Leader. Thirty-eight years later, Dot has undertaken several roles including hosting thousands of evening meetings and organising and running countless camps locally and abroad. Thousands of families have benefitted from her selfless contributions to the Kenmore area community. Dot is now District Manager and works on behind-the-scene activities that keep the organisation running smoothly.


Stuart Stoddart of Brisbane has a passion for helping build a better and stronger community. Stuart is member and President-elect for Kenmore Rotary where he is involved in ongoing local community activities. His initiative the Container Recycle Initiative, is a sustainable, monthly collection program that collects containers which benefits several non-profits. Another initiative, the Rotary Community Awards program, gives grants to community not-for-profit organisations. Stuart is also a volunteer telephone crisis worker and has provided hundreds of hours and maintained professional certification requirements to provide this service. Stuart is a qualified counsellor, having switched from business/IT to human sciences and community services.



Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award


Meg Kummerow of Bongeen is passionate about agriculture and helping farmers. Meg sells drones to those in agriculture and provides real drone information to help farmers improve their profitability and productivity. She is Executive Officer, Secretary and Independent Director of the Grains Research Foundation Limited and works on capacity building for the younger generation of QLD grain farmers. She organises tours to the United States to look at relevant research to implement on the farm. Meg is also coordinator of the Australian Sunflower Association and a Committee member of the Australian Summer Grains Conference. She is on the board of Partners at Grain QLD.


Jerome Leray of Goondiwindi is developing an ecosystem of agricultural innovation. In 2017, Jerome founded InFarm, an agricultural artificial intelligence company that uses ground, drone, plane or satellite images to detect weeds. This drone-to-tractor platform helps save farmers up to 95% in chemical usage and turns farmers’ existing tractors into weed targeting machines. InFarm also offers new employment opportunities to rural Australia. InFarm is the first commercial business in Australia to start a project with Microsoft through the AI for Earth program. They partnered with Dell to bypass the internet and allow near real-time big data and Artificial Intelligence analytics to the farm gate.


Hive Haven of Beerburrum was founded by Jeff and Ann Ross who farm both European honeybees and Australian stingless bees. After losing their bees in 2013 due to heat waves, they developed the Hive Haven V9 native bee box. The bee box is specifically designed to maintain a stable temperature in both hot and cold climatic conditions meaning native bees can now thrive in areas where previously they would have perished. Hive Haven hopes to help farmers produce high value export quality products whilst safeguarding their pollination capacity. Hive Haven have been listed in ‘Top 50 Australian Business Leaders’ by the Australian Small Business Magazine.


Central Highlands Development Corporation based from Emerald supports regional agricultural growth and innovation. They introduced the Central Highlands Accelerate Agribusiness initiative in 2016 to identify the competitive advantages of the region and deliver strategic programs to grow and realise opportunity for agribusinesses. The initiative is delivered in partnership with Central Highlands Regional Council with support from businesses, industry, research institutions and governments. In 2017, CHDC initiated the AgTeCH: Build it, Use it, Profit events now alternating between Emerald and Mungindi each year. This year CHDC and X-Lab launched AgFrontier, the first and only dedicated agtech incubator in Queensland, which provides tailored programs and global connections to regionally-based innovators across the State.



Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award


THE HOUND HUTT of Stafford is making the world a happier place, one dog at a time. Started in 2012, they are Brisbane’s first small dog day care. They offer 100% money back guarantee and enjoy a 98% customer satisfaction rate. They offer free services and products to customers going through a hard time. At one point, they offered free day care for a rescue dog affected by neighbouring domestic violence. The Hound Hutt helped raise money for the Australian Animal Cancer Foundation and received a Queensland Government Community Award. They won Australia’s Best Dog Cay Care 2018 and Most Outstanding Dog Grooming and Care Services 2019.


Blackbird and Finch of Toowoomba fosters a “helping” culture. They are a boutique agency specialising in residential and commercial property management. Owners and managers Simone Files and Rebecca Fogarty understand that everyone’s situation is slightly different and deserves unique, individual attention. At Blackbird and Finch, each property has a tailored management plan and all clients can access their property file 24/7 and new tenants even receive a housewarming gift. Simone and Rebecca are always striving to deliver quality service and stay atop their field by attending business-specific training, conferences and government-initiated workshops. They recently aligned with the local Cancer Council to support fundraising and research.


Heather Goodall of Gympie helped to create a meaningful community for its members. For 20 years, Heather was the Residential Care Manager of Residency by Dillons Tin Can Bay, a small 20-bed aged care facility that adopts the aging in place process and offers full 24-hour nursing care service for residents of the Cooloola Coast and adjoining regions. Heather was in charge, with oversight of all areas of the facility and liaised with local suppliers and groups. Heather and her staff created a community model comprising of residents, staff, volunteers and family members within the larger community to make members feel they belonged.


