Australia Day celebrated the Whitsunday way
THE storms of the past week had blown away leaving clear skies and sweltering sunshine for the majority of the Whitsundays' 2015 Australia Day. Special Australia Day celebrations were held around the region in Collinsville, Bowen and Airlie Beach, where awards were presented to 29 worthy recipients.
Mayor Jennifer Whitney said these local community awards were an integral part of Australia Day, "as they recognise and honour the outstanding achievements of residents in the Whitsunday region".
"This year's recipients are from all over our region and all walks of life, but they all share a common commitment to the local community and represent excellence in our region," she said.
"Each year we celebrate the achievements and contributions of eminent Whitsunday citizens through the Australia Day Awards (and) the winners inspire us through their achievements and challenge us to make our own contribution to creating a better community."
Cr Whitney made special mention of this year's Citizens of the Year, who were Mick Boyce from Bowen, Gregory Lawn from Collinsville and Reg Gillen from Proserpine.
"The Australia Day Citizen of the Year award shows the recipients' contribution to the community is valued and it is a great way to show our appreciation," she said.
Award recipients from the Proserpine, Cannonvale and Airlie Beach areas were recognised at the official ceremony held at the Whitsunday Sailing Club, which was also the scene of a family fun day. The club also hosted a bouncy castle for the kids, games of cricket on the lawn, lamingtons and an Aussie barbecue, plus a special flash mob performance by Dee Jays School of Dance.
Awards for the Airlie Beach, Cannonvale and Proserpine regions:
Citizen of the Year - Reg Gillen
Young Citizen of the Year - joint winners - Todd Marshall and Isabelle Silberling
Senior Citizen of the Year - Tom Manning
Senior Sports Award - Anton Zafir
Junior Sports Award - Dylan Barbeler
Sports Administrator Award - Raylene Rasmussen
Senior Cultural Award - Choral C Voices
Junior Cultural Award - Laura Robson
Community Event of the Year - Airlie Beach Festival of Music
Wally Hinschen Volunteer of the Year Award - Gay Bowden