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Australia Day Awards

Our annual Australia Day Awards program recognises and honours the outstanding achievement of individuals within the Gold Coast community.

Australia Day Awards

2016 Australia Day Awards

The City of Gold Coast’s Australia Day Awards program recognises and honours the outstanding achievement of individuals and groups within our community who are worthy of recognition for helping to make our city a better place to live.

The Awards identify excellence in sporting, environmental and cultural endeavours, as well as naming the Gold Coast Citizen of the Year and Gold Coast Young Citizen of the Year.

Australia Day Award winners 2016

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday 14 January at Q1 Surfers Paradise.

2016 Australia Day Award recipients

2016 Australia Day Award Winners

Award Winners 2016

The winners of the City of Gold Coast Australia Day Awards 2016 are:

Citizen of the Year – Gary Baildon

Gary spent three terms in the city’s highest office but has also played senior roles in many government and community organisations. He most recently chaired the Gold Coast Waterways Authority Board, playing a significant role in the Broadwater Parklands Stage 3 expansion, development of the Surfers Paradise Riverfront Masterplan and the Coomera Regional Dredge Spoil Management Facility. He has been a member of the Rotary Club of Surfers Paradise since 1970 and in 2010, was made a Member of the Order of Australia.

Young Citizen of the Year - Tanya Diessel

Tanya works as a community lawyer, providing free legal advice and assistance to the Gold Coast community and ongoing casework to the Gold Coast most vulnerable and disadvantaged people. She was awarded the 2011 National Volunteer of the Year Award for her work at the Gold Coast Community Legal Centre. Tanya also maintains the Mudgeeraba Show Society website and Facebook page throughout the year. She was awarded the 2015 Gold Coast Young Achiever in Occupational Excellence Award which was a significant moment of acknowledgement for her and the work she does for the community.

Gold FM Community Service Award - Animal Welfare League

Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) was founded in Southport in 1959 by a group of Gold Coast locals who wanted to create better outcomes for the area’s homeless animals. The AWLQ has grown to become one of the most effective and respected animal welfare charities in all of Australia. In 2015, AWLQ cared for up to 15,000 strayed, abandoned and homeless animals and is on track to rehome 9,000 of these animals. The League has re-homed over 100,000 animals throughout its history through the commitment of almost 700 volunteers.

Sports Achievement Award - Luke Douglas

A key player for the Gold Coast Titans, Luke is tireless in his efforts to help others when he is off the field. He is a strong supporter of Down Syndrome Association QLD, a passion that was born from his late mother, Trish Douglas. Luke was the driving force behind the Titans relationship with Down Syndrome Association Queensland where he helped organise the special activities at training and the run out with the team against the Rabbitohs. As part of the Titans Gold Coast Junior Rugby League Ambassador Program, Luke is an Ambassador for the Parkwood Sharks, a volunteer with the Titans Junior Development training sessions and coach of an under-13s team for Burleigh Bears. In 2015, Luke was named the NRL’s Ken Stephen Medal winner which recognises the NRL’s best off-field ambassador.

Environmental Achievement Award - Wal and Heather Mayr

Wal and Heather have spent the last 25 years tirelessly restoring their property, at the top of the Austinville valley adjoining highly valued conservation estate, including Springbrook National Park and the Austinville Conservation Area. Since becoming members of Land for Wildlife in 1999, the Mayrs have hosted numerous open property events to share their experiences and enthusiasm for restoration with others. In 2004 they entered into a General Voluntary Conservation Agreement with the City, to protect the property’s natural values for the term of their property ownership, and in 2008, entered into a Nature Refuge with the State to protect those values in perpetuity.

Cultural Achievement Award - Polly Snowden

Polly Snowden, reigning 2015 Music Champion of the Year award winner from the Gold Coast Music Awards, is a champion for cultural momentum on the Gold Coast. In 2015 she managed to deliver the highly successful Summertime Sessions in the Village, Winter in the Vale, and Palmy Sunday Funday music programs. She has created video content for moregoldcoast.com.au, promoting the city's cultural programming and talent and has recently been appointed entertainment manager for the Night Quarter in the north of the city.


