Celebrating Australia Day Awards winners in Moreton Bay

25 January 2018

Australia Day Awards 2018 1
(L-R) Volunteer of the Year - Ken Piva (Founder of BIKES program for young people), Youth Sports - Rachael Harper (Oztag, 2018 Commonwealth Games Baton Bearer), Sports - Ella Connolly (Selected to compete in the 4x400m relay at the Commonwealth Games), Citizen of the Year - Karen Johns (Founder of DARE Formal Wear), Young Citizen - Olivia Hargroder (Down Syndrome advocate and athlete), Arts and Culture - Julian De Maria (Founder of Red Deer festival) and Environment - Joint winners, Joanne and Gary Bain (Pine Rivers Koala Care).

A campaigner against domestic violence, koala carers and a 2018 Commonwealth Games baton bearer are among seven award recipients at Moreton Bay Regional Council’s annual Australia Day Awards.

Mayor Allan Sutherland said he was impressed by the high calibre of nominations and congratulated each winner for their outstanding contributions to the Moreton Bay Region.

“The Australia Day Awards honour the unsung heroes in our community by celebrating their incredible achievements and positive contribution to helping make our region an even better place to work, live and play,” Mayor Sutherland said.

“Karen John’s passion, and determination to help others has seen the creation of a unique and home-grown local charity that repurposes pre-loved formal wear and uses the profits to fund much-needed domestic violence support services in our community.

“The DARE Formal Wear store has a phenomenal story to tell in not only helping to fund domestic violence support services locally, but also offering formal wear items at affordable prices and helping financially disadvantaged Year 12 students with a donated dress or suit to help them attend their Senior Formal.

“Her efforts to help local families will undoubtedly strengthen the social fabric of our region for generations to come.”

“I also congratulate Joanne and Gary Bain as the joint winners of the Environment Award for their enduring efforts in caring for local wildlife. Recently I had the pleasure of meeting a baby koala who is in their care and was very impressed by the compassion and dedication the Bains show for our local wildlife.

“They have been founding members of Pine Rivers Koala Care and active with the group for 30 years - an impressive achievement in anyone’s book and I thank them for their ongoing commitment to our local environment and wildlife.”

Australia Day Awards 2018 2
Moreton Bay Regional Councillors and Mayor with Australia Day Award winners and Member for Glass House Andrew Powell and Member of Pumicestone Simone Wilson.

Mayor Sutherland also commended Wamuran local, Rachael Harper who following her sporting achievements in Oztag, has been selected as one of the Commonwealth Games baton bearers for our region.

“Rachael will be one of the lucky locals who get to carry the baton through our region as it makes its way to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Local residents can cheer on Rachel and all of our region’s other baton bearers as it travels along Redcliffe Parade to Sutton’s Beach in Redcliffe on Good Friday, 30 March 2018.

“I congratulate and thank each of the winners for doing our region proud and inspiring others to do the same.”

Australia Day award winners:

  • Citizen of the Year - Karen Johns (Founder of DARE Formal Wear)
  • Young Citizen - Olivia Hargroder (Down Syndrome advocate and athlete)
  • Volunteer of the Year - Ken Piva (Founder of BIKES program for young people)
  • Environment - Joint winners, Joanne and Gary Bain (Pine Rivers Koala Care)
  • Youth Sports - Rachael Harper (Oztag, 2018 Commonwealth Games Baton Bearer)
  • Sports - Ella Connolly (sSelected to compete in the 4x400m relay at the Commonwealth Games)
  • Arts and Culture - Julian De Maria (Founder of Red Deer festival)

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