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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.

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Australia Day Awards

2019 Australia Day Awards

Congratulations to this year's winners, who were announced at a presentation ceremony in January 2019.

2019 Australia Day Award recipients

Paul Donovan - Gold Coast Citizen of the Year

Paul Donovan has played a unique role in helping to make Gold Coast a global tourism destination. As chair of Destination Gold Coast for more than a decade, and until recently a director of Tourism and Events Queensland, he has guided the city’s image and reputation in its most successful era of visitor growth.


Kaitlin Barwick - Gold Coast Young Citizen of the Year

Kaitlin Barwick at just 16 is already proving herself as an inspiring leader through the introduction of new voluntary community initiatives, fundraising and personal academic and sporting achievements.

Kaitlin is a role model to those within the local community, school and sporting arena. Kaitlin is currently completing her Gold ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ Award within the PCYC.


The Blenders - Gold FM Community Service Award

The Blenders have been an icon of the Gold Coast for 30 years. The Blenders have provided outstanding service to the community through mentoring young leaders, inter-generational outreach, establishing choruses and bringing cheer and celebration to the Gold Coast, Australia and internationally.


Jarred Gillett - Sports Achievement Award

In 2018, Jarred became the most successful referee in Australian A-League history, taking charge of the 2018 Hyundai A-League Grand Final. In addition, he took out the Hyundai A-League referee of the year for a record fifth time.

Jarred was identified by GC2018 as an elite match official and invited as a key-note speaker to the Sports Officiating Workshop held here on the Gold Coast, aimed at inspiring and helping others in their chosen discipline.


Karen Scott - Environment Achievement Award

Karen has been active member of Wildcare for 18 years. She has been the president for the past nine and prior to that, she was vice president for three years and treasurer for seven. Karen has been the education coordinator for 11 years and runs training workshops on weekends and throughout the year in both Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Karen does all of this whilst working full time. Her dedication and commitment to our wildlife is inspirational. Her energy, drive and enthusiasm are unwavering. She provides leadership to Wildcare generally, and mentors many members. Her life is devoted to the care, rescue, rehabilitation and ultimately returns of our wildlife to the wild.


Mark Duckworth - Cultural Achievement Award

Mark Duckworth has been Festival Director of Blues on Broadbeach and Groundwater Country Music Festival for the past four years.

During this time, Mark has led these festivals to more than double their attendance and subsequently driving big dollars into the local economy. In addition, Mark is a highly sought after production manager, who has also worked with a plethora of international headline acts and is often in high demand to coordinate festivals and concerts around the country.


2019 Australia Day Award nominations

Every year, City of Gold Coast recognises community members and groups who have made an outstanding contribution to the Gold Coast for exceptional achievement, by presenting the City of Gold Coast Australia Day Awards.

Find out more about each award below.

Gold Coast Citizen of the Year - aged 26 years or over as at 26 January 2019

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 - aged under 26 years as at 26 January 2019

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 the Gold Coast 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 2019.
  9. Young Citizen of the Year nominees must be aged 16–25 years as at 26 January 2019.

How to nominate

Please note: nominations have now closed for the 2019 Australia Day Awards. Nominations for the 2020 awards will open mid-2019.

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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