Local heroes recognised at Redland City Australia Day Awards

As the nation pauses to celebrate all that is great about Australia, the community spirit of the Redlands has been recognised with the naming of this year’s Australia Day award recipients.

During a special awards presentation on Saturday night Redland City Mayor Karen Williams named Meg O’Driscoll as Citizen of the Year, praising her leadership skills and selfless contribution to the development and delivery of community nursing.

“Meg O’Driscoll epitomises the community spirit of the Redlands, having dedicated many years to caring for the sick and elderly,” Cr Williams said.

“This has included establishing a close relationship with the Redlands Hospital to promote integrated public/private hostel care services so that cancer patients don’t have to travel considerable distances to receive medical support.

“In addition to her commitment to nursing, Meg has also dedicated many years of voluntary leadership at the historic Ormiston House, helping to modernise the facility, which is today one of the best tourist attractions in Redland City.”

Cr Williams also awarded the Senior Citizen of the Year Award to Julie Porteous and the Young Citizen of the Year Award to Laura Arnold.

“Julie Porteous exemplifies what seniors in the Redlands can do to keep their minds and bodies active during retirement,” Cr Williams said.

“As President of the Redlands University of the Third Age (U3A) Julie often attends functions to talk with seniors about enjoying an active and stimulating lifestyle.

“At the other end of the age bracket, Young Citizen of the Year Laura Arnold has already dedicated a large part of her life to working with young disabled people in Redland City.

“Inspired by the care given to her younger brother Tom who has cerebral palsy, Laura has been instrumental in organising events such as the Big Night Out, which provide vital social outings for disabled young people to enjoy.”

Other awards presented on the evening included the Sports Award to Bob Corbett; the Local Hero Award to Bert Maynard, with a special commendation to Bob Possingham; the Community Organisation Award to Calisto Park Equestrian Centre, the Cultural Award to Twilight Makers Market (Deanne Caruso), with a special commendation to Salt Water Murris – Quandamooka (Steve Johnson); and the Environment Award to Narelle Renn.

“The dedication of all award winners, special commendation recipients and nominees typifies the strong community spirit that helps make the Redlands the best place to live, work and do business,” Cr Williams said.

“The stories behind these inspirational locals make me proud to be a Redlander and everyone, including those who nominated these worthy winners, should be very proud of themselves.”

Attached is a full list of winners and their bios as well as the list of nominees for each award category.