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Congratulations to the Hinchinbrook Shire Australia Day Award Nominees for 2021 who have made an outstanding contribution to the community, and for their exceptional achievement in a variety of areas.
Alissa Carey – Nominated for her sporting achievements in a range of sports. Alissa is 2020 Ingham State High School Sportswoman of the Year. She is also Ingham State High School’s Netball and Athlete of the Year and Interschool Age Champion for swimming, Interhouse Age Champion for athletics and cross country. Alissa is captain of the Under 16 Magnetic North Steelcats and co-captain of the Under 19 Northern netball team. She also coaches, referees and mentors younger players in a range of sports.
Lachlan Erba – Nominated for his achievements in many sports. Lachlan was selected to represent North Queensland in Rugby League, Touch Football and Squash in 2020 and was the 2020 Ingham State High School Sportsman of the Year. He is also Ingham State High School’s Rugby League and Touch Football Player of the Year and age champion for Cross Country. Lachlan has been selected to play Rugby League in the Mendi Blackhawks Under 16 team this year. He also willingly volunteers to referee squash, touch football and rugby league.
No nominations were received in this category.
No nominations were received in this category.
Gladys Mann – Nominated for her contributions to the community through volunteering her time as a member of Herbert Valley Voices and Sing Australia since their inception. She also performs at various Carol’s by Candlelight events and the Australian-Italian Festival. Gladys also submitted many landscape paintings in the local Gallery and assisted in the painting of the mural at Forrest Beach. She ran the ‘Healthy Living’ group, providing gentle exercise, health education and a social outlet for its members and taught belly dancing for over 20 years.
Jodie-Mae Lino – Nominated for her contributions to the community as President of the Herbert River Crushers Junior Rugby League. Jodie was instrumental in getting Junior Rugby League running this year with COVID as a major barrier. Jodie was also the driving force behind the very successful League Tag for juniors which saw 130 boys and girls register for the competition. She is the Canteen Convenor for the Herbert River Junior Crushers, League Tag and Touch Seniors and was heavily involved in arranging the Dean Schifilliti U8s Shield, which unfortunately could not take place in 2020 due to COVID.
Roy Simpson – Nominated for his contributions to the community through his commitment to the Hinchinbrook Blue Light Branch. Roy has been Treasurer of the branch for more than 5 years and has been heavily involved in all fundraising activities during this time and has also committed to project management for the branch. His leadership has seen the branch become financially strong. Roy is also widely sought by the community to play the role of “Santa Claus” and directs these payments back to the Blue Light Branch. He is also the Lucinda Local Area Warden and is devoted to ensuring community safety in disaster events.
Kevin Halt – Nominated for his contributions to the community through his service to the Hinchinbrook Blue Light Branch. Kevin has been Secretary of this organisation for the past 4 years and has been heavily committed to fundraising activities during this time. He also plays a supervisory role to U18 events hosted by the organisation. Kevin is the Lucinda Local Area Warden and Neighbourhood Watch coordinator and was integral in saving an injured man who collapsed on the beach at Lucinda in 2018.
George Croton – Nominated for Individual Achievement Award and Shire Citizen Award
Ian Merritt – Nominated for Individual Achievement Award and Shire Citizen Award
Judy George – Nominated for Individual Achievement Award and Shire Citizen Award
Michael Harris – Nominated for Individual Achievement Award and Shire Citizen Award
Peter Kocica – Nominated for Individual Achievement Award and Shire Citizen Award
Peter Reitano – Nominated for Individual Achievement Award and Shire Citizen Award
Rachael Coco – Nominated for Individual Achievement Award and Shire Citizen Award
Robert Clark – Nominated for Individual Achievement Award and Shire Citizen Award
Tammy Collins – Nominated for Individual Achievement Award and Shire Citizen Award
PCYC Emergency Services Cadets Unit – Nominated for the coordination and operation of the Emergency Services Cadets Unit supporting youth from 12 to 18 years of age in participating in regular training activities. Successfully maintaining 16 cadets throughout the year, working around COVID restrictions and introducing online training and activities including first aid and radio operations.
Bodhi Matsen – Nominated for organising ‘Shave for a Cure’ at Gilroy Santa Maria College. Bodhi convinced several of his fellow students and the Year Level Coordinator to fundraise and shave their heads to make people aware of the difficulties of those who have cancer. The event was staged as a full school assembly to create impact and the group raised $8,300. Bodhi also represented North Queensland in the Under 15 Soccer team in 2020 and is a high achiever in all school subjects. He is a charismatic young man and a motivated student.
Jordan Di Bella – Nominated for his leadership as School Captain of Ingham State High School in 2020. Jordan has shown imagination and drive in his leadership role during a pandemic. He organised ANZAC Day at home for the school community and created positive videos to send to the student body at a time when families were worried about their students well being. Each time limitations arose during the year Jordan worked out a way of making it better and different for students.