2017 Australia Day Awards

Nomination categories and general conditions of entry

Select from the drop-down list below to find out more about each award and the general conditions of entry for these awards.

  • Gold Coast Citizen of the Year - aged 26 years or over as at 26 January 2017

    Recognises outstanding members of the community for their personal endeavours, achievements and community input.

    Consider the following when nominating:

    • How has the nominee made an outstanding contribution to the local community?
    • What personal goals and objectives has the nominee achieved?
    • Has the work been undertaken on a volunteer or paid basis?
    • How is the nominee an inspirational role model for the community?
    • What degree of sacrifice or difficulty has the nominee experienced in their pursuits
  • Gold Coast Young Citizen of the Year

    Recognises young citizens for their personal endeavours, achievements and community input.

    Consider the following when nominating:

    • How has the nominee made an outstanding contribution to the local community?
    • What personal goals and objectives has the nominee achieved?
    • Has the work been undertaken on a volunteer or paid basis?
    • How is the nominee an inspirational role model for the community?
    • What degree of sacrifice or difficulty has the nominee experienced in their pursuits
  • Gold FM Community Service Award

    Recognises individuals or groups who have provided outstanding service to the community.

    Consider the following when nominating:

    • What community work has the nominee undertaken and how has this work contributed to the development of the community?
    • What degree of sacrifice or difficulty has the nominee experienced in their pursuits
    • Has the work been undertaken on a volunteer or paid basis?
    • Give examples of acts of kindness, generosity or other contribution undertaken by the nominee for the betterment of the community or a particular person or group.
  • Sports Achievement Award

    Recognises the committed sportsperson, coach, administrator or official whose actions inspire and encourage others and enrich the community through sport.

    Consider the following when nominating:

    • What personal goals, objectives or achievements has the nominee fulfilled?
    • How is the nominee an inspirational role model?
    • How has the nominee made a special contribution to the community?
    • Has the work been undertaken on a volunteer or paid basis?
    • How does the nominee display the qualities of sportsmanship and a sense of fair play?
  • Environmental Achievement Award

    Recognises individuals or groups who demonstrate genuine passion for the environment and strive to improve it through conservation, preservation, protection, replenishment and education.

    Consider the following when nominating:

    • How has the nominee made an outstanding contribution to the environment?
    • What degree of sacrifice or difficulty has the nominee experienced in their pursuits?
    • Has the work been undertaken on a volunteer or paid basis?
    • How is the nominee an inspirational role model?
  • Cultural Achievement Award

    Recognises individuals or groups involved in the city’s rich cultural and arts community.

    Consider the following when nominating:

    • How has the nominee made an outstanding contribution to the cultural or arts community?
    • What degree of sacrifice or difficulty has been experienced by the nominee in their pursuits?
    • Has the work been undertaken on a volunteer or paid basis?
    • How is the nominee an inspirational role model?
  • General conditions of entry

    General conditions of entry are as follows:

    1. Nominees must be a resident of Gold Coast City at the time of nomination.
    2. Nominees can only be nominated in one category.
    3. Nominations will not be accepted if the individual or group has been nominated for an award the previous year.
    4. Recipients of awards are ineligible to receive the same award within a five year period.
    5. All nominations must have two nominators and include a summary of 500 words maximum about the nominee.
    6. All documentation will be retained by the City of Gold Coast.
    7. Contact details of nominators may be forwarded to local media.
    8. Citizen of the Year nominees must be aged 26 years or older as at 26 January 2017.
    9. Young Citizen of the Year nominees must be aged 16–25 years as at 26 January 2017.

 

How to nominate

You can nominate a Gold Coast citizen for an award by completing an online nomination form.

Nominations close on 16 November 2016.

Announcing the winners

The winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony in January 2017. Venue and times to be announced.

Further information

To make any enquiries regarding the City of Gold Coast Australia Day Awards, please contact the City Events team on 07 5581 5286.

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