COMMUNITY FIRST: 2019 Banana Shire Citizen of the Year Debra Elliott (with Banana Shire Council Mayor Nev Ferrier) believes all the nominees for this year’s awards should be proud of themselves.
COMMUNITY FIRST: 2019 Banana Shire Citizen of the Year Debra Elliott (with Banana Shire Council Mayor Nev Ferrier) believes all the nominees for this year’s awards should be proud of themselves.

TOP AWARDS: Hard workers get worthy recognition

SOME of the Banana Shire’s hardest working volunteers and community groups will be awarded a high honour.

The Banana Shire Council has received 21 nominations across ten categories for the 2020 Banana Shire Australia Day Awards.

After playing a pivotal role in saving Moura’s hospital service from being closed down, 2019 Citizen of the Year Debra Elliott said for the individuals and groups nominated for Australia Day Awards this year, it is an overwhelmingly positive feeling to have gotten this far.

“The whole fact of being nominated by someone in the community was a very nice gesture to acknowledge the work that you do,” Mrs Elliott said.

“I think it’s a big privilege to be nominated and to be announced as the winner is humbling and it’s the recognition from the community of what you do and others seeing merit in it also.”

Judi Powell, president of the Leichhardt Stock Horse Society may have to shake the mayor’s hand twice this Australia Day because she is involved in nominations for two award categories; Sports Coach Official and/or Administrator of the year and Community Group or Team of the year.

“I would of thought there would be plenty in the area in the running for this administrator’s award,” Mrs Powell said.

“I do the work I do for the Stock Horse branch because I love what we do, love putting events on for the community and promoting the Australian stock horse.

“To win an award would be great for the whole branch team.”

RISING STARS: The Leichhardt Stock Horse Society and its president Judi Powell are in the running for two Australia Day Awards.
RISING STARS: The Leichhardt Stock Horse Society and its president Judi Powell are in the running for two Australia Day Awards.

After re-launching the Leichhardt branch about two years ago, Mrs Powell has been instrumental in its success which has included being announced as the Australian Branch of the Year at the Australian Stock Horse Society’s Annual General Meeting.

“As a group we want to bring events to people in these drought declared conditions so people can have fun,” Mrs Powell said.

“For example the 2020 show in Theodore has been cancelled so we are bringing events to Theodore so stuff happens including a Stock Horse feature show over Easter.

“That is why we’ve been nominated because we have been really active in the region, especially in Theodore, by being able to bring the show to people so they don’t have to travel a great distance.”

Mrs Elliott said these Australia Day Award ceremonies are an integral part of the community fabric as they promote the strength of community spirit.

“Certainly community spirit, it’s important to infuse in our community which rolls onto the wider region, your state and then your country,” Mrs Elliott said.

“If you’ve got a community that’s running well, they can get the shire support and the shire can get the state and federal support for things.”

The Banana Shire Council Australia Day Ceremony kicks off from 2pm at the Theodore Showgrounds.


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