Australia day award winners in the whitsundays

OUTSTANDING community members were rewarded for their achievements and hard work at the official Australia Day Awards and citizenship ceremony on Monday.

• Citizen of the Year - Robyn Mitchell for her efforts as a volunteer.

Her recent roles include Community Representative of the Council Amalgamation Reference Group, Chairperson of Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling service and the 2015 Social and Community Development Committee (Whitsunday Development Corporation), secretary of the Whitsunday Regional Arts Council, and member of the inaugural Reef Festival Organising Committee.

• The Young Citizen of the Year Award - shared between Lawson Mee and Rohan Hughes, who were school captain and vice-captain, respectively, at Proserpine State High School in 2008.

Lawson was an active member of the Whitsunday Youth Affairs Committee and the Whitsunday Schoolies Advisory Committee during his school years. His roles in the community included, being a member of the Proserpine Citizens Band, DJ for the PCYC junior discos, Fashion Awards Assistant and Sound Technician, Relay for Life participant and Red Cross Blood Donor.

As well as vice-captain, Rohan was also elected as vice house captain and band captain in 2008.

He was awarded the Long Tan Teamwork and Leadership Award for three successive years, completed the Whitsunday Youth Leadership Program, was Club Finalist in the Lions Youth of the Year, and an active member of the Whitsunday Youth Affairs Committee.

Rohan also received the Junior Cultural Award for 2009.

• The Older Person of the Year Award -shared between Colleen Weick and Joanne Harper. Ms Weick excelled in her role as volunteer coordinator of Whitsunday Community Services and volunteers at the two op-shops. She has been involved in many Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre events.

Joanne has volunteered at Meals on Wheels for the past 25 years and is involved in the delivery and preparation of the meals.

She was a foundation member of the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre and has continued to work at the community centre's op-shop since its beginning.

• Community event of the year -Relay for Life.

Now entering its fifth year, the committee behind the event raises funds and awareness for cancer research. The relay has raised $175,750 for Cancer Council Queensland.

• The Senior Cultural Award - Jellena Demartini for her involvement in Art Whitsunday and the Whitsunday Regional Arts Development Funding Committee.

• Sportsperson of the year -Denise Squires who has been battling cancer for many years, but has risen above it and continues to inspire all around her with her passion for health and exercise, positive outlook on life and ability to 'just get on with it'.

• Junior sportsperson of the year - Sam Foster who was unable to attend the ceremony. Sam achieved runner-up in the 2008 North Queensland Future State Great Awards and was named Sportsperson of the Year at the Proserpine State High School awards night. He has played touch football for Queensland at the Australian Titles and rugby league and Australian Rules at a state level.

• Sports Administrator Award - Chris Connors, was unable to attend the ceremony. The former Proserpine Co-Operative Sugar Mill manager was president of the Whitsunday Brahmans Rugby League Football Club for several seasons before taking over the presidency of the Proserpine Golf Club.

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