Awards honour Moreton Bay Region’s outstanding citizens

Published 21 January 2013

A mother-of-three with a 20-year track record of volunteering and social innovation, and a young resident whose mentoring and dedication has inspired others locally and abroad have been honoured as the region’s top citizens at the Moreton Bay Regional Council Australia Day Awards 2013.

Tracy Watson of Scarborough was crowned the Moreton Bay Region’s Citizen of the Year and Jeremy Baldwin of Eatons Hill was honoured as the region’s Young Citizen 2013 at a gala event at the Redcliffe Culture Centre on Saturday 19 January.

Mayor Allan Sutherland said both Tracy and Jeremy were outstanding role models who had made their mark on their communities.

“Ms Watson’s fundraising efforts have raised thousands for community groups and her innovative ideas have helped groups tap into new skills and resources,” Mayor Sutherland said.

“Ms Watson wears many hats as a community activist - from fundraising to volunteering on community radio and fostering personal development and leadership in others – Ms Watson’s commitment has helped others in the community to increase their own skills and capabilities.”

Mayor Sutherland paid tribute to Young Citizen of the Year Jeremy Baldwin.

“Jeremy has shown he’s a talented young leader, with a long list of academic awards and achievements, including working on research projects that help communities as far away as Honduras.

“In his mentoring roles, Jeremy has inspired refugees and school children with his passion for science and education.”

Mayor Sutherland said this year’s awards included a Special Recognition prize, for Scarborough resident Rene Van Rooyen.

“Rene’s fundraising efforts have helped Crimestoppers Redcliffe, Lions Medical Research, the Redcliffe Hospital, Multiple Sclerosis and a school on the Kokoda Track,” Mayor Sutherland said.

“Rene’s contribution makes her a positive role model.”

Sportsperson of the Year was awarded to swim coach Jan Wicks, of Albany Creek.

“For 35 years Jan has been coaching and inspiring children and adults to reach their potential.

“Jan’s students praise her dedication, technical ability and the enjoyable atmosphere Jan creates in her classes.”

Cashmere’s Trent Grimsey picked up the Young Sportsperson of the Year Award, following his record-breaking year.

“Trent’s winning year included a new world record for an epic swim across the English Channel in less than seven hours,” Mayor Sutherland said.

“In 2012 Trent was a winner at the 2012 FINA Grand Prix Championships and in five other major open water races.

“Trent’s achievements will have inspired not only young swimmers at Lawnton Swimming Club, but around Australia.”

The Environment Achievement Award went to Friends of Deception Bay Conservation Park Inc.

“This group have worked with traditional and custodial owners to help manage and protect the park,” Mayor Sutherland said.

“Their dedication has helped protect beds of sea-grass, vital fish nurseries and essential food for dugongs and turtles.”

The Redcliffe Kite Festival, organised by David White, was awarded the Community Event prize.

“The Redcliffe Kite Festival is regarded one of the premier kite festivals in Australia, attracting 30,000 visitors from interstate and overseas.

“It’s a tourism winner and its whole premise encourages the community to enjoy our wonderful outdoors and spend time together.”

North Lakes’ Janice Charlish was the winner of the Cultural Award for her efforts to link arts and cultural groups so their talents can be experienced and enjoyed widely.

“Janice has built relationships in the arts community to bring many unique productions to the region, including one which raised more than $3,600 for the flood appeal,” Mayor Sutherland said.

“Janice is also known for coordinating the Jetty Art Activity Space on Saturday mornings, which is a wonderful forum for local artists to showcase their talents, and for others to widen their art horizons.”

“These awards winners are some of the remarkable people who help make the Moreton Bay Region a great place to live, work and play,” Mayor Sutherland said.

“Congratulations to the winners and the nominees; these awards give us the opportunity to recognise their incredible achievements.”
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