The real heroes of the Redlands were celebrated tonight (Tuesday 23 January 2018) at the annual Redland City Australia Day Awards at the Alexandra Hills Hotel Function Centre.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the awards were a fitting way of thanking those in the community who continually went “above and beyond” to make the city a better place.
“We are blessed as a city to have so many people with a generous spirit and desire to help others, as well as those who are great role models and excelling in their chosen endeavours – and that is something worth celebrating,’’ she said. “It is important that, as a community, we do acknowledge their efforts and give them a collective pat on the back for what they do.”
Cr Williams said 2018 Redland Citizen of the Year Dan Holzapfel had been a tireless community worker and generous contributor to the City for many decades.
“A real humanitarian, his philanthropic spirit and support have helped make a difference not only to the Redlands but elsewhere in the world through his support of the Rotary International program for the eradication of polio,’’ Cr Williams said. “Few Queenslanders have been able to match the scope of Dan’s generosity, yet for much of his life he has been content to work and contribute behind the scenes.’’
Cr Williams said the importance of Redland City’s traditional heritage was highlighted by the addition of a reconciliation award this year.
“There are some amazing people in the Redlands whose efforts in building relationships between Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-indigenous people deserve acknowledgement,’’ Cr Williams said. “Kenneth Munro has the special honour of receiving our first Australia Day Reconciliation Award. A client liaison officer with Yulu-Burri-Ba and proud Quandamooka man, he ensures all who cross his path have the opportunity to learn, grow and understand Aboriginal culture while fostering unity and respect.’’
Lauren Folster has been named Young Citizen of the Year for her devotion to the Redlands through the State Emergency Service and RSL Sub-branch.
“Lauren is a dedicated volunteer with the local SES, always ready to serve our community when needed,’’ Cr Williams said. “She also is keenly involved with the Redlands RSL Sub-branch, helping to pack care packages for troops serving overseas, as well as spending time with elderly service men and women and performing as bugler for commemoration services at care facilities across the Redlands.’’
Senior Citizen of the Year Caroline Brough has been a tireless worker for those in need.
“Since Caroline volunteered to establish a food outlet for needy residents in 2013, more than 25,000 people have been supported with food and necessities,’’ Cr Williams said. “Her selfless commitment and involvement in activities to promote the welfare and wellbeing of our community extends from fundraising and sourcing food right through to delivery.”
Sycamore School founder Cindy Corrie won the Local Hero Award.
“Cindy’s quest to find a better future for her son, who was diagnosed with autism, has changed the lives of many young people and their families. A tireless advocate, she has selflessly contributed to the quality of life for people living with autism,” Cr Williams said.
Melissa Anderson earned the Cultural Award for her significant achievements in producing and promoting outstanding creative work in the Redlands.
“Melissa regularly volunteers her time and expertise to make the world a better place, with her internationally recognised photography also documenting important issues and encouraging community engagement,’’ Cr Williams said.
Patricia “Ricky” Johns, who has been caring for possums and gliders for more than 35 years in Redland City, won the Environment and Sustainability Award.
“A founding member of the Redlands 24 Hour Wildlife Rescue Service and active Bushcare volunteer, Ricky’s dedication to our wildlife is second to none,’’ Cr Williams said.
The Sports Award went to Queensland Firebird Jemma Mi Mi, who has helped put Redland City in the national spotlight through her involvement in elite sport.
“Despite the demands of playing with the Firebirds, Jemma still finds time to volunteer in the community and is an inspiration and mentor to so many young Redlanders, particularly women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders,” Cr Williams said.
MyHorizon, an integral part of the Redlands community since its inception in 1981 and which today serves more than 2000 disabled clients, received the Community Organisation Award.
“Led by an exceptional group of individuals, the organisation is making a real difference to the lives of so many people through its new flagship community and education centre at Capalaba,’’ Cr Williams said.
There were 48 nominations across the nine categories.
The winners at a glance:
- Citizen of the Year – Dan Holzapfel
- Young Citizen of the Year – Lauren Folster
- Senior Citizen of the Year – Caroline Brough
- Local Hero Award – Cindy Corrie
- Community Organisation Award – Myhorizon
- Cultural Award – Melissa Anderson
- Environment and Sustainability Award – Patricia Johns
- Sports Award – Jemma Mi Mi (honourable mention Janelle Kronk)
- Reconciliation – Kenneth Munro