Forest Hill shines in Lockyer Valley Australia Day awards
Forest Hill is the big winner in the Lockyer Valley Australia Day awards with two well-known local residents taking out major gongs on the day.
Fred Wilks won the Lockyer citizen of the year while Ann Bichel won the Mayor's Award at a packed ceremony at the Laidley Cultural Centre yesterday.
At the official Australia Day ceremony held at the Laidley Cultural Centre, Mayor Jones said Mr Wilks was a deserving winner of this year's award and Forest Hill was a better place for his efforts.
"There wouldn't be a person in Forest Hill who doesn't know Fred and the amount of work he does for the community," Cr Jones said.
"He is a strong advocate for the region and has implemented several successful initiatives in these groups he is involved with which has helped them thrive."
Mr Wilks, who volunteers his time with the Forest Hill State School P&C, the Forest Hill Christmas Festivities, Forest Hill Community Development, Forest Hill School of Arts and sporting clubs in the region, said he was proud to win the award.
"I just hope it inspires others to volunteer in the community," Mr Wilks said.
Meanwhile Ann Bichel said she was "speechless" after winning the Mayor's Award.
"I'm very surprised and humbled," Ms Bichel said.
Cr Jones said he gave her the Mayoral Award for her tireless work in supporting community groups across the Lockyer Valley.
"In particular her efforts in helping these groups apply for Government grants and funding to build capacity and increase participation," he said.
"Ann Bichel is one of these incredible people who is always thinking of others before herself."
Stella Echentille won the Young Citizen of the Year and other award winners were Natalie Newton (Junior Sports Award), Melissa McKay-Cooper (Senior Sports Award), Lockyer Valley Community Activities Shed (Sporting Group of the Year), Nola Vaughan (Cultural Group / Individual of the Year), Lights on the Hill Memorial Convoy (Community Event of the Year), and Gayle Daetz (Volunteer of the Year).
The Laidley cultural centre was packed for the awards which followed an Aussie breakfast and Light Horse Troop gun salute at the Pioneer Village.