Australia Day Awards 2023 - Moreton Bay Winners
Published 24 January 2023
Moreton Bay Regional Council has honoured four of the region’s most selfless locals for their achievements and efforts to support the community, as part of the annual Australia Day Awards ceremony held at the Redcliffe Museum.
Mayor Peter Flannery said it was a privilege to award Nick Steiner with the prestigious Citizen of the Year Award for his charitable work through The Mini Farm Project, which grows and donates produce for people in need.
“The annual Australia Day Awards are one of my favourite events to attend each year because I get to hear so many great, uplifting acts of selflessness that come from our amazing Moreton Bay community,” he said.
“Not only is it a perfect reflection of individual achievements, but it’s a great inspiration for us all to be a little kinder and caring in 2023.
“Nick Steiner is a hugely deserving winner of the Citizen of the Year Award because he embodies all the great qualities that make Moreton Bay such a special community to be a part of.
“Inflation, cost of living and homelessness are all a growing concern and Nick’s charity, The Mini Farm Project, makes a big difference in the lives of those who are going through tough times.
“Not only are households struggling to keep food on the table, but other charities are also struggling with the demand, which is why The Mini Farm Project also supplies charities like Meals on Wheels and OzHarvest.
“This kind of charitable work exemplifies the type of people who are the backbone of any great community, and that’s the crux of our Australia Day Awards.
“It was a great thrill to also honour three recipients of the Mayor’s Community Spirit Award in no particular order Michelle Gilchrist, Laurence Christie and Kevin Couch.
“All three have been vital cogs in their communities for years now and are the types of people who are absolutely irreplaceable for their care, character and the amount unpaid hours they do for their community.
“Let’s all raise a toast to our four award winners this year and I wish everyone a great 2023.”
- Nick Steiner received the Citizen of the Year Award in recognition of his outstanding charitable work at The Mini Farm Project, which donates fresh produce weekly to Meals on Wheels, OzHarvest, and other charities providing meals to people in need. Find out more about The Mini Farm Project online: https://www.mfp.org.au/
- Michelle Gilchrist is the face behind the busy day-to-day operations of The Breakfast Club Redcliffe. The Breakfast Club has become a haven for people of all ages in our community, providing over 1,500 free meals each month to people experiencing homelessness or in need. But more importantly Michelle brings a sense of community and inclusion to the guests of The Breakfast Club by providing a welcoming and safe place for people to develop friendships and connect with support services. For more information: https://thebreakfastclubredcliffe.org.au/
- Laurence Christie established the Mango Hill Progress Association which he has helmed for the last 37 years. He has become the voice of the Mango Hill community. He raises issues to all levels of government to improve the local area and benefit the growing population as well as the influx of many young families in the area. During the February floods last year, he stepped up as a local champion and embodied true community spirit, driving the clean-up, providing regular reports on the ground back to Council, ensuring his the community had a voice, and getting the assistance they needed. He even organised food donations and vouchers to assist families who were affected by the disaster. For more information https://www.mangohillprogress.org/
- Kevin Couch or ‘Kevvy’ as he’s known around Albany Creek is a resident social butterfly who’s young at heart and ahead of the times. In fact, during COVID he began walking twice a day and took the time to chat to those he met along the way. He soon become a bright spot through those difficult times for many locals, making Kevvy and 'Kevs Walking Friends’ quite famous and well-loved in the area. Recognising the need for social connection through the pandemic, Kev’s walking group concept evolved into a formal community meet-up. He now hosts a morning tea every public holiday in the local park, which has become a huge hit. He hand delivers invitations to 150 houses and he had 100 guests at his last picnic.