Queensland Community Achievement Awards

2022 Winners

2022 Winners with Kendall Gilding, 7NEWS Presenter and Peter Atkinson, Publisher, InQueensland All images courtesy Cherry Photography


Maurimosaic and Mout Nathan Winery Leadership Award

Steve (Sunny) Whitfield of Tallai 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.

Sunny Whitfield, winner of the Maurimosaic and Mout Nathan Winery Leadership Award, being presented by Andrea Castiglione, Managing Director, Mauri Mosaic and Rebecca Morov, Mount Nathan Winery


Bendigo Bank Community Group of the Year Award

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.

Multicultural Social Network of Arundel, winner of the Bendigo Bank Community Group of the Year Award, being presented by Kate Wakeling, CEO Logan Community Bank group proudly part of Bendigo Bank


Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award

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.

Melissa Redsell, winner of the Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award, being presented by Ben Barrett, CFO & Deputy CEO, Australia Pacific LNG


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award

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.

Small World Journeys, winner of the Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award being presented by Jean Dennehy, Regional Wholesale Manager, Ricoh Australia


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.

4RFM, winner of the Synaco Safety Award being presented by Rino Caprioli, National Safety Manager, Synaco Global


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.

Eagleby Giants JRLFC, winner of the Special Event Presentations Local Sporting Club Making a Difference Award, being presented by Ean Schofield, Managing Director, Special Event Presentations Pty Ltd


Evolt Health and Wellbeing Award

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.

Marc Newman, winner of the Evolt Health and Wellbeing Award, being presented by Mark Dobbie, Director of Sales Operations, Evolt


 2021 Winners


2021 Winners with Jan Schutt, General Manager, Royal on the Park Hotel. All images courtesy Masterpieces Photography + Video.


Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

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


Feros Care, winner of the Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award, being presented by Louie Gorgijeski, Regional Manager, Prime Super


Synaco Safety Award

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


Glen Cook, winner of the Synaco Safety Award, being presented by Mike Otty, Managing Director, Synaco Global Recruitment


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award

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

Hello Home Doctor Service, winner of the Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award, being presented by Brian Wood, National Sales Manager - Wholesale, Ricoh Australia


Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award

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

Sarah Jantos, winner of the Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award being presented by Tim Horneman, Deputy CEO and CFO , Australia Pacific LNG


Special Event Presentations Local Sporting Club Making a Difference Award

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

Fight 4 Youth, winner of the Special Event Presentations Local Sporting Club Making a Difference Award, being presented by Hunter Gapes, Operations Supervisor, Special Event Presentations


Qoin Small Business Achievement Award

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


Sobah Beverages, winner of the Qoin Small Business Achievement Award, being presented by Matt Simpson, Qoin Master Agent, Qoin Australia


Awards Australia Community Group of the Year Award

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


Green Fox Training Studio, winner of the Awards Australia Community Group of the Year Award, being presented by Suzy Raymer, Chief Marketing Officer, Evolt



2020 Winners

Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award

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.


Qoin Small Business Achievement Award

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.


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.


Prime Super Agricultural Achievement Award

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.


Synaco Safety Award

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.


Awards Australia Community Group of the Year Award

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 Winners

The 2019 Winners with Kendall Gilding, 7NEWS Presenter at Royal on the Park Brisbane



Queensland Government Small Business Achievement 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.


Steven Koch, A/Deputy Director-General, Engagement, Department of Employment, Small Business and Training presented Strait Support with the Queensland Government Small Business Achievement Award



Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award


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.


Louie Gorgijeski, Regional Manager, Prime Super presented Peninsula Palms Retirement Village with the Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award



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.


John Alexandrou, Director of Operations, Synaco Global Recruitment presented Komatsu Mining Corp. with the Synaco Safety Award



Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award


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.


Alex Kennedy-Clark, General Manager, Origin presented Nikki A Creber with the Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award



Pullenvale Ward Outstanding Achievement Award


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.


Cr Kate Richards, Pullenvale Ward, Brisbane City Council presented Stuart Stoddart with the Pullenvale Ward Outstanding Achievement Award



Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award


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.


Alison Theaker, Regional Wholesale Manager North, Ricoh Australia presented Aquascene Charters Magnetic Island with the Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award



Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award


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.


Louie Gorgijeski, Regional Manager, Prime Super presented Jerome Leray with the Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award



Awards Australia Community Group of the Year Award


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.


Ben Cameron, Industry Engagement Coordinator, Griffith University presented Substation33 with the Awards Australia Community Group of the Year Award



2018 Winners 


2018 Winners with Kendall Gilding, 7NEWS.


Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award

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


Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award

Agri-Con Equipment of Bundaberg is a 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

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.



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.


Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

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.


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.”