Aquascene Charters Magnetic Island has a passion to provide “Service with Excellence.” Aquascene Charters is a small family-operated business that offers a range of activities and interactions on Magnetic Island and cater to diverse groups of all ages and abilities. Their mobile-friendly custom designed vessel has a spacious shaded deck area, toilet and easily accessible steps. Guests on-board Aquascene enjoy scenery, interaction with diverse marine environments above and below water and historical facts and stories to connect guests with the Island. Staff members hold a Bronze Medallion Lifesaving Certification, ensuring guest safety and reassurance. Aquascene honours the traditional custodians of Magnetic Island, The Wulgurukaba People.



Awards Australia Community Group of the Year Award


Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Foundation of Fortitude Valley works to lift the cultural pride of students. QATSIF is a charitable trust with the primary task of financially supporting Year 11 and 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to complete their senior studies. Since 2008, the Foundation has supported over 8,700 Indigenous students through its Scholarship program, which provides $1,000 per annum, with funds originally coming from unallocated Stolen Wages. They have supported three of the last four Highest Achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students in Queensland. The Foundation invites inspirational young speakers annually to share their stories in communities from Cairns to Gold Coast.


Hair Aid of Brisbane is changing the world one haircut at a time. Hair Aid is a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides a platform for the hairdressing industry to give back through donating time and resources to help communities improve their standard of living by developing skills. They do two things. One, they provide haircutting training for people living in critical poverty in the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand. Two, they provide community haircust for those in poverty or crisis communities in Australia and the UK. Hair Aid seeks local hair stylists wanting to give back through volunteering by teaching people how to cut hair.


Substation33 of Kingston has a passion for helping the disadvantaged. A social enterprise of Youth and Family Services, Substation33 is an electronic waste recycling centre. For the past six years, they been helping Logan residents who are disadvantaged, vulnerable or want to improve their circumstances, to gain practical work experience by upcycling and diverting e-waste from landfill. About 600 people have recycled 200 tonnes of e-waste at Substation33 and one in six has been assisted to find employment. They hope to continue working with the local community and councils to innovate flooded road smart warning signs, electric ‘e-bikes’ and 3D printers built from e-waste.


Outback Futures of Toowong hopes to help rural Australians find their collective voice. Established in 2013, Outback Futures applies a long-term, strategic approach to facilitating intergenerational change in suicide prevention and mental health outcomes for remote communities. The Outback Futures Community Facilitation Model was developed organically in the bush, underpinned by a critical emphasis on genuine community engagement and trusted relationships. It has overcome the challenges of distance and isolation through careful combination of mobile, face-to-face multi-disciplinary clinics and reliable and regular therapy interventions via telehealth. Outback Futures comprises 35 people in six sub-teams, ultimately hoping to renew hope, build resilience and strengthen communities.



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.



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.

2016 Finalists

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

Blackall Range Care Group of Montville is a not-for-profit charitable association providing care for the aged and those with a disability. With 90 staff members and 160 volunteers, the Blackall Range Care Group take pride in providing the highest quality standards of care. They run “The Cottage” day centre where people socialise, play games and watch musical and theatre performances. The Group actively fundraise to contribute to their specialist activities, such as the operation of the Caloundra Hinterland Meals on Wheels program.

Kaloma Home for the Aged of Goondiwindi is a not-for-profit facility, employing 82 local staff for the 50 permanent residents. Staff additionally provide 25 home care packages to assist older people remain in their homes. Kaloma is committed to providing training and professional development and have introduced an annual $2,000 education grant for staff. Kaloma consistently achieves three year accreditation status across residential and home care programs, and is soon to expand to 80 beds due to the increasing demand for their services.

Killarney Memorial Aged Care is a not-for-profit, community based organisation providing diverse health and aged care services for the past 50 years. Killarney offers residential aged care, lifestyle enhancement programs and in-home services such as gardening, laundry, cleaning and a community transport scheme. Killarney is actively involved with fundraising initiatives, such as their annual “Bonfire Night”, which is sponsored by several local community groups. Killarney employs 60 staff, and offers formal training in numerous aspects of aged care, providing staff with many professional development opportunities.

NoosaCare of Tewantin is not-for-profit and community owned. They have 195 beds, two facilities, 300 staff and 100 volunteers. They have implemented an employee recognition program and a staff wellness program with yoga classes and confidential counselling. Leaders in dementia, in 2012, NoosaCare opened their award winning 32 bed Memory support unit, incorporating global dementia research. Pioneers in Maggie Beer's inspired change of food provided in Aged Care, meals are cooked from local seasonal produce and from herbs sourced from their own edible gardens.

