Australia Day honours
EVERY year, a hardworking and deserving member of the community is awarded for their efforts.
For 2011, the Lockyer Valley Citizen of the Year is Ann Bichel of Forest Hill, a proud mother of three sons who volunteers her time in various organisations and groups around the region.
Ms Bichel said she was a bit embarrassed about winning and she said she had a fairly good idea of who nominated her.
“I think there are a lot of people who do stuff around the place like me,” she said.
“It is an honour that people have noticed me and you just keep plodding away.”
Ann's community work began when she started at the Laidley Show Society and she became involved in other groups after she branched out from there.
“I was a volunteer at the School PNC in Forest Hill and we raised a lot of money for the hall there.”
She said there has been a great increase in help after the flood disaster.
“There have been so many people volunteering that haven't done it before,” she said.
“I hope it continues to snowball for them and there will be more volunteers in schools and clubs.
“That is a positive thing that has come out of the floods.”
Ann will be presented the award at the Lockyer Valley Australia Day event at the Laidley Pioneer Village.
Meanwhile, the winner of Young Citizen of the Year in the Lockyer Valley is Tegan Steggall, who is just 16 years of age.
She was top of her class at Lockyer District High School and is hoping to get a career in design.
Oz Day ceremonies
Townships across the Lockyer Valley will continue to band together and celebrate what it means to be Australian while remembering those lost in the flood disaster.
With the region still coming to terms with loss of life and livelihood, especially in Grantham and Murphys Creek, all local residents will next week have an opportunity to come together as a regional community to pay tribute to lost family, friends and neighbours in the Lockyer Valley region.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Steve Jones said while he thought local Australia Day events were important services for national and local communities, it was difficult to ignore the community's pain and anguish following a series of devastating floods, which started on December 26, 2010.
“The focus of Australia Day – and the thoughts, prayers and goodwill of our fellow countrymen and women – should be in the Lockyer Valley and other parts of Australia that have been devastated by floods,” he said.
“If Australia Day is a time for us all to celebrate what it is to be Australian, a good part of that is standing up for your mates and getting behind them when they're down.”
Cr Jones said he wanted to celebrate Australia Day in a way that respected the grief and sorrow of his constituents.
At the Gatton Historical Village, Australia Day will be commemorated from 8am to 2pm with family entertainment including working engines and blacksmith demonstrations.
Secretary Michelle Duff said all are welcome to attend and entry is free.
The Light Horse Troop will also do a small performance as well as a children's' activity corner and the family history library will be open for anyone interested in genealogy.
A sausage sizzle, billy-tea and damper, lamington's and ice blocks will also be available to celebrate this great occasion.
Australia Day award winners
Young Citizen of the Year Tegan Steggall
Community Event of the Year Lockyer Valley National Tree Day
Senior Sports Award Clem Smith
Junior Sports Award Jack Godley
Sports Administrator Award Gatton Old Boys Rugby League
Senior Cultural Award David Thompson
Junior Cultural Award Ace Herning-Krause
Achievement Award Lights on the Hill Memorial