DSS Law Community Group of the Year Award

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 Winners 

2017 Winners with The Hon Dr Anthony Lynham MP, Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines


Access Community Services Cultural Diversity Award 

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


Gail Ker OAM, CEO, Access Community Services presented Graduate Women Queensland Sunshine Coast Branch with the Cultural Diversity Award


Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award 

Selena Wool of Capalaba created 'Little Lionhearts' to support the pregnancy loss community after losing eight pregnancies herself including twins. 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.

Mark McCabe, Australia Pacific LNG CFO and Deputy CEO, Australia Pacific LNG presented Selena Wool with the Community Hero Award


Awards Australia Community Group of the Year Award 

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.

Matthew Crossley, Second Vice-President, Lions Club of Brisbane Metropolitan presented Umbrella Network Rockhampton with the Community Group of the Year Award


Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award 

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

Wayne Wright, Regional Manager, Prime Super presented Bugs for Bugs with the Agricultural Innovation Award


Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award 

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, family friendly rosters and 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.

Karen Hyland, Regional Manager, Prime Super presented Kaloma Home for the Aged with the Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award


Pullenvale Ward Outstanding Achievement Award 

eWaste Connection 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 for young adults with a disability which prevents them from obtaining regular work. This social enterprise creates opportunities, skills and friendship through recycling. The 45 participants and 21 volunteers refurbish computers and recycle 1.5 tonnes of electrical waste every month.

Cr Kate Richards, Pullenvale Ward, Brisbane City Council presented eWaste Connection Ltd with the Outstanding Achievement Award


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award 

Paws & Relax of Eagle Farm was established in 2014, and provides off leash doggy day care, training and grooming. Paws & Relax understand their client’s needs and provide exceptional customer service. They provide 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.

Brian Wood, National Wholesale Manager, Ricoh Australia presented Paws & Relax Pty Ltd with the Customer Service Award


University of Southern Queensland Teaching Excellence Award 

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.

Professor Stephen Winn, Head of School (Teacher Education and Early Childhood), University of Southern Queensland (USQ) presented Morgan Stebbings with the Teaching Excellence Award



2016 Winners

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

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.

Janice Hegarty (left) and Anne Hickey (middle) from Killarney Memorial Aged Care presented by Rod Stewart (right), National Relationship Manager, Prime Super


ATEC Rail Group (ARG) Innovation and Leadership Award

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.

Elizabeth McClymont-Mortensen (left), General Manager - Communications, ATEC Rail Group presented Kristy Sparrow (right)


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.

Steve Collier (left), Director, MOA Benchmarking presenting Rebecca Heitzmann (right).


Gladstone Printing Services Trade and Career Achievement Award

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.

Jeff and Ann Ross from Hive Haven presented by Steve Mannix, Managing Director, Gladstone Printing Services


Prime Super Community Group of the Year Award

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.

Rod Stewart (middle), National Relationship Manager, Prime Super, presenting Kelly Ryan (left) and Grant Schmidt (right) from PCYC Dalby Braking the Cycle 


Access Community Services Cultural Diversity Award

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.

Zita Stark (left) presented by Gail Ker (right), CEO, Access Community Services


University of Southern Queensland Educational Innovation Award

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

Ben Walker (left) from Emerging Entrepreneurs presented by Professor Jim Cavaye (right), Professor & Program Director (Regional Community Development) with USQs Institute for Resilient Regions


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.

Nicki Blackwell (left) and Natasha Johnston (middle) from Drought Angels, presented by Tim Ogilvie (right), Regional Manager - Chinchilla, Origin


2015 Winners

Access Community Services Cultural Diversity Award

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

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.

ATEC Rail Group Innovation and Leadership Award

Jodie Curry 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.

CRT Agricultural Community Achiever Award

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.

Gladstone Printing Services Trade and Career Achievement Award

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 and Landcare Award

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.

Prime Super Community Group of the Year Award

Rotary Club of Pioneer Valley, 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.


2014 Winners of the Queensland Regional Achievement and Community Awards

The Prime Super Community of the Year Award

Miles District Hospital Auxuliary Inc. was established in 1959. The Miles District Hospital Auxiliary raises money to purchase equipment for the improvement of patient care within the Miles Health Services. Since inception, equipment to the value of over $378,000 has been donated to the Services with the help of its current 28 volunteer members. The Miles District Hospital Auxiliary is proud to have a long standing relationship with the community and still have many volunteers from across all generations from the community. The Auxiliary also assist in the local Meals on Wheels in which members deliver to local community members once a month. The Auxiliary cater for courses provided by a local Nurse Educator at Miles Health Services, and the Auxiliary have donated a mannequin to assist in demonstrations within the course. It is hoped the Auxiliary will continue to gain more members within the community to keep the local Health Services viable for many years to come.