ATEC Rail Group (ARG) Innovation and Leadership Award

integratedliving Australia of Rockhampton is a community based organisation supporting older people and young people with disabilities and their carers. For 15 years they have delivered a range of health management and community living services. Due to the low life expectancy and high levels of diet-related mortality in the older Indigenous population, integratedliving launched an innovative Indigenous meal range program in 2015. The “Staying Healthy Eating Well” program was designed to provide healthy meal options and promote intergenerational activities such as food gathering and cooking classes.

Kristy Sparrow of Alpha has dedicated the past two years to BIRRR, Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia, as a result experiencing problems with internet connection, speed and cost. Kristy was instrumental in successfully lobbying Telstra to provide unmetered internet service for education sites and conduct a nationwide survey on bush internet access. The BIRRR Facebook has 7,000 members, and the website provides troubleshooting for internet issues. Kristy contributes over 50 voluntary hours each week and has personally assisted 1,000 members with troubleshooting.

Startup and Innovation Tablelands of Atherton was established to support the entrepreneurial and innovative activities in the Tablelands. They developed teaching workshops and provide educational presentations to students and businesses. Their trainees graduate with coaching and consulting skills and real life experience of creating and developing a startup. The initiative has grown from a $7,000 budget to $50,000 and was selected to host the first Australian Future Agro Challenge. Startup Tablelands won the prestigious 2015 Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia Challenge Award.

MOA Benchmarking Community Service in Aged Care Award

Rebecca Heitzman of Goondiwindi has held the role of Lifestyle Officer at Kaloma Home for the Aged since 2014 and has gained the respect of residents, family and staff alike. She supports the residents and provides them with tasks instilling a sense of purpose. Rebecca displays compassion and respect for the residents and regularly goes above and beyond to ensure they have a quality experience at Kaloma. Rebecca was the 2014 Rotary Pride of Workmanship Award winner and is committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of the elderly.

Sandra Gilbert of Doonan is the Group Care Manager of NoosaCare, overseeing 215 residents and 237 care staff. Sandra’s passion for dementia care is responsible for the creation of a dementia specific 32 bed unit. She took over management of the kitchen, sourcing new staff and local produce to provide fresh, tasty meals reducing resident’s complaints to zero. Last year Sandra presented at six conferences on dementia and improving food in aged care. Sandra was awarded 2014 NIMAC Nurse Manager of the Year for her work in dementia care.

Skye Brisotto of Yangan has been an employee at Killarney Memorial Aged care for five years, starting as a personal care worker before becoming Lifestyle Co-ordinator. Skye organises activities to support independence, improve motor and social skills and has seen several withdrawn residents develop friendships. She holds regular resident meetings to explore concerns or ideas, and to choose which nutritious meals they would like. Skye is passionate about improving the resident’s quality of life and they in turn value her care and compassion.

Gladstone Printing Services Trade and Career Achievement Award

Bronwyn Reid of Emerald is the founding director of 4T Consultants and Agrisoft Systems. In 2013, Bronwyn started her third company, ‘Mining for Business’ to help small regional business owners achieve growth by securing contracts with large organisations. Bronwyn holds a Diploma in Science, a Bachelor of Business and an MBA. She is actively involved in the Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies, and Women into Science and Technology programs at CQ University. Bronwyn is also a member of the Steering Committee with the Bowen Basin Business Development Initiative.

Farmer and Sun of Gympie is a family owned local marketplace, established in 2012 by owners Steve and Trena. They now have a gourmet organic café, 1,000 products and support 70 local farmers who supply them with produce. Farmer and Sun implement sustainable practices using biodegradable products and encourage customers to bring re-usable bags. They received the 2015 Gympie Chamber of Commerce New Business of the Year Award. Steve and Trena have plans to include a local butcher and a room for natural therapies.

Hive Haven of Beerburrum have a passion for bees, the environment and sustainable agricultural and urban practices. They specialise in stingless native bee honey and European bee honey, harvested on organic farms and native bushland. Owners Ann and Jeff developed Hive Haven Bee Boxes, which are the first of its kind to be manufactured in Australia and have won several awards. They created a campaign to increase awareness of bee health and have implemented hives at Australia Zoo and are developing an educational package for schools.

Kate Johnson of Chinchilla is the Indigenous Coordinator at Chinchilla State High School. Targeting low attendance and retention rates, Kate implemented a culture of improvement for Indigenous students. Her commitment often sees her doing school drop-offs and pick-ups, speaking to parents late at night, and taking students to doctors’ appointments in Toowoomba. Kate’s efforts have benefited Indigenous students and their families, with more students staying to graduate year 12 and a 100% success rate for Indigenous students achieving QCE’s. Kate has also been pivotal in changing people’s negative perceptions.

