Australia Day winners honoured in sunset ceremony
  • Tuesday 26 January 2010

Ten of the Sunshine Coast’s most remarkable residents were tonight honoured for their achievements at this year’s local Australia Day Awards.

Mayor Bob Abbot announced the winners at a special sunset ceremony on Mooloolaba Beach.

The Sunshine Coast Council Australia Day Awards acknowledge those who have made an outstanding contribution to the community.

Mayor Abbot said this year’s recipients were an inspirational and exceptional group.

“We are extremely fortunate to have people like this in our community and I am delighted they have received this much-deserved recognition,” Cr Abbot said.

“They have all made a wonderful contribution to our region and I congratulate them on being named winners of the Sunshine Coast Council’s Australia Day Awards.

The winners in the eight categories were nominated by their peers and selected by a panel of local leaders and experts.

And the winners are:

BIANCA BOND Young Citizen of the Year Award, Bli Bli
Bianca Bond’s outstanding, positive leadership shines in her roles as youth worker and organiser for Nambour High School’s Women’s Business workshop for indigenous women. In 2009 Bianca attended the Inaugural Indigenous Youth Parliament at Parliament House, Brisbane. She is also a member of the Cultural Board for the Noosa Biosphere and the Queensland Indigenous Youth Advisory Committee.

JOHN COOKE Senior Citizen of the Year Award, Minyama
John Cooke’s lifetime love of sailing and role as President of Sailability Sunshine Coast Inc adds up to a very special contribution to sailing on the Sunshine Coast. Each week John and his enthusiastic team of 150 / 50 volunteers provide sailing experiences to over 100 children and adults in 10 boats supported by his self- funded project.

DAWN WILSON Community Award, Golden Beach
Dawn Wilson’s volunteering has made an outstanding contribution to the Sunshine Coast community.
Locally her commitments include working with Linking Services for the mentally ill, Sunshine Coast Emergency Accommodation Centre, Sunshine Coast Housing Council and Community Links Program. Dawn’s dedication and commitment are an inspiration to many, as is her happiness as a result of her extraordinary and effective community work.

DON MCBRYDE Business Award, Noosa
Don McBryde, the man behind the iconic Noosa Ferry Cruise, has introduced around 700,000 visitors to the beauty of the Noosa River, Tewantin and Noosaville in just 11 years. While still a small business, the Noosa Ferry Cruise contributed to the growth of Noosa Harbour as a key tourist destination, bringing tangible benefits to retailers, market operators, and restaurants and cafes along the Noosa River.

Ross Annels and Dr Tamsin Kerr have fostered creativity and their local community’s love of place for many years. Through the Cooroora Institute they organise artists’ residencies and workshops, run cross-cultural performances and local artist initiatives. The environment inspires Ross’s furniture design, and is a backdrop for Tamsin’s work promoting the work of artists and musicians, and teaching business courses.

VERNON FLOOD Environmental Award, Nambour
Vernon Flood’s 10-year commitment to Maroochy Waterwatch has been instrumental in making it the effective, financially secure community group it is today. Maroochy Waterwatch supports volunteering, skill development and partnerships to improve the Maroochy River and encourage ecological sustainability. Vernon has also contributed to significant national and international environmental initiatives and is a distinguished Toastmaster of over 30 years.

KRISTY ELLIS (NEE MUNROE) Sport and Recreation Award, Maroochydore
In 1988 Kristy Ellis joined Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club as a six-year-old nipper. While now one of the best female surf life saving competitors in the world – captaining the Australian Surf Life Saving Team to victory at the 2008 World Championships – she remains a local member of the SLSC, coaches juniors and is a member of the International Life Saving Federation.

ALLAN AND KARI TAYLOR Services to the Sunshine Coast Community Posthumous Award
Allan and Kari Taylor have been described as “father to the fatherless” and “mother to the motherless”. Allan was a passionate youth leader and mentor; Kari a gifted dancer and conservatorium trained singer who poured her life into others. They were loved by all age groups, impacting positively on all those who came in contact with their dance, faith and tireless work for the people of their local area.

The winners will celebrate along with the rest of the region at the Australia Day Celebration on January 26 at Happy Valley and Kings Beach with music and festivities.