Rachel Henney – Nominated for her leadership as School Captain of Ingham State High School in 2020. Rachel has had to think outside the square when organising activities for the school community during a pandemic. Her confident, yet humble personality meant students of all ages gravitate to her and rely on her support. Rachel is a supportive leader and team player with empathy for others.
Veronica Lawlor – Nominated for her contributions to the Ingham State High School and wider community. Veronica was an active member of the school well being team in 2020, working tirelessly with the school nurse and other support staff in her enthusiasm to help others. She was awarded the Year 12 Citizenship Award last year at Ingham State High School and is always willing to volunteer to help anyone who needs it.
Christine Walker – Nominated for her involvement in the community particularly through Forrest Beach QCWA. Chris was a founding member of this organisation 15 years ago, is currently President and has held various executive positions during this time. Chris is also a member of Forrest Beach Progress Association, Forrest Beach Senior Citizens, Ingham Art Action Group and is Treasurer for Forrest Beach Recreational Boating and Tourism Committee.
George Croton – Nominated for his contributions within the community particularly through the Maraka Committee for over 10 years and Ingham Lions Club for 11 years. George has also volunteered at the Herbert River RSL Sub Branch for 24 years. During this time he has also held executive positions on the Board and Debutante Ball Committee. George was also a member of the Queensland Cancer Fund Committee and has volunteered for Ingham Golf Club.
Ian Merritt – Nominated for his active involvement with Rotary Club of Hinchinbrook, Ingham Maraka Festival Committee, Pony Club, Polocrosse and Hinchinbrook Men’s Shed. Ian has been involved with some of these organisations for more than 20 years and during this time has held many executive positions, including President. Ian runs the Rotary Club’s Battery Collection Project with money raised going to Ingham Disability Support Group. He also volunteers for Meals on Wheels.
Judy George – Nominated for her volunteer contributions to the community particularly through her involvement with the Leukaemia Foundation Ingham Branch and QCWA Halifax Branch. Judy is a Life Member of the Leukaemia Foundation and has held the role of Treasurer since joining in 1995. She has also been a member of QCWA for 36 years and held the role of Treasurer for the majority of this time. Judy continues to help with fundraising, selling of raffle tickets and assists with weekly bingos.
Michael Harris – Nominated for his contributions to the community through his involvement with the Lower Herbert Halifax Lions Club and Taylors Beach Progress Association. Michael has been actively involved in these clubs as a volunteer since his arrival to our Shire over 10 years ago. He is the Unit Manager of Lower Herbert Halifax Lions Senior Citizen Units which involves both unit and yard repairs and maintenance involving many hours of time. He also assists in all other club activities such as Driver Reviver, Seniors Christmas lunch and fundraising. Michael maintains the Taylors Beach Stinger Net on behalf of the Progress Association.
Peter Kocica – Nominated for his life saving actions on three separate occasions. In 2017 Peter assisted in providing medical assistance to a shark attack victim. In 2020 Peter assisted in rendering first aid to a snake bite victim and a further shark attack victim. In each situation Peter remained calm and followed instructions provided and as a result each victim has survived their ordeal.
Peter Reitano – Nominated for his contributions to the community through his involvement in numerous volunteer groups for many years. Some of these groups include Rotary Club of Hinchinbrook, Maraka Festival Committee, Herbert River Crushers, Ingham Theatre Group, Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce, Hinchinbrook Australia Day Committee and past member of Junior Chamber International. Peter has held executive positions on almost all of these committees and is always offering his assistance. He is passionate about his community and his volunteering, lobbying and participation illustrate his devotion to making the Shire a better place.
Rachael Coco – Nominated for her active involvement with the Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce over a number of years. Rachael has led the organisation on a number of occasions and is the current President. She volunteers many hours developing and implementing projects that deliver value to the whole community. Some of these projects include Holiday the Hinchinbrook Way promotional video, Shop the Hinchinbrook local gift cards and COVID-19 business recovery support.
Robert Clark – Nominated for his volunteer involvement within the community over many years. Robert is a Justice of the Peace and provides volunteer service at the Courthouse on a monthly roster. He has been an active member of the Ingham Theatre Group for over 20 years and has also held various executive positions with this group. Robert has also volunteered with the Australian Italian Festival for a number of years and has held the position of Treasurer for the last 15 years. He has been Treasurer of the Ingham Disability Support Services Management Committee since 2016 and is a Life Member of Ingham Junior Cricket Association. Through his commitment and leadership, Robert has contributed to the development of many community organisations.
Tammy Collins – Nominated for her contributions to the community by organising fundraising events for various charitable organsiations throughout the Shire. Her tireless efforts contribute significant funds to many local charities and in turn support locals. Tammy consistently provides a very important social network for many people who thoroughly enjoy her events.