Prime Super Community Group of the Year Award

Aussie Helpers of Charleville founded by Brian and Nerida 14 years ago, is a volunteer run organisation that assists farming families in need. Last year, 1,000 farming families were visited. Volunteers travelled 500,000 kilometres and 150 road trains of essential hay, food and toys were delivered. Aussie Helpers launched a 24/7 online psychology program and will fly a qualified psychologist directly to properties at no cost if needed. Brian has received an Australian of the Year Award in 2014 and 2015.

PCYC Dalby Braking the Cycle program addresses the correlation between unemployment and unlicensed young people. It is aimed at disengaged youth and those who don’t have access to a car, or family support. Passionate mentors provide coaching skills and a safe environment allowing participants to complete the mandatory 100 hours of supervised driving. In three years, volunteers have contributed almost 2,000 hours supervised driving and mentoring sessions. To date, 200 young people now have a provisional license, and 70% have gained employment or returned to further education.

Quota International of Toowoomba established the Quota, Cops and Kids All Together (QuoCKA) program in 2012 to improve the literacy of young migrant students. With funds raised from raffles and charity functions, Quota purchases a book for each child and donates an additional book to the school library. The program consists of weekly reading sessions between students, police officers and volunteers to encourage and improve reading, comprehension and language skills. Now with 16 volunteers, the reading program has been implemented in five primary schools.

The Umbrella Network of Rockhampton is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in 2012 with the purpose of assisting and supporting families with special needs children. They have helped approximately 600 families by providing guidance and the resources to seek professionals. The Umbrella Network provides a venue for 300 families each month to participate in social groups, parent connect programs, playgroups and events. Their successful “Disability Yard Care” project provides young adults with a disability with the skills and support to gain employment and contribute to their community.


Access Community Services Cultural Diversity Award

Cairns and Region Multicultural Association Inc. work closely in partnership with James Cook University, CQU and service providers promoting cultural awareness and leadership training. CARMA coordinates and supports many multicultural activities including the Tropical Waves Multicultural Festival and Harmony Day. Their International Women's Day event attracted 200 ladies from diverse groups and businesses in the Cairns region. CARMA coordinates Youth Programs and runs several youth groups. The Management team were presented with a “Local Multicultural Champion” certificate in the Queensland Multicultural Awards.

Cairns Bhutanese Community resettled in Cairns in 2008 and have since participated in many multicultural events and organised their own Cairns Bhutanese Day Festival. The Festival showcases their cultural music, food and fashion to the wider community. They have been successful in connecting youth of other cultures and supporting them to learn cultural music and dances. The members’ commitment to promote multiculturalism and diversity in the community has been recognised by the Cairns Regional Council for promoting tolerance, acceptance and self-esteem.

Capricorn Coast Multicultural Group of Yeppoon encourages diverse groups to share their culture, customs, craft and dances through class demonstrations in primary schools. These demonstrations allow students who have newly arrived to Australia to feel welcome and settle into their new community. Organiser, Nini Sielaff, has been a driving force in promoting multiculturalism in the Livingstone Shire for nearly three decades. Nini and the Capricorn Coast Multicultural Group continues to integrate newcomers in the local community through sharing cultural traditions and activities.

Zita Stark of Chinchilla is the group leader of ‘Conversations in English’, a migrant support program. Aided by volunteers, the program provides a chance to share cultures, strengthen English skills and learn the Australian way of life. Migrants develop self-confidence and gain friendships, enabling a smooth transition into their new community. Zita was influential in developing CinE into a successful regional program, with groups in Dalby, Miles and Tara. Zita’s dedication to integrating multiculturalism in Chinchilla has contributed to the positive approach the community holds.

University of Southern Queensland Educational Innovation Award

Bowen Basin Business Development Initiative is a collaboration between government, small business, business groups and economic bodies. The collaboration provides a strategic and structured approach to regional business development and learning through the sharing of resources and capabilities. The Initiative was officially launched in 2015 "To support business communities within the Bowen Basin to remain resilient and sustainable through the effective co-ordination of business development activities". The innovative concept enabled organisations to work together to maximise resources. Small businesses in regional Queensland are the beneficiaries.

Emerging Entrepreneurs of Cairns is a plug and play high school program teaching entrepreneurship and innovative thinking. Launched in 2015 with a pilot to nine regional students, the program has expanded to 10 schools. In the 10-week “Emerging Entrepreneurs Program” students learn about entrepreneurial mindset, effective idea screening and learning from failure. They develop a 30-minute business plan, cost every idea and ensure that their product meets market needs. The goal is simple… to support students in the creation of one million new innovative Australian businesses.

