Previous award recipients
  • Last updated:
  • 29 May 2019

Below is a list of past Sunshine Coast Australia Day Award Winners since the Sunshine Coast Council began in 2009. Council holds annual Australia Day Awards which celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and groups in the region.


Citizen of the Year, Bruce and Denise Morcombe (tied result)

Bruce and Denise were each nominated as individuals for this award, however the Judges had a hard time separating them which resulted in a tie and acknowledgment for both of them.

Bruce and Denise co-founded the Daniel Morcombe Foundation. Bruce and Denise have presented on child safety to more than 500 schools across Queensland as Queensland Child Safety Ambassadors, created Day for Daniel, helped to develop the Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum in collaboration with the QLD Department of Education, QLD Police Service and Department of Community Services and personally assisted families of missing persons and created the Walk Tall Program in collaboration with ACT for Kids. 

Senior Citizen of the Year - Donald Moffatt

Instrumental in shaping and forging a region, Donald’s iconic leadership and community service has afforded him three life memberships with Sunshine Coast Helicopter Rescue Service (now RACQ LifeFlight), Tourism Sunshine Coast (now Visit Sunshine Coast) and the Sunshine Coast Turf Club. 

Eight years served as Chairman of Tourism Sunshine Coast where tourism increased fourfold. He also chaired the Sunshine Coast Helicopter Rescue Service for 21 years, helping to save more than 42,000 lives. 

Young Citizen of the Year - Olivia Lindsay

Olivia has demonstrated exceptional personal and academic achievements as well as significant community involvement. She represented Australia at the London International Youth Science Forum, studied advanced physics at the Junior Physics Olympiad (2015) and was selected for the Young Scholars Program (2016). Olivia volunteers her time to a project called The Olive Stories that aims to empower youth. She is a keen instrumentalist that volunteers her time to the Vivace String Ensemble. She was named the Public Speaking winner at the Lions Youth of the Year quest.

Community - Group or Organisation - Daniel Morcombe Foundation

The Daniel Morcombe Foundation was established by parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe in 2005 after the devastating loss of their son Daniel in December 2003. The Foundation was established as a lasting legacy to Daniel and assists educators and parents in the education of children about their personal safety, assists young victims of crime and empowers all Australians to make their own local communities safer places for children.

Creative - Judy Pippen

Judy has supported the artists and creative industries of the region through the development of the Old Ambulance Station, a significant cultural resource. Under Judy’s voluntary management and the efforts of its board, the organisation has moved from a tactical strategy of activating and animating the space, to a more considered strategic approach to medium and long term development. 

Judy has managed the day-to-day operations of the facility and dedicated time as secretary of the board. Judy continues to manage Work for the Dole volunteers, who are engaged both operationally and creatively. Through Judy’s expert fundraising skills the Old Ambo attracted more than $200,000 in funding for building and business development as well as creative project development and delivery. 

Environment and Sustainability - Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors

Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors aims to involve people in the protection of injured, threatened or endangered wildlife. Through funding conservation projects, research collaboration and educating the wider community, Wildlife Warriors are working towards the protection of wildlife and wild places. 

The largest project of Wildlife Warriors is the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital that treats, rehabilitates and releases sick, injured and displaced native wildlife. The hospital has treated more than 73,200 patients. The hospital team also conduct and support vital research.

Sport and Recreation - Sunshine Coast Lightning

Sunshine Coast Lightning was built with, and for, the local community. To grow from a name and logo to national champion in a matter of months is testament to that community support. Led by CEO, Danielle Smith CA and Head Coach, Noeline Taurua, the club has made a concerted effort to involve the community along the way.

The team has done an outstanding job of representing the Sunshine Coast in women’s sport, and, in their first year of play, brought home the premiership. They have encouraged young girls to aim for greatness, as well as making Sunshine Coasters proud of what we can achieve.


  • Citizen on the Year, Julie Penlington
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Jak Hardy
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, George Farmer 
  • Community – Group or Organisation, Innovation Centre, Sunshine Coast
  • Environment, Rhondda Alexander 
  • Creative, Robyn Ernst
  • Sports and Recreation, Ron Grabbe
  • Outstanding achievement Award, ‚ÄčLachlan Smart


  • Citizen on the Year, David Larkin
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Nathan Tressman and Brooke Pratt (tied result)
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Anne Wensley
  • Community – Group or Organisation, Suncoast Community Legal Service
  • Environment, The Millington Family
  • Creative, Maria Salmon
  • Sports and Recreation, Marayke Jonkers


  • Citizen on the Year, Chris Turner
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Sarah Morcom
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Prudence Cawley
  • Community – Group or Organisation, Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC)
  • Environment, Derek Foster and Reef Check Australia (tied result)
  • Creative, Ferre De Deyne
  • Sports and Recreation, Julie Templeton


  • Citizen on the Year, David Dangerfield
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Bindi Irwin and Samara Welbourne (tied result)
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Greg McKean
  • Community – Group or Organisation, Queensland Air Museum
  • Environment, Eumundi Wildlife Rehab Centre Inc.
  • Creative, Steven McLeish
  • Sports and Recreation, Tim Sheridan 


  • Citizen on the Year, Garry Church
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Adem Crosby
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Esma Armstrong
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Colin White
  • Community, Supporting Teenagers with Education, Mothering and Mentoring (STEMM)
  • Environment, Noosa and District Landcare Group
  • Creative, Jean Sandell
  • Sports and Recreation, Leanne Hipwood


  • Young Citizen of the Year, Ailish Bolt and Ashley Ogilvie (tied result)
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Ruth Bode
  • Community, Jessie Wen Jie Li
  • Business, Ross Hopper
  • Environment, Kerry Jones
  • Creative, Jacqui O'Connor
  • Sports and Recreation, Gordon Howitt
  • Outstanding Achievement (Posthumous), Stan Tutt


  • Young Citizen of the Year, Manual Barth and Nathanael Ford (tied result)
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Kevin Franzi
  • Community, Glenda Lloyd
  • Business, Amber Werchon
  • Environment, Leigh Warneminde
  • Creative, Cynthia Morgan
  • Sports and Recreation, Guy Tanner
  • Outstanding Achievement, Jessica Watson 


  • Young Citizen of the Year, Bianca Bond
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, John Cooke
  • Community, Dawn Wilson
  • Business, Donald McBryde
  • Environment, Vernon Flood
  • Creative, Ross and Tamsin Kerr
  • Sports and Recreation, Kristy Ellis
  • Posthumous Award, Allan and Kari Taylor


  • Young Citizen of the Year, Laura Monaghan
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Malcolm Graham
  • Community, Valerie Zwart
  • Environment, Coolum District Coast Care Group
  • Creative, Lisa Chandler
  • Sports and Recreation, Roger Newton