Collinsville Citizen of the Year Ann-Marie Williamson receives her award from Whitsunday Mayor Andrew Willcox at the Australia Day Awards Presentation. Photo: Elyse Wurm
Collinsville Citizen of the Year Ann-Marie Williamson receives her award from Whitsunday Mayor Andrew Willcox at the Australia Day Awards Presentation. Photo: Elyse Wurm

Collinsville community champion named Citizen of the Year

Proud parents still send messages to Ann-Marie Williamson to let her know how the children she's coached in softball over the years are faring.

Among the Collinsville Citizen of the Year's favourite achievements is helping young children with softball and watching them climb through the ranks in the sport.

But softball is only one group on a long list of community organisations Mrs Williamson has dedicated her time and effort to in the Whitsunday town.

Mrs Williamson said everything she has done was for her two children, Owen who is now 21 and Clare, 18.

"Whatever my kids were involved in, I got involved in too," she said.

And that she did.

 

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Mrs Williamson got involved with the playgroup committee, then she started coaching softball, then joined the Collinsville and Scottville Swimming Club committee and then the Collinsville Horse and Pony Club.

Mrs Williamson is still part of the Collinsville State High School P & C but was also on the P & C for St John Bosco Catholic School.

She has also helped out with Meals on Wheels once a month for nearly a decade and still somehow finds time to work as a school officer and tuck shop convener.

"What you put into it comes back to benefit the kids," she said.

"It's about making sure the kids get what they need, whether it be sport or educational.

"Being in a small community, that's just my nature."

Ann-Marie Williamson, who was the Collinsville Swimming Club president, with junior mixed relay competitors Lex Ansen, Lily West, Clay Colls (back), Lexi Whelan, Kyan Tiechmann, Emily Ansen, Ruby Pyke (front) in 2017.
Ann-Marie Williamson, who was the Collinsville Swimming Club president, with junior mixed relay competitors Lex Ansen, Lily West, Clay Colls (back), Lexi Whelan, Kyan Tiechmann, Emily Ansen, Ruby Pyke (front) in 2017.

Mrs Williamson said some of her favourite achievements were being recognised with an award from the Catholic education system for her contributions and winning the 2016 Sports Administrator Award on Australia Day.

Coaching softball has also been a highlight, as she has watched players move through the levels from local games to representative matches.

"I've had the privilege of having some really (great kids), they're all great kids," she said.

"It's that recognition that all the hard work you put in to start with, they'll listen and achieve their goals.

"It's encouraging kids to have a go, you don't always have to be the best at something you can get through with the skills you have and surprise yourself."

Softball coach Ann-Marie Williamson (second from left) with players (from left) Clare Williamson, Skyra Goody and Madison Fisher in 2015.
Softball coach Ann-Marie Williamson (second from left) with players (from left) Clare Williamson, Skyra Goody and Madison Fisher in 2015.

Mrs Williamson said she was also proud to have played a pivotal role in securing grants for different clubs, including helping Collinsville Horse and Pony Club gain the funds to re-roof its stables.

She also helped secure grants for new outdoor equipment for the playgroup and was proud to see the playgroup moved into town, with the help of the council and Education Department, during her time with the committee.

While she has racked up quite the list of contributions and achievements, Mrs Williamson remains humble and insists it was all about doing her bit.

"It's just great to see the improvement and to start something and finish it," Mrs Williamson said.

"If you start something you've got to finish it, you don't walk away from it.

"I was always taught to give back as a young child.

"It didn't matter how big or small, just to give back to your community because either your children or your grandchildren or people will get to use it.

"To me it's just one of those things."

Ann-Marie Williamson was awarded the Collinsville Sports Administrator Award in 2016.
Ann-Marie Williamson was awarded the Collinsville Sports Administrator Award in 2016.

Mrs Williamson was recognised at an Australia Day Awards Ceremony alongside other hardworking Collinsville residents.

Here's a rundown of all the Collinsville award winners:

- Citizen of the Year: Ann-Marie Williamson

- Young Citizen of the Year: Siahan Batchelor

- Senior Citizen of the Year: Denise Hall

- Senior Sportsperson Award: Owen Williamson

- Junior Sportsperson Award: Alexie Collett

- Sports Administrator Award: Donna Bulloch

- Senior Cultural Award: Sue Clark

- Junior Cultural Award: Claudia Lee

- Community Event of the Year: Springtime Garden Competition


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