The Increasing Activity & Intelligent Minds Team of Dalby is a joint partnership project to help schools in the Darling Downs South West Region to get students to move more, sit less, engage well and achieve high. 70 schools have become iAIM Action Schools, with 67% of students increasing their physical activity levels by up to 200 minutes a week. 20 teachers have lead action research projects using physical activity to address school needs and achieve positive student outcomes.

Australia Pacific LNG Regional Service Award

Drought Angels of Chinchilla was founded in 2014 by Nicki Stansbi and Tash Johnston to assist drought affected Queensland farmers. They started with a ute, a trailer and $360 when they did their first drought run. They now fill several road trains and have helped hundreds of farmers. All support is voluntary and Drought Angels source funding and community support to provide financial assistance such as prepaid visas, stock feed and food hampers. Mental health issues and suicides are addressed by engaging health care professionals on their drought runs.

Raelene Ensby of Rockhampton formed The Umbrella Network in 2012. The non-profit organisation’s aim is to assist and support families who have young children with special needs. The Umbrella Network provides support groups with workshops on parenting, nutrition, behaviour, autism and specialist visiting, and medical services are arranged. Raelene coordinates community raffles, BBQ’s and fund raising using volunteer support. Social groups and fun events are also provided for children and parents. Raelene has successfully arranged free airport car parking for Families travelling to appointments in Brisbane.

Robbie Radel of Biggenden has volunteered with the Apex Club for over 21 years and is also a member of the Rural Fire Brigade, Swim Club, Little Athletics and rural farming groups. Robbie was instrumental in reviving the town’s annual Christmas Fair. He was awarded the Australia Day Citizen of the Year in 2016 and has recently been elected to local government. Robbie has joined with fellow farmers to develop the possibility of bringing irrigation water to Coalstoun Lakes. This project would inject $10 million annually and create 200 local jobs.

Sailability Sunshine Coast Queensland was established 17 years ago at Mooloolaba to provide a "Freedom on the Water" experience for Queenslanders with disabilities. The "Not for Profit" organisation is staffed completely by volunteers who provide a sailing experience specifically tailored for each disabled person's individual needs. Sailability volunteers pay for their own expenses for things such as "Blue Card" compliance and First Aid certificates to meet required legal and insurance requirements. Sailability develops relationships with teachers, parents and carers to provide the best support to clients.

2015 Finalists

Access Community Services Cultural Diversity Award

Bernd Brauer of Runaway Bay, is the founding President of the Gold Coast Multicultural Festival which last year attracted 52,000 people. It features four stages of entertainment, craft stalls and more than 60 international food stalls from 35 different nations. In its 8th year, Bernd now organises an entire week of cultural activities and mini-events leading up to the Festival. Each year a team of volunteers support Bernd to run the event smoothly. Profits from the Festival are used to support charitable programs for disadvantaged children within the region

Gladstone Regional Council of Gladstone, is promoting a holistic approach to managing cultural diversity with the implementation of the 2014-2019 Gladstone Region Cultural Diversity Frameworks. New policies aim to help overcome the difficulties skilled migrants face in accessing government-funded services and assist them with barriers of language, culture and local knowledge. Initiatives delivered by the Gladstone Region Interfaith Portfolio include the Gladstone Region Social Incubation Hub and the Annual Multicultural Week and Festival Day. A Welcome-Settlement-Integration Model has also been introduced to welcome, settle and integrate migrant newcomers to the region

Kim Warmsley of Toowoomba, uses the power of Art to demonstrate inclusiveness and to celebrate diversity. Showcasing Aboriginal heritage, Kim shares her artistic talent working tirelessly with youth groups, women’s business networks, schools, religious organisations and museums. She has collaborated with several primary schools creating large symbolic puzzles for their playgrounds. Kim is currently managing an Art Gallery showcasing local artists work and is involved in two exhibitions with her own work. She was the Toowoomba delegate in 2014 and 2015 at the Vesak Conference in Paris, and spoke about ‘Peace and Diversity’

On the Same Wave of West Burleigh, is an initiative launched in 2010 by Surf Life Saving Queensland and the Queensland Government. In response to a number of beach-related incidents, the program focuses on educating Queensland’s multicultural communities about beach safety. With an emphasis on inclusiveness and diversity, six surf lifesavers from Iran, Iraq, South Korea and Argentina have been trained so far. The program has been translated into more than 20 languages and each year directly reaches more that 50,000 people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