The Peabody Environment and Landcare Award

Gangalidda & Garawa Rangers & The Normanton Rangers. In 2008 the Gangalidda & Garawa Rangers and the Normanton Rangers were established to care for country in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Currently there are fifteen rangers caring for this expansive area undertaking activities that include: Invasive animal management, weed eradication and fire to improve biodiversity within the region. Over the past year, the Rangers have established partnerships with local landholders and are now active in their environmental endeavours on properties from the Northern Territory border to Cape York, with their work covering over 40,000 square kilometers. The Rangers aims are to preserve key wetlands and ecosystems of high biodiversity and cultural significance. The Rangers are strong in community engagement projects including working with local schools to encourage children to participate in junior ranger programs and to instill long term environmental messages for future generations.

The Origin on behalf of Australia Pacific LNG Regional Service Award

Josh Arnold, is passionate about creating pride and positivity through music for children in regional and remote areas of Queensland. Josh has established a Small Town Culture program as an initiative that works with schools and communities helping them to write, perform and record songs about their lives in the bush. Josh encourages students to write songs that have personal meaning to them, featuring their schools, communities and what it is like to live in regional Queensland. Josh has helped develop pride and confidence for these young students and supports them to share these stories through online platform such as YouTube, Facebook and the programs Website. Since establishment, Josh’s programs have reached approximately 14 school communities and have assisted over 1,000 students. Josh travels long distances throughout the state and is often away from his family for long periods of time. Josh funds and operates the program at his expense and has contributed countless hours to the project.

The Reay Services Group Energy and Sustainability Award

Teys Australia Pty Ltd, is the second largest beef processor and exporter in Australia, employing approximately 4,500 people within regional Queensland communities. Teys Australia's Beenleigh and Rockhampton facilities incorporate a state of the art, waste water treatment system which will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions within production. The systems replace non renewable energy sources with renewable energy generated onsite, resulting in a major reduction in the reliance of fossil fuels. The combined reduction in annual CO2 emissions from both sites due to this new system is expected to be equivalent to removing approximately 24,000 cars of Queensland roads annually. To encourage community support and awareness, Teys Australia have run information evenings at their Rockhampton facility, developed online blogs and encouraged numerous communications between staff and community members. Teys hope that other organisations will adopt similar processes now and into the future.

The Buzz Print Events and Tourism Award

FKG Tour of Toowoomba is a four day, 5 stage road cycling race and has become one of the largest regional National Road series events held within Queensland and uniquely it thrives with only a volunteer committee. The Tour is one of fourteen events that make up Cycling Australia’s, Subaru National Road Series competition. The FKG Tour of Toowoomba covers over 400km throughout rural roads within the Darling Downs and recently the committee has restructured the ride for the 2015 event, which is hoped to increase the appeal of the Tour with competitors, coaches and within key cycling bodies throughout Australia. With strong support from local businesses, the community and media, the FKG Tour of Toowoomba brings over 5,000 spectators to the community along with over 144 competing riders. Working closely with local law enforcement and officials, the FKG Tour of Toowoomba has plans to increase event exposure by becoming a major sports tourism attraction and positioned as a World Pro 2 Tour by 2020.

The Safeguard Youth Leadership Award and Commonwealth Bank Special Commendation Award Winner

Elijah Douglas, is a young indigenous leader, mentor and role model within his community of Doomadgee. Elijah is currently studying at Spinifex State College in Mount Isa and holds a role as the Indigenous School Captain. Through this leadership role, Elijah has taken the initiative to organize NAIDOC celebrations, and other school activities. In 2013 Elijah, was selected as a youth representative and only one of 5 Queensland school students, selected by the Premier ANZAC Award Committee to travel to Turkey and the Western Front to pay respect to fallen soldiers. With a passion of highlighting and voicing the opinions of young people, Elijah was also selected as one of 50 aboriginal youth from across Australia who sat on the National Indigenous Youth Parliament. In addition to his school studies, Elijah is currently completing a Certificate III in Community Health, with the hope to return to his community to educate and inspire others about healthy lifestyle choices. Elijah hopes to study medicine when he graduates from school.


2013 Winners

The Prime Super Community of the Year Award

Alzheimer's Australia Mackay Region Inc, is not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers with an aim to reduce Dementia in the community. With over 1,600 Australians diagnosed with Dementia each week, the small group of volunteers provide personal services and assistance to service providers, nursing homes, clubs, GP’s and the family, friends and relatives of those experiencing Dementia. The Service raises awareness and understanding of dementia and work to promote good brain health. With strong community support, Alzheimer’s Australia Mackay extends its reach from Bowen in the north, St Laurence in the south and west to Clermont and all the mining areas in between. Alzheimer Australia Mackay believe in community education and have an extensive library of Books and DVD’s that can be borrowed, Help Sheets and other resources that can be posted out. The volunteers run Support Groups every second Friday of every month for community members and undertake local fundraising initiatives which double as awareness days for the community.

