Annika Dean, here with mother Kylie, is a finalist for Queensland's Community Achievement awards.
Annika Dean, here with mother Kylie, is a finalist for Queensland's Community Achievement awards. Troy Jegers

Gympie region 11-year-old in running for Qld award

AN 11-year-old Mary's Creek resident has been nominated for this year's Queensland Community Achievement Awards, joining a finalists list which includes two other region stalwarts.

Annika has been joined by Heather Goodall and the Cooinda Aged Care Centre as finalists across four awards, with winners to be revealed at a gala dinner in November.

Miss Dean has been nominated for the Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award, and Mrs Goodall is in the running for the Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award.

Cooinda Aged Care is up for the Australia Community Group of the Year Award and the Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award.

Cooinda Aged Care.
Cooinda Aged Care. Contributed

Annika was nominated for her work in organising last June's mother-daughter Winter Wonderland ball.

There were 200 tickets sold in the lead-up to the ball which raised $8000 for Hope Reins - $3000 more than her target.

She spent about 10 hours every week visiting organisations and securing donations ahead of the event.

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Annika also collected more than 1000 2L milk bottles, which were used to create the Igloo Archway and main entrance to the party.

Mrs Goodall was nominated for her work at Dillons Tin Can Bay aged care facility.

The centre blitzed this year's re-accreditation audit by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, receiving 100 per cent feedback from residents in all but two categories.

Mrs Goodall said there were two old-age stereotypes she hoped to fix through the centre: the idea life was over when residents moved into a retirement home, and the communication divide between staff and guests.

Heather Goodall.
Heather Goodall. Arthur Gorrie

A Gympie mainstay for more than 50 years, Cooinda Aged Care has grown from 32 beds to 164 and now employs 262 staff.

It is used as a main base for two community groups - Robin's Roses and the Gympie Cooloola Potters.

The Cooinda Show Day has become a popular attraction at the facility with Gympie Historical Car Society, Gympie Woodworkers, Gympie Steam Engines group, Gympie West School and Gympie Flexible Learning Centre regular participants in the festivities.

The nomination for Cooinda as an employer highlights its "reduced cost gym and aquatic programs” and access to mental health programs.

"Cooinda also provides a return to work program in conjunction with Workcover Qld, specialists and GPs” and "access to re-training programs for staff who are unable to continue working in their original role due to injury”.

Category winners receive a $2500 prize from the awards' foundation partner, the Commonwealth Bank, and a trophy.

The gala dinner will be held on Friday, November 29.

Gympie Times


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