Australia Pacific LNG Regional Service Award

Bernd Brauer of Runaway Bay, established his charitable organisation ‘New Beginnings’ in 1999, providing Prevention and Early Intervention programs for disadvantaged youth. Workshops and camps are focused on prevention of bullying and anti-social behaviour whilst promoting self-esteem and teaching leadership skills. Disadvantaged and at-risk young people are identified and referred to Bernd’s program by schools, refugee and indigenous organisations. The program now covers all of Queensland and reaches over 4,000 participants. In 2013, “New Beginnings” received a community service award from the Queensland Minister for Police & Emergency Services

Margaret Shaw of Airlie Beach, has led the way in the plight of North Queenslanders to get fair and affordable insurance premiums. As a result of her tireless, unpaid work for the Federal Northern Australian Insurance Taskforce, Margaret receives over 100 emails a week from those affected. With premiums having increased between 200% and 800%, Margaret has constantly lobbied Federal and State members for action. She has been successful in obtaining a Federal Cross Party Inquiry and for over 14 million dollars to be assigned to the issue in the Federal Budget

Rotary Readers of Bundaberg, is an intergenerational program that has been running for the last 10 years in Bundaberg schools offering valuable tuition to struggling readers. More than 200 tutors provide in excess of 16,000 volunteer hours annually to primary school students, achieving immense improvements in literacy. Recruited by the Bundaberg East Rotary Club, many tutors are retirees. The students enjoy the contact with older people who bring the wisdom of their years to the reading sessions. Rotary Readers were finalists in the Education Queensland Showcase Awards in both 2008 and 2009

ATEC Rail Group (ARG) Innovation and Leadership Award

Bog Out of Cairns, is a revolutionary new way to rescue bogged vehicles, developed and tested in the tough tropics of Northern Queensland. A very strong harness turns a vehicle’s own wheels into a winch, providing a simple and practical solution for off-road users. Unlike existing recovery options, BOG OUT can be used on the front or rear wheels, is economical, fits in the glove box, and can double as a towrope. Locally made at Lotus Glen Correctional Centre as part of a rehabilitation program, BOG OUT is exceeding manufacture and sales targets

Jodie Currie of Chermside, developed the Bowen Basin Mining Club with a vision to enhance communication and strengthen supplier and buyer relationships. Meeting bi-monthly as a business networking function, the Club rotates in three regional centres and features key speakers from the region’s mining industry base. It provides an all-inclusive free membership and is funded through commercial industry sponsorships. Jodie is recognised as an influencer, and her leadership has facilitated an extensive number of business transactions and relationships. The Club now has 1800 active members and 67 individual business sponsors

Kenick Constructions of Cairns, is a small local residential building company leading the way with affordable and sustainable living homes. They have designed a timber frame construction which is sustainable and suitable for cyclone areas. They have also reduced running costs by cooling homes naturally without reliance on air conditioners. Kenick Constructions have three display homes, which are used as education tools for clients and students. In 2014 they won the TNQ20 Tropical Innovation award, three National Awards and were National Finalists in the Greensmart Awards for implementing green practices in client’s homes

Tremayne Pendragon of Munruben, has created a device that helps visually impaired people turn Braille into sound. Worn like a glove the devices electronics are in a small compartment at the top of the hand, leading to the sensors at the tip of the fingers. These sensors pick up the braille and translate it into a specific language. Through this project, Tremayne aims to assist the visually impaired speed up their learning process. This year Tremayne and the sensor won two Queensland iAwards, including Young Innovator of the Year

CRT Agricultural Community Achiever Award

Australian Eco Bananas of Innisfail, have developed and patented an “ecoganic” farming system. This sustainable farming practice creates a balanced ecosystem, reduced runoff to off-farm assets and environmentally certified ecoganic bananas. Since 2000, a grower group was created to train, mentor and manage farmers in ecoganic and environmental practices. Australian Eco Bananas provide growers support, school and university information and promote eco bananas at food shows and expos. They have won multiple awards including a Product and Services Marketing Award, Rural Sustainability and World Habitat Day Australia

Broken Nose Vanilla of Miriwinni, grow, process and pack gourmet vanilla products. They use sustainable practices with no pesticides or chemical fertiliser, re-usable retail packaging and source local ingredients. After being devastated by cyclone Larry in 2006, Broken Nose Vanilla developed an innovative system allowing crops to be laid flat during serious winds. This system was tested in 2011 by cyclone Yasi and all plants survived. They were finalists in the 2012 ABC/Kondinin Farmer of the Year Awards and runners up in the 2014 Tropical North Queensland Agricultural Innovation Awards

Bronwyn Roberts of Emerald, is an advocate to the cattle industry. She is a senior project officer for the Fitzroy Basin Association, a Young Farming Champion and Australian Beef Industry Foundation Board Director. Bronwyn shares her message about the importance of the cattle industry and sustainable agricultural production around the country. As a Young Farming Champion, she represents Meat and Livestock Australia promoting the sustainable beef industry to schools and at events and festivals. Until its recent sale, Bronwyn was also involved in the management of her family’s farm producing economically and environmentally sustainable beef