The Peabody Environment and Landcare Award

The Queensland Murray Darling Committee – Dirty Glovers Volunteer Program recruited 115 volunteers in 2013, to work on 123 properties helping over 200 local farmers and community members who were impacted by flood waters generated by Cyclone Oswald. The program attracted helpers from around the globe, ran seven-days-a-week over six months and not only helped 200 farmers the program assisted the recovery of many hundreds of hectares of sensitive riparian zones within the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin. With strong community, business and volunteer support, the Dirty Gloves program not only provides emotional and mental support to local farmers but also large volunteer labour resources. The volunteers fenced off local riparian areas quickly preventing stock impacting the area, eradicated weed infestations and planted native trees on local farming land. The Toowoomba community also benefited greatly from the large volunteer contingencies who contributed to the biodiversity of the city’s parks and reserves by removing weeds and planting native trees boosting community moral.

The Origin Energy Regional Service Award

Julie Hill, is the face of the internationally recognised HIPPY Program (Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters) which encourages parents to develop skills and the confidence they need to be their child’s first teacher. Julie has worked diligently with the Pioneer community for the last five years to support disengaged indigenous families residing in the area. Pioneer is a suburb with entrenched school absenteeism, high crime and domestic violence rates, few community service outlets, overcrowding and high percentages of unemployment. Julie’s management of the HIPPY project in Mount Isa and through her role with Centacare Family Services has supported a significant number of vulnerable families in the community including over 65 children and their families in preparation for 'school readiness'. Since the establishment of the Mount Isa programs and with strong contribution from Julie, the programs have now been recognised as a good education tool by the Brotherhood of St Lawrence who provide similar programs throughout Australia, benefiting a large number of regional and indigenous communities.

The Reay Services Group Energy and Sustainability Award

Sojitz Minerva Mine - The Flashjacks Project, has worked closely with a local farmer and owner of the Avocet Nature Refuge, Hugo Spooner, since 2011 to assist in the preservation efforts of the endangered Bridled Nailtail Wallaby, normally referred to as the Flashjack Wallaby. Sojitz Minerva Mine's has helped to increase the awareness of the Flashjack wallaby within the local community and also assisted the Avocet Nature Refuge to more effectively work towards the preservation of the Flashjack wallaby through financial, in-kind donations, equipment and facilities to support the network of researchers and volunteers working with the Refuge. The Sojitz Minerva Mine hopes that through extensive preservation techniques including GPS tracking of the Flashjacks to monitor growth, an increase in feral animal management including the trapping and culling of wild cats and an increase in community awareness including staff within the mine site and abroad will continue to preserve the Flashjacks for future generations to enjoy.

The Safeguard Events and Tourism Award

The Mackay Marina Run is a signature event for the Mackay Road Runners and is significantly growing each year. Held annually on the first Sunday in June the event is for the serious runners with the Mackay Half Marathon and also encourages runners and walkers of all abilities with the opportunity to participate in several other marathon distant events. This year, the committee in conjunction with Bricks Adolescent Development established a new 3km race for 17 children with autism to encourage and support sport and recreation participation in young people within the community. The Mackay Marina Run was established in 2008 with a number of objectives such as providing a unique sporting event for the city, to increase community participation, to improve health and wellbeing, to promote the region, and to raise funds for the Mackay Branch of the Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland. With strong community support, the Mackay Marina Run enlists numerous volunteers from the community to run the event and this year the event raised close to $50,000 for the Leukemia Foundation.

The Styleprint Youth Leadership Award

The Y Factor - Whitsunday Youth Committee is a team of young volunteers who are dual coordinated by Whitsunday PCYC and Whitsunday Regional Council Youth Services. The team consists of 11 young people who are dedicated and enthusiastic about regularly volunteering in the community including supervising and organising youth events, fundraising for local community groups and essential services and actively participating in community events across the region. The Committee has established a variety of youth events including dance parties, movie nights and even Skate competitions which encourage youth off the street and into safe social outlets. This year, Y Factor hosted a Youth Happiness Conference at the Local PCYC, which attracted over 80 youth from throughout Queensland to the region. The Y Factor - Whitsunday Youth Committee, as a community minded committee fundraise for the local hospital’s paediatric ward, assist at local PCYC events as volunteers and have participated in the Whitsunday Reef Festival by creating a float for the parade using recyclable materials.

Commonwealth Bank Special Commendation Award

Alzheimer's Australian Mackay Region Inc.