Lockyer's most dedicated awarded for Australia Day
OUTSTANDING members of the Lockyer Valley community were honoured in front their peers on Australia Day - whether they liked it or not.
As Lockyer Valley Citizens of the Year 2017 Lawrie and Marjory Johansen observed, the volunteers who give their lives to their communities never do so for the accolades, and many were very humbled by their nominations.
Thirty-five groups and individuals who received nominations were whittled down to only eight winners in the awards categories.
Elder of the Torres Strait Islander people in the Lockyer Valley Uncle Milton kicked off proceedings by asking attendees to turn to the person seated by their side, in front of them and behind them and shake their hand and say 'G'day mate' before Lockyer Valley Regional Council mayor Tanya Milligan conferred the awards.
"Volunteers are the foundation of a healthy community,” she said.
The Junior Sports Award went to Jediah Morgan, whose award was accepted on his behalf by his mum, while the Gatton Show Society took home the accolade for Sporting or Community Group of the Year.
The Solomon Islands Lockyer Valley Community Fellowship were honoured with the Arts and Cultural award and the Up The Creek festival, which held its inaugural event just last September, was recognised for bringing the community together in an unexpected way as the Community Event of the Year.
Greg Steffens was rewarded for being "almost an institution” at the Gatton Crimestoppers as Volunteer of the Year.
Cr Milligan also singled out Shirley Klinge as a "guiding light” in the community for her work with Tabeel and Faith Lutheran College, and said Ms Klinge had earned the Mayoral Award for her humbleness, her regular contributions, her length of service to the community and her exemplification of good citizenship.
"She has always been a wonderful advocate for those experiencing difficulties with health and wellbeing,” Cr Milligan said.
James Crosby was award- ed the Young Citizen of the Year Award as a "true role model and leader” and used his acceptance speech to thank others who have contributed to the valley.
"It's not about me - it's about this community and they're what makes the Lockyer Valley special,” he said.
Adrian Shepley earned the title of Citizen of the Year for his "passion and commitment”.
Cr Milligan said it was an honour to be able to confer the award to Mr Shepley on Friday, especially as he was expected at a Blue Dogs fundraiser later that day.
Three new citizens were also welcomed into the Lockyer Valley.