Mungalli Creek Dairy Pty Ltd of Millaa Millaa, is a family owned and run producer of bio-dynamic and gourmet dairy products and bio-eggs. With an innovative business structure, they support eight local family farms and encourage environmentally sustainable farming practices. Passionate about producing natural food, their farm is Certified A Grade Demeter Biodynamic. Their product range includes Biodynamic Milk, Tub-set Yoghurt, Lactose Free yoghurt and soft cheeses. Since 2011, Mungalli Creek has been awarded in excess of 100 Dairy Industry medals for the quality of their products including Queensland’s 2015 Champion Yoghurt

Gladstone Printing Services Trade and Career Achievement Award

Farmer and Sun of Gympie, started selling their home grown produce at Farmers Markets 20 years ago and in 2012 they opened a retail store. All shelving is made from recycled timber and produced locally. In 2015 a café was added and now they support over 60 local farmers through store sales. 20 staff are employed across the fruit shop, café and farm and all are trained on the job. Farmer and Sun show great customer service and interest in their clients and their store is well known in the area

Mary Wilson of Koongal, is Team Leader at Autism Queensland, working up to 70 hour weeks, including unpaid weekend work. She is also studying for her third degree. Mary is constantly developing new ideas to improve and extend Autism Queensland’s services to ensure that children with special needs are recognised and advocated for. She has created and developed new programs such as ‘Say and Play’, ‘CQ Sibs’, ‘Grow ‘N’ Up’ and ‘AS-Me’ for older groups. Mary has been instrumental in making Autism Queensland the ‘go-to’ service for children with Autism in the region

Travis Farinelli of Mourilyan, has been coaching junior tennis since he was 14. Last year, whilst still attending secondary school, Travis completed his Tennis Australia - Junior Development Certificate and began a school based Certificate III traineeship in Sports Coaching. Travis has also launched his own tennis coaching business ‘Farinelli Tennis Academy’. He employs other young tennis players to assist him, and last year became Innisfail’s youngest Chamber of Commerce Member. Travis has signed with five local schools as part of the National Schools Partnership Program and coaches 300 children each week free of charge

Peabody Energy Environment & Landcare Award

Barron Catchment Care of Atherton, has for the last 20 years, in a voluntary capacity, implemented catchment and water quality improvements in the Wet Tropics region. Draining into the Great Barrier Reef, the Barron River Catchment covers an area of 226,000 hectares. Projects have led to the successful restoration of riparian vegetation and habitat connectivity, improved drainage management, weed control and better land management practices. The Catchment Care group’s vision is to implement equitable and sustainable resource management practices to maintain and enhance the Barron River Catchment

Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre of Trinity Beach, is a not-for-profit, volunteer run, conservation organisation, dedicated to rehabilitating sick and injured marine turtles. The Great Barrier Reef is home to six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles, all classified as threatened, or endangered. The Centre also participates in research programs to influence Government policy, has an education centre and provides placements for students and undergraduates. Over 200 turtles have been cared for by the Centre with release success utilising satellite trackers resulting in recovery rates between 75-85%

Mackay Recreational Fishers Alliance of Mt Pleasant, is a volunteer group promoting recreational fishing and the catch and release policy as a sustainable way to ensure future fish stocks. 9,000 children have been educated about sustainable and responsible fishing through The Angler Education program. The Alliance has successfully campaigned for improvements of boating related infrastructure, the establishment of a net free zone and for the eradication of Tilapia, a noxious fish. They hold free family fishing days and fishing competitions and memberships are anticipated to reach 1,000 next year

Nugrow of Raceview, is helping Queensland lead the way in a sustainable approach to waste management and land rehabilitation. NuGrow’s facilities accept a wide range of organic wastes such as green waste, grease trap and effluent which are then converted into beneficial resources such as compost and soil conditioners. Through field trials, open days and publishing of scientific data, NuGrow are passionate about educating the community and promoting organic based fertilisers. They won the 2013 Waste Recycling Industry Association Queensland’s Innovation Award and were finalists in the 2014 Queensland Premier’s Sustainability Awards

Prime Super Community Group of the Year Award

Burrum Heads Progress Association of Burrum Heads, has been the pinnacle community association throughout the Fraser Coast for the last 40 years. They have generated $90,000 in the last three years through the Community Hall hire, Burrum Heads magazine, Markets, Community and Cultural celebrations. The Progress Association has donated funds to the SES, the Fire Brigade and Girl Guides. They worked collectively with the community’s youth to coordinate and raise funds for a skate park. The Association also partnered with Fraser Coast Regional Council to fund a multi-function exercise hub for residents of all ages

