Exceptional Gold Coasters who make a positive difference to the local community will be recognised at the 2022 McPherson Community Achiever Awards in Robina today.
This year, 75 locals will be acknowledged for their contribution by Federal Member for McPherson Karen Andrews MP, who has hosted the awards since being first elected in 2010.
“It’s a highlight of my year to host the McPherson Awards and shine a spotlight on how vital volunteers are to our local community,” Mrs Andrews said.
“I’m honoured to be presenting awards to a broad spectrum of our community: from the volunteers who drive patients to vital appointments, surf life savers who show up every week for patrols, and young people wanting to make the world a better place.
“I am always so inspired by our Young Achievers, who are often combining study with their community work and setting a terrific example for their peers.”
The awards are presented across three categories: Community Achiever; Surf Lifesaving Community Achiever; and Young Community Achiever.
Burleigh Heads Rotary Club Treasurer Allan Barnett will receive a Community Achiever Award for his dedication to the club and helping navigate through COVID restrictions.
“I’ve been with Rotary for many years in a range or roles, and believe I get back more than I give,” Mr Barnett said.
“I would encourage anyone who’s considering volunteering with one of our many wonderful local organisations to just give it a go.”
Louise Waller has been an honorary member of Currumbin SLSC since 1999, gaining 51 operational awards, and will be recognised as a Surf Lifesaving Achiever.
“My time with Currumbin has been extremely rewarding and I’m proud to have taken on various roles, most recently the Junior Activities Chairperson,” Ms Waller said.
“Although I wouldn’t seek recognition, events like the McPherson Awards are appreciated and provide a bit of inspiration to continue doing what I can to keep our Gold Coast beaches safe.”
Director of Fight 4 Youth Leisa Logan will proudly cheer as three young men from the Mentors Mentoring Mentors program receive their Young Achiever awards.
“The Fight 4 Youth family knows the importance of belonging,” Mrs Logan said. “That’s why we provide a safe space for young people to find value and purpose.”
Other recipients include:
- Kylie Ackland, Jenna Baudach, Daisy Rice and Kristy Flanagan who bring joy to the lives of sick children at Radio Lollipop.
- Members of Volunteering Gold Coast who ease the stress for those going through treatment by assisting with transportation to appointments, as well as providing social gatherings for isolated members of the community.
- Currumbin Wildlife Hospital and Wildcare Australia volunteers with more than 2,000 combined volunteer hours.
- Teenage surf lifesaver Tiarna McGee from Palm Beach SLSC, who recently rescued two drowning adults.
- Bill Harvie from Pacific SLSC who has dedicated over 30 years to life saving.
- Elanora State High School student Thomas Platt who’s passionate about protecting animals and the environment – taking a bag with him wherever he goes to collect litter.
- 14-year-old Chelsea Rose who helps her grandmother in the Mudgeeraba Robina RSL Sub-Branch kitchen and brings a smile to the faces of patrons.