Previous award recipients
  • Last updated:
  • 04 Jul 2022

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 – 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.

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.

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.

Community Group or Organisation - Lions Club Mooloolaba

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. 

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.

Creative - Aleesah Darlison

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.

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.


  • Citizen of the Year, Mark Forbes
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Mark Skinner
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Ella Woodborne
  • Community Group or Organisation, Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge
  • Environment and Sustainability, Ten Little Pieces
  • Creative, Jennifer Radbourne
  • Sport and Recreation, Robert Angus & Brendan Powell and Scott Park (Tied result) 


  • Citizen on the Year, Debra Knight
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Evie Marshall
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, David Woodrow
  • Community – Group or Organisation, endED
  • Environment and Sustainability, Wildlife Volunteer Association (WILVOS) and Junior Eco-Leaders, Coolum and North Shore Coast Care (tied result)
  • Creative, Art on Cairncross
  • Sports and Recreation, Maroochy Athletic Club


  • Citizen on the Year, Bruce and Denise Morcombe (tied result)
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Olivia Lindsay
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Donald Moffatt
  • Community – Group or Organisation, Daniel Morcombe Foundation
  • Environment and Sustainability, Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors
  • Creative, Judy Pippen
  • Sports and Recreation, Sunshine Coast Lightning


  • 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