Sunshine Coast Australia Day Award Recipients 2021
  • Last updated:
  • 18 Feb 2021

The Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards are a celebration of the contribution that individuals, community groups and organisations make in our region.

The 2021 Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards ceremony took place on 22 January where recipients were announced for the following eight categories:

  • Citizen of the Year
  • Senior Citizen of the Year
  • Young Citizen of the Year
  • Community Group or Organisation
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Creative
  • Outstanding Achievement – Covid 19

The following are the recipients of each category followed by nominees:

Citizen of the Year - CHERYL HARRIS

Cheryl has been a strong voice and advocate for volunteers over the last 10 years. Volunteerism under her stewardship has grown significantly on the Sunshine Coast through collaboration with local government, businesses and strong community partnerships. Today there are around 64,000 volunteers serving the Sunshine Coast community. As the CEO, Cheryl has led Volunteering Sunshine Coast (VSC), expanding its reputation and endeavours across the Sunshine Coast. Cheryl has assisted people who are seeking paid employment to participate in volunteer work with a view to keeping skills updated and building self-esteem through the pathways to employment program, coordinated volunteers during a disaster event and referred volunteers to not-for-profit organisations across all sectors of the community.


Samantha Cameron Ariana Nioa
Darcy Cavanagh Lisa Rowe
Katharina Craythorn Jodi Salmond
Anne Currie Linda Small
Lyndon Davis
Leon Stensholm
Jeffrey Frazer Selina Tomasich
Laree-Anne Gadenne Graham Wilkinson
Kristy Jedyn Benjamin Wishaw

Heather Wuersching

Senior Citizen of the Year - CARMEL CROUCH

Carmel’s dedication to providing opportunities for people with a disability began more than 45 years ago when she adopted a son with disabilities. As he grew up Carmel felt compelled to create opportunities for him, just as her other two children (who did not have disabilities) had the chance to experience. Carmel took a leading role to develop supported training and employment programs. The organisation STEPS was born in which Carmel has been a key driver in her voluntary role as chair and president for 33 years. Through her tireless work Carmel has garnered the support of local business that have donated to the development of classrooms, living facilities and educational programs, and have helped to create a brighter future for people with a disability.


Myrna Beale Carol Raye
Jim Bell Colin Rose
Richard Dennis Graeme Sloan
David Gower Rick Stinton
Ron and Janine Gray Rodney Stringer
Pat Habner Kevin Stroud
Michele Lipner Myra Timmerman
Glenda Lloyd Rob Tonge
Norm Morwood Jocelyn Walker
Allan Quartermaine Kevin Wrayford

Young Citizen of the Year - ANGELIQUE HALLETT

Angelique is the founder and director of the social enterprise, Loving Hope Bears. Annually on the Sunshine Coast and Gympie, 446 children are forced to flee their homes with a parent as a result of domestic violence. Often these children leave without any possessions, including their favourite toy. Whilst the children in shelters have their basic needs met for food and shelter, Angelique’s research indicated that a teddy bear had been shown to bring children comfort. For two years, Angelique learnt everything she could about how she could provide a teddy bear to every child in domestic violence shelters on the Sunshine Coast and in Gympie. Loving Hope Bears has now delivered more than 300 bears to domestic violence shelters for children.


Jon Cowan
Poppy Ives
Jessica Piva

Community Group or Organisation - LIONS CLUB MOOLOOLABA INC.

The Lions Club Mooloolaba has a proud history servicing the community for 46 years. As a service club, they strive to make a difference in the lives of people in need through community service. This service involves the Lions Fisherman’s Road Sunday Market, held since 1999. Working with a core group of 13 members, the members work week in and week out in service to others. COVID-19 did not stop their fundraising distribution this fiscal year being $119,022.00. Funds are distributed based on community priorities.


Bamboo Projects

STEPS Group Australia Ltd - Pathways College
Barung Landcare Sunshine Coast First Aid Volunteers Inc.
Bloomhill Cancer Care Limited Sunshine Coast Kindness Pandemic
Coastal Caring Clowns Inc. Sunshine Coast Legacy Contact Group
Coolum HeARTs Inc Sunshine Coast Maker Space
Headspace Sunshine Coast Triathlon Club
IFYS Limited Sunshiners
Katie Rose Cottage Hospice Sunshiners - Clothing Program
Kawana Waters Surf Life Saving Club Sunshiners - Radiation Program
Maroochy Men’s Shed The Compass Institute Inc
Mask Events Uniforms 4 Kids‚Äč
RangeCare Urban Angels Community Kitchen
REFOCUS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Corporation Volunteering Sunshine Coast - Spontaneous Disaster Program
65 Km’s for Cystic Fibrosis

Environment and Sustainability - REEF CHECK AUSTRALIA

Reef Check Australia (RCA) is dedicated to protecting Australia’s reefs and oceans by empowering ordinary people, not just scientists. RCA engage the community in hands-on citizen science and education initiatives to help volunteers take an active role in appreciating, understanding and protecting local reef resources. RCA volunteers have surveyed more than 14,000m2 of reef in the Sunshine Coast area using a globally standardised and peer-reviewed scientific protocol. Marine debris has been identified as a critical issue and RCA volunteers have worked with partners to remove more than 3000kg of rubbish from local beaches and waterways. RCA regularly engages with students, teachers, community groups, local businesses and individuals to share the wonders of the unique reefs of the region.


Bokashi Ninja
Joel Brown
Nattapon Chumchujan
Danny Hood
Poppy Ives
Helen Leckie


Aleesah is a highly respected member of the Australian writing community. She has published 50 books in 10 years and has won or been shortlisted for many awards. Upon relocating to the Sunshine Coast in 2014, Aleesah formed a network of children’s authors and illustrators (SCBWI) enabling local artists to share ideas, knowledge, and opportunities to lift the status and capacity of Sunshine Coast creatives. Due to her vast industry knowledge and giving nature, Aleesah runs child and adult writing workshops, and set up Sunny Kids Writing Workshops where she’s taught hundreds of young local writers. Aleesah has nurtured the Sunshine Coast literary community in an invaluable way.


Tina Cooper 
Laree-Anne Gadenne
Cindy Jensen

Sport and Recreation - STEPHEN OSSEDRYVER

Steve is a trailblazer in the Sunshine Coast mountain biking (MTB) arena. In 2012, on a firefighter exchange to Canada, Steve was inspired by the local MTB club, and upon his return, began developing MTB trails in the Caloundra Town Reserve. As he created new trails and added adventurous features, more riders found them, and others began to help Steve with trail development. Steve initiated contact with Sunshine Coast Council to formalise the Sugar Bag reserve as a designated MTB area. In 2015, Steve and a small group of mountain bikers established the Caloundra Off-Road Cycling Association to liaise with state and local authorities. Steve runs the CORCA Kids program, learn-to-MTB days and introductory courses and he often gives up his club rides to instruct novice riders.


Stacey Camilleri
Janeene Elks
Adam Garland
Allan Mackenzie
Tamika Megawatt
Graham Wood