Bellos to inspire region
GUEST speaker and Ambassador at the 2011 Australia Day celebrations in Stanthorpe and Warwick will be 2009 Suncorp Queenslander of the Year, Sergeant Dimitrios (Jim) Bellos.
Sgt Bellos is Queensland Police Service's regional cross cultural liaison officer of the Metropolitan South Region where an expanding population speaks more than 150 different languages and practises more than 130 different faiths.
He was recognised for his work in the multicultural environment, and a range of programs which helped formalise links between communities and instil trust, understanding and harmony.
Most notably this included the award-winning For the Love of the Game youth sporting program that worked with more than 6000 young people from diverse backgrounds and lead to a noted decrease in youth crime in the area.
Sgt Bellos also formed community consultative groups, multi faith dinners and information sessions.
He has gained the respect and trust of local community leaders and residents and has received national and State awards with the For the Love of the Game program and six national and State awards for his own outstanding contributions.
He is being brought to celebrate Australia Day in the Southern Downs by the Woolworths Ambassador Program in partnership with the Queensland Government and the National Australia Day Council.
Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Ron Bellingham praised both Sgt Bellos and the Woolworths Ambassador Program.
“The Ambassador Program gives regional and remote areas as well as metropolitan areas the opportunity to meet and interact with outstanding Australians as they share their inspirational stories about what being an Australian means to them,” Cr Bellingham said.
“Smaller communities like ours can have official ceremonies that are equally as important as the larger cities,” he added.
There will be plenty of fun and free activities planned in the Southern Downs to help residents participate in one of the biggest celebrations in the nation.
“Australia Day events have been planned all over the region with celebrations ranging from a community breakfast in Killarney, to a riverside concert in Warwick's Queens Park, or an afternoon of Aussie fun and entertainment in Stanthorpe's Weeroona Park,” Cr Bellingham said.
Nominations are now open for local Australia Day Awards available for both Stanthorpe and Warwick residents in eight categories: Citizen of the Year; Junior Citizen of the Year; Community Event of the Year; Cultural; Junior Cultural; Sports; Junior Sports and Sports Administrator.
Nominations for the awards close on January 7.
Forms can be downloaded from www.southerndowns.qld.gov.au or by calling the council's Warwick office on 46610300 or Stanthorpe office on 46815500.
For more information about the Australia Day celebrations, contact Tracy Vellacott on 46610305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.