A community leader who has been working to help local residents for more than 20 years was named Citizen of the Year at the Redlands Coast Australia Day Awards 2020.
John Simpson’s passion to help improve the lives of others started when he joined the Rotary Club of Cleveland in 1997.
Mayor Karen Williams said the people and community groups John has helped were too numerous to mention.
“Some of them include the Circle of Men fellowship group, Wynnum-Redlands Canoe Club, Men’s Shed, local schools, international visitors, Redlands Relay for Life and many others,” she said.
“He really does epitomise the Redlands Coast community spirit and it was a great pleasure to present him with the honour of being our Citizen of the Year.”
Young Citizen of the Year was awarded jointly to Anna Sideris and Dayna Wilson, who together transformed a shipping container into emergency accommodation for families affected by domestic violence.
A special Highly Commended Award went to Layne Utz in the same category for his dedication to the environment and regularly removing rubbish from Redlands Coast streets.
Senior Citizen of the Year is Janelle Pritchard, who works tirelessly to support women with breast cancer through the dragon boat racing group Dragons Abreast Australia.
Cr Williams said choosing winners across the awards’ nine categories was a tough challenge for the judges as all nominees deserved recognition.
“I would like to acknowledge our judges, Dr Robert Anderson OAM, Dr Lyn Bishop OAM and Col Sutcliffe OAM, and thank them for their careful consideration of the nominees,” she said.
“Every nominee is a winner and Redlands Coast is proud of them all for their outstanding contributions to the community.
“It has been a privilege to meet and acknowledge so many dedicated and passionate people who give so much of themselves to help others.
“I want to thank all nominees and winners and assure them that what they do matters and contributes to making Redlands Coast such a great place to live.”
The full list of Redlands Coast Australia Day Awards winners are:
• Citizen of the Year Award – John Simpson
• Young Citizen of the Year Award (30 years and under) – Anna Sideris and Dayna Wilson
• Senior Citizen of the Year Award (60 years and over) – Janelle Pritchard
• Local Hero Award – Jason Boon
• Community Organisation Award – Bayside Volunteers in Policing
• Cultural Award – Rotary Club of Capalaba (Bayside Blues Festival)
• Environment and Sustainability Award – Peter Tunstall
• Sports Award – Paige Leonhardt (Individual Award) – Redlands Rugby Union U15 Touring Team (Team Award)
• Reconciliation Award – Cooee Indigenous Family and Community Education Centre