Rotary Club of Pioneer Valley Inc. of Andergrove, is one of the smallest Rotary Clubs in Australia with only 10 members and last year started the Drought Relief Appeal. The whole community got involved with cutting, baling and donating grass. With help from transport and fuel companies, the sugar industry and countless other organisations, they raised $320,000 and also received in-kind donations worth $260,000. 3,000 large hay bales, huge quantities of pet food, and over 70 Christmas hams were delivered to those struggling because of the drought in Queensland’s West

The Advocacy and Support Centre Inc. of Toowoomba, is an innovative not-for-profit organisation delivering free legal, advocacy and social services. The Centre is the largest regional Community Legal Centre in Queensland, and has a strong background of working collaboratively with other local organisations to improve their service delivery. They are also active members of the Ipswich and Toowoomba Disability Service Provider’s Network, the Toowoomba Mental Health Pathways Network and the Family Law Pathways Network. In the last financial year the Centre has provided services to 1,628 people across the region

Wide Bay Volunteer Resource Association Ltd of Bundaberg, is a registered Training organisation and charity, that sources and matches volunteers to community organisations. In their 16th year of service, the Association supplies volunteers for not-for-profit or charitable organisations and fundraising events. Other projects include the IT Incubator Recycling, refurbishing donated PCs and supplying them at no cost to local community groups. Last financial year, the Association placed 3,736 volunteers in the region, which contributed to over one million hours of services and over 34 million dollars of unpaid labour


2014 Finalists

The Prime Super Community of the Year Award

• Dalby PCYC Volunteer Mentors
• The Miles District Hospital Auxiliary Inc
• The Toowoomba Hospice

Peabody Environment and Landcare Award

• Gangalidda & Garawa Rangers and the Normanton Rangers
• Noosa and District Landcare Group
• Reef Check Australia

The Origin on behalf of Australia Pacific LNG Regional Service Award

• Jennie Downham
• Josh Arnold
• Michelle Radel

The Reay Services Group Energy and Sustainability Award

• Anglo American – Dawson Mine Rehab Plan
• Oaky Creek Coal – Glencore
• Teys Australia Pty Ltd

The Buzz Print Events and Tourism Award

• FKG Tour of Toowoomba
• Goomeri Pumpkin Festival
• Jumpers and Jazz in July Festival

The Safeguard Events and Tourism Award

• Elijah Douglas
• Emilia Chakty
• STEMM Program


2013 Finalists

The Prime Super Community of the Year Award

• The Cooloola Coast Medical Transport Inc.
• Weengallon Pink Ladies Day

The Peabody Environment and Landcare Award

• CQ Local Government Association 
• Gangalidda & Garawa Rangers and the Normanton Rangers 

The Origin Energy Regional Service Award

• Colin Johnson
• Dianne Spencer

Reay Services Group Energy and Sustainability Award

• CQ Local Government Association
• North East Downs Landcare

The Safeguard Events and Tourism Award

• Angel Flight Outback TrailblazeR
• Burrum Coal Discovery Festival Inc.

The Styleprint Youth Leadership Award

• Kingaroy State High School
• Selena McMurray


2012 Finalists

The Salvation Army Employment Plus Business and Employment Award

• The Gladstone Gymnastics Club 
• Toowoomba Clubhouse 

The Safeguard - Events & Tourism Award

The Outback Festival of Winton
The Outback Oktoberfest of Jundah

The Clark Rubber - Regional Service Award

• Dianne Auchettl of Toowoomba
• Debra Wilkinson of Yeppoon

The Peabody - Environment and Landcare Award

• Project Catalyst of Mackay
• South East Queensland Fish of Gold Coast

The SunWater - Youth Leadership Award

• Kirsten Jensen of Buddina
• Stemm Program of Nambour

The Prime Super - Community of the Year Award

• Borringa Action Group of Mitchell
• Theodore Community

2011 Finalists

The Salvation Army Employment Plus - Business & Employment Award

 A Montessori Educational Childcare, Early Learning & Kindergarten 
• Benevolent Aged Care Rockhampton 

The Flight Centre - Events and Tourism Award

• The Original Eumundi Markets 
• The Yeppoon Lions Tropical Pine Fest 

The Clark Rubber - Regional Service Award

• Sharon Boyce - Toowoomba 
• Julie Hill - Mount Isa

The Peabody - Environment and Landcare Award

• Alby Wooler - Rockhampton
• Richard Zoomers - Rathdowney

The Prime Super - Community of the Year Award

• Boulia Community 
• Volunteering North Queensland - Aitkenvale