Queensland Community Achievement Awards

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.