Congratulations To The 2014 Western Downs Australia Day Award Winners.

Regional Award Winners
Citizen of the Year Award – Bill Blackley
Bill is an active member of the Wandoan Community and has held numerous executive positions within a wide range of community organisations. Bill was a councillor in the former Taroom Shire Council and was a member of the committee overseeing the amalgamation to the Dalby Regional Council. Bill is a valued and respected member of the Wandoan Community devoting much of his time to the betterment of his community, and Bill is to be commended on his dedication to the Wandoan community over many years.

Young Citizen of the Year Award – Christopher Bender
Christopher has a keen interest in politics and national affairs and enjoys public speaking and participating within the local community. He has been a member of the Chinchilla State High School Interact Club, winner of the Chinchilla Lions Club Youth of the Year and has achieved many academic and cultural awards whilst at school and in the community. Congratulations to Christopher on this wonderful achievement at such a young age.

Cultural Award – Jan Ferguson
Jan is a highly committed, active and skilled community. Jan’s initiative is meeting a significant need in our community — this being activities which enrich the lives of those most vulnerable in our region. Through her art classes, Jan brings joy, quality of life and a sense of achievement to the students she works with. Jan has on many occasions given up her time to run the art classes. Jan’s skills as an artist in addition to her care, time, positive reinforcement and adept teaching skills make her an absolute inspiration and someone who deserves recognition. Congratulations on this award.

Sports Achievement Award – Thomas Versace
Thomas has achieved at state, national and international level in the field of sport shooting. Thomas is currently ranked number 2 in the 50m rifle prone. Thomas has achieved a wealth of records and titles throughout his junior career and has now established his placing amongst the best in the world. Congratulatulations to Thomas on his remarkable achievements and all the best for his future shooting career.

Community Project/Event of the Year Award – Tara Festival of Culture and Camel Races
Last year was the seventh running of the Tara Festival of Culture and Camel races. Local community groups and artisans are encouraged to participate and benefit financially, with the 2013 festival contributing $80,000 to 20 local community groups. In 2013 the festival drew 11,700 people to the district with wide ranging economic and community benefits, including an estimated visitor spend of $1.4 million.

Dalby and District Local Citizen of the Year Award - Elaine Fox
Elaine has been a volunteer at Pioneer Park Museum for 22 years. Elaine has also been a Meals on Wheels volunteer for 11 years and has volunteered at the Catholic Church for 22 years. Elaine has been an integral part of the Dalby volunteering community.

Dalby and District Local Junior Sports Award  – Dominique Holtkamp
Dominique competed as a member of the Our Lady of the Southern Cross College equestrian team at state level and as a member of the Queensland Interschool Equestrian team at the National Equestrian Championships in Perth last year. She competed in dressage, combined training, showman and showjumping with top 5 placings in all disciplines and was the team reserve champion in combined training.

Dalby and District Local Senior Sports Award – Cameron and Julie McEwan
Both Cameron and Julie have achieved highly in the sport of long range target shooting. Cameron commenced long range target shooting in 1979 at the Dalby-Tara Rifle Club and Julie commenced in 2005. High level competition led to both to being selected to represent Australia at the 2013 F Class World Championships in the USA. This team went on to win the coveted gold medal.

Dalby and District Local Community Project/Event of the Year Award – Cancer Council Dalby Relay for Life
The Dalby ‘Relay for Life’ is an incredible overnight event where the community celebrates cancer survivors, remembers loved ones lost to cancer, and fights back against a disease that takes too much. In 2013, the event raised $62,000 bringing the total funds raised over the past seven years to $380,000.

Information by courtesy of Western Downs Regional Council

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