Top citizen recognised
A QUIET achiever has been recognised for his contributions to the community and deservedly named 2012 Citizen of the Year at the Gympie Australia Day Awards.
There had been other strong nominations, but Kevin Ward was honoured at yesterday's ceremony.
The retired agricultural contractor has "done a lot of good" in his capacity as president of the Gympie and District Masonic Fundraising Committee.
He helped raise major funding for the Queensland Grand Master's Flood and Cyclone Appeal in 2011 and $44,000 of that money was distributed locally to pay for repairs to the Kilkivan Showgrounds and pony club, damaged in the flood disaster.
Mr Ward has been a key instigator of many charity events which have supported a number of community groups over the years.
Much-needed funds have been raised for Riding for the Disabled, the Gympie Hospital's chemotherapy unit, Community Bus, Little Haven Palliative Care and others.
"He has touched many groups across the region, by recognising a need, organising functions, which have provided financial support, and ensuring these groups are better able to service their members, clients and the community," Gympie Regional Mayor Ron Dyne told the Australia Day crowd.
In addition, he regularly arranges and performs in concerts for the elderly at Grevillea Gardens, the Cooloola Coast Hostel and Cooinda Aged Care Facility.
"He assists with the Back to Gunalda Weekend celebrations, helps with the Kilkivan Great Horse Ride and has taken on the position of president for the Australian Pensioners and Superannuants League of Gympie," Cr Dyne said.
Nominees for the 2012 Citizen of the Year were:
Gordon Adams: for his work with St Vincent de Paul Welfare, the Salvation Army, Albert Park Bowls Club and Community Bus transporting members of the community to church services, functions and outings.
Tanya Easterby: for involvement in the community, promoting local groups and organisations and for her work as secretary of the Gympie Historical Re-enactment Association.
Vanessa Hatchman: for her work organising the 2011 Kia Ora Community Trail Ride and fundraising for the local community.
Daphne Horne: for assistance to many local organisations, too many to name.
Neville McSweeney: for supporting nearly every community group and being an active member on all Kilkivan event committees. He is always ready to help.
Warren Morgan: for an outstanding contribution to the youth of Gympie as a leader of the Nashville Scout Group and volunteer in the rural fire brigade and at Gympie East School.
Marlene Owen: for being instrumental in forming Supporting Chemotherapy in Cooloola (SCIC) and being the driving force behind all fundraising activities in support of people undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
Max Rogers: for his involvement as a volunteer rural firefighter and for representing all local volunteer members at the Rural Fire Brigades Association of Queensland. He has been the state president of the association for more than four years. He also received the Department of Emergency Services Australia Day achievement medal in 2009.
Jenny Turner: for work with Little Haven Palliative Care. Her willingness to do anything to help raise funds for palliative care is gratefully received by other volunteers, staff and patients.
Greg McGuire: for publishing Cooloola Remembers 1939-1945. He has also been instrumental in erecting war memorials throughout the Gympie region and is involved with the Gympie RSL.