The Livingstone Shire’s most well-deserving citizens have been recognised for their achievements, at an Australia Day event, at the Yeppoon RSL.
Seven community nominated groups and individuals, as well as two ‘Mayor’s Award’ recipients chosen by Mayor Andy Ireland, were celebrated yesterday.
Vice-President of The Dolphins Line Dancers group, Tracey Daffey has been awarded Citizen of the Year in recognition of her dedication towards bringing the community together to share the joy of music and mental fitness.
Chair of the Australia Day Awards Committee, Deputy Mayor Adam Belot has congratulated all of the nominees for the time and energy they invest to inspire pride in our community.
“Although our nomination numbers were lower than previous years, this doesn’t diminish the calibre and worthiness of each nomination; every single nominee can be proud of the selfless and tireless work that they do in our Shire,” he says.
“Instead of having a ‘winner’ for each category, the committee decided to acknowledge every nominee with a certificate and medal this year.
“It’s no surprise that there were so many outstanding achievements among the recipients of this year’s Australia Day Awards.”
Mayor Andy Ireland says every nominee showed what it meant to go above and beyond for the community, including those who received a Mayor’s Award.
“Each year the Mayor’s Award pays tribute to those in our community who have helped to improve the lives of others and make our Shire of tomorrow even better,” he says.
“This year I chose two deserving recipients, Shane Yore and the Yeppoon Community Market Committee.
“Since his 16-year-old son Rhys died in a preventable motor vehicle incident in 2021, Mr Yore has been actively involved in raising awareness in our local community about road safety and the need to make “good” decisions in the broader sense, through the not-for-profit charitable organisation ‘YOU CHOOSE Youth Road Safety’.
“The Yeppoon Community Market was started in 1976 and has grown over the years to what it is today; a much-loved local market that not only offers the community a place to buy local produce but where all profits from the stall fees are donated back into the community.
“Our community is full of outstanding contributors and while none of the recipients seek recognition or praise, the annual Australia Day Awards is a wonderful opportunity for us as a community to acknowledge their true Aussie spirit as we celebrate Australia Day.”
The 2023 Australia Day recipients are:
Mayor’s Award – Shane Yore
On January 21 2021, Shane’s son Rhys died in a preventable motor vehicle incident.
Since then, Shane alongside his wife Mandy and son Mitchell, has and continues to work closely with ‘YOU CHOOSE Youth Road Safety’.
The Australian organisation runs local group and school presentations for teenagers and supports organisations through storytelling to deliver the message about the consequences of poor choices.
Mayor’s Award – Yeppoon Community Market Committee (received by Judy Hirning)
The Yeppoon Community Market was started 47 years ago by farmer Jim Stephens and after a few years was taken over by what is now known as the Yeppoon Community Market.
The market has always been about the community and is set up so that all profits from the stall fees go back into the Community.
The Community Market has certainly lived up to its name, making hundreds of donations over the years.
The chances are that most people in the community have benefited in some way from donations from the market either directly or indirectly and this could not have happened without the support of stallholders, loyal customers and dedicated market volunteers.
Living Legend – Mary Carroll
Mary Carrol is Queensland’s longest standing Regional Tourism Organisation leader demonstrating 13 years of continuous industry improvements and advancement together with positive financial growth for Livingstone Shire and the Capricorn region.
Ms Carrol has presented marketing strategies to domestic and international consumers, trade, media, and business, along with supporting and developing industry projects.
She was heavily involved in the creation and delivery of the Southern Great Barrier Reef brand formed in 2011.
Today, the brand is widely recognised and entices domestic, interstate and international travellers.
Living Legend – Chi Chi Murray
Thirty-five years ago, Chi Chi Murray started the ‘Giggle and Gossip’ club to assist lonely people, and those new to the Shire, to interact and meet new friends.
The club plays a charitable role and over the years has donated more than $2 million to local services and individuals in need.
Ms Murray’s ongoing role caring for people in need is inspirational.
She shops and cooks for people suffering from cancer, transports them to chemotherapy and accommodates them in her own house.
She shops for elderly people and works with remedial children at St Ursula’s and Sacred Heart Catholic Schools, and is renowned for her work with stroke victims and people with brain injuries.
Citizen of the Year – Tracey Daffey
In 1997 Tracey formed The Dolphins Line Dancers group with three other ladies and has been at the helm for 25 years.
She spends 15 hours a week holding classes and in 2017 she helped form a committee to start Queensland Line Dancing Association and is now Vice President.
Each year Tracey helps organise a synchronised social event where dance groups around Qld all dance the same dance at a specified time.
She also arranges line dancing trips around Australia and New Zealand.
Tracey has also arranged performances to raise funds for the local SES, Rural Fire Brigade, Breast Cancer, Yeppoon Bowls Club, Royal Flying Doctor and Angel Flight.
Young Citizen of the Year – Samantha Crowley
Samantha Crowley embodies the Yeppoon State High School core values of Spirit, Teamwork, Accountability and Respect.
In 2022, she was selected as cultural captain for the school, and beyond the classroom, she has participated and led students in community-based projects including the Sustainability Summit, Battle of the Bands, and has helped raise fund for causes.
She is a very talented musician and is a member of the school concert band, frontline band and brass ensemble.
She’s also the youngest member of the Rockhampton Symphony Orchestra and plays alongside members at the Pilbeam Theatre.
Young Citizen of the Year – Charlie Erlewein
Charlie Erlewein is Australia’s youngest Straw No More ‘strawbassador’ and over the past year has continued her passion to create a better place for turtles and marine life.
Charlie is also an active member of Team Turtle CQ, as a volunteer, leader, educator, and spokesperson.
She spends upwards of 15 hours per week dedicating herself to informing and educating others whilst attending school and participating in Trampoline, Tennis and Swimming.
Charlie has been recognised nationally from the EdStart organisation as the ‘National Award Winner’ for Sustainability and Environment earning a $1,500 grant to help her continue to educate those in our community about why we should look after turtles and marine life.
Community Group Service Award – Sailability Capricornia
Sailability Capricornia is managed by a committed group of six volunteers and provides sailing activities for adults and children with a wide variety of disabilities, and their carers.
They have a core team of 35 volunteers and need 20 people to help on a sail day, which could be for four hours and involves up to eight boats and two inflatable support boats.
Community Group Service Award – Yeppoon RSL
The Yeppoon RSL turned 102 in November 2022 and its purpose is to support the commemoration of the fathers, mothers, uncles, aunties, grandfathers and so on who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the ongoing conflicts that continue to haunt mankind.
The Yeppoon RSL’s charitable work goes largely unheralded by the Community.
The RSL supports Veterans primarily, but it also provides a venue for other groups and people of all ages to enjoy and seek welfare assistance when required.