From an octogenarian volunteer who has dedicated years to fundraising for veterans, to our amazing surf lifesavers and high school students with a desire to make a difference – the 2021 McPherson Community Achiever Awards are shining a spotlight on our unsung heroes.
75 locals will be recognised by Federal Member for McPherson Karen Andrews MP at today’s ceremony in Robina. The awards are presented across three categories: Community Achiever; Surf Lifesaving Community Achiever; and Young Community Achiever.
“I established these awards after I was elected in 2010, as a way for our community to say thank you to the many volunteers who really are the backbone of our community,” Mrs Andrews said.
“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,” she added.
“I also feel it’s important to recognise our surf lifesavers, who ensure our famous beaches are safe for locals and tourists. One of this year’s award recipients has completed almost 1,400 volunteer patrol hours, which is quite exceptional!”
Point Danger Branch Manager Rachael Clark nominated several members and says it’s fantastic to recognise the work they do.
“From the people who coordinate our Nippers programs, to the patrol groups and admin team – every surf lifesaving club owes its success to volunteers,” Ms Clark said.
“Surf Lifesavers don’t do it for the recognition, but it’s nice to have an occasion such as this in our area to officially thank them for all they do.”
Past McPherson Award recipient, Bron Drinkwater will be attending the ceremony as a nominator – after receiving an unexpected knock at her door as the Gold Coast went into lockdown amid COVID-19 in March last year.
“My neighbours from a few doors down were standing there with cookies and their phone number,” Mrs Drinkwater recalls. “They told me to call them if I ever needed help.”
“Before that, we knew each other just to give a friendly wave. But now, I don’t know what I would do without them!
“I believe this is what community is – going outside the square to help each other.”
Due to last year’s COVID lock-down, the 2020 McPherson Community Achiever Awards could not be held. However, each recipient still received their certificate and medallion in the mail.
Mrs Andrews said she’s so glad this year’s event can go ahead and thanked Gold Coasters for doing their bit to ensure events such as this can once again be held.
“It is a highlight of my year to host the McPherson Community Achiever Awards and see the look of pride on the faces of the recipients, their friends and family,” Mrs Andrews said.
“I am proud to recognise the unsung heroes of McPherson and to represent them in our nation’s Parliament.”