City salutes its volunteers
SELECTED from an outstanding calibre of nominees, 11 recipients of the Warwick Australia Day Awards were recognised for their contributions yesterday.
The awards ceremony may not have ended with a fireworks display, but the recipients were just as vibrant when they took to the stage for their recognition.
The 2012 recipients were particularly outstanding, given the level of volunteer work completed following the summer floods.
For the first time, two sports administration awards were given and a new category was created for Sporting Event of the Year.
A selection panel spokeswoman said it was a particularly hard choice and was the first time the sports administration award had been jointly awarded.
"It was impossible to differentiate between these two valuable community sports administration groups," she said.
"In addition, we had a community sports event nominated which we felt was so good it deserved a category all on its own."
In his address, Mayor Ron Bellingham joked that until the previous day - when Premier Anna Bligh pushed back local elections to April 28 - he had thought Australia Day would be his final public address as mayor.
Cr Bellingham said the awards were an opportunity to acknowledge the work that is done voluntarily in communities in and around Warwick and district.
"Everyone who is nominated should consider themselves valued," he said.
"These prestigious awards are important within our regional community and it is always a challenge choosing one person or group out of a number of nominees who all equally deserve community recognition."
Cr Bellingham was joined by other official party members Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg and Professor Joseph Baker.
He said Australia Day was not just about Australia.
"It's about our community and about who we are; where we are going but also acknowledging where we have been," he said.
"Our volunteers are the essence of our community."
Citizen of the Year: Bette Bonney
Junior Citizen of the Year: Bianca Fitch
Cultural Award: Awakening Voices of Harmony
Junior Cultural Award: Killarney School of Dance Performance Troupe
Sports Administration Award: Warwick Hockey Association 2011 Committee
Sports Administration Award: Warwick Cowboys Rugby League Football Club
Sportsperson of the Year: Jeff Clark
Junior Sportsperson of the Year: Carly Cooper
Community Sporting Event of the Year: Warwick Cowboys Flood Recovery Legends Benefit Match 2011
Community Event of the Year: Warwick 150th Celebrations