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(Mayor Ed Warren congratulates Longreach Citizen of the Year, Rosemary Champion)

The recipients of the 2017 Longreach Regional Council Australia Day Awards have been announced; and are as follows:


Isisford/Yaraka – Community Event of the Year
Mulga Rats & Gidgee Brats B&S Ball

In the lead up to this event, young people gathered in the community and via social media to make plans and organise what can only be termed as a roaring success! The volunteer committee was made up of local residents and residents of neighbouring communities. Together they’re responsible for a major logistical achievement, with the young committee overcoming remoteness while coordinating services for over 350 attendees including food, drink and amenities. The event also honoured similar events staged over 35 years ago, with memorabilia from those events on display. The successful staging of this event has been enthusiastically received by the local and wider community who look forward with anticipation to see that it becomes a permanent fixture.


Isisford/Yaraka – Community Volunteer of the Year
Tom Littlewood

Tom has been involved with the Isisford Golf Club for the past 20 years holding various committee positions in that time. He lives and breaths golf, volunteering countless hours on the slasher and preparing the course for tournaments. He’s represented the central west at the Inter Club Challenge for the past two years running. He travels to every open throughout the year without fail, always displaying the qualities of sportsmanship and a sense of fair play.


Isisford/Yaraka – Citizen of the Year
Tiffany Davey 

Tiffany moved to the Isisford/Yaraka area in 2015 and as well as forming the new B&S Ball Committee, serving as President, she has also taken on such roles as Secretary of the Yaraka Sports & Progress Association and Merchandise Coordinator of the 2016 Channel Country Ladies Day. She is also a member of the ICPA, CWA and the Yaraka Gymkhana Committee.  She continues to support her local community by fundraising for Cystic Fibrosis and for families experiencing hardship.  Tiffany represented the region both as the Longreach Miss Showgirl 2016 and Regional Miss Showgirl 2016.  Her desire and passion in becoming an ambassador for the youth of our region has not gone unnoticed. 


Ilfracombe – Community Event of the Year
Di Scott Memorial Function and Ilfracombe Christmas Tree

The Ilfracombe District Progress Association organise this popular annual event at which the Ilfracombe community comes together to socialize and celebrate the holiday season. They organise gifts for children attending and in recent years have worked in conjunction with Rotary to organise the distribution of hams as well. For the last three years all profits from the event have been donated to families in the community experiencing hardship. 


Ilfracombe – Community Volunteer of the Year
Wayne Morris

Wayne has been involved with the Ilfracombe Scorpions since 1995, holding various positions on the committee in that time, and continues to volunteer with and sponsor the Scorpions today. You’ll see him at most community events helping out and he has also been involved with the SES for many years, where he is currently controller. 


Ilfracombe – Citizen of the Year
Trent Hoad

Trent has contributed over many years to the Ilfracombe community. He’s played football for the Ilfracombe Scorpions since 2002 and encouraged all people to play no matter their level of skill. Trent has represented the central west on Outback Muster teams for over 10 years, travelling to remote communities delivering junior coaching clinics and more. He has coached the central west rep team, Ilfracombe state school students, and best of all; Trent coached the Ilfracombe Scorpions to their first A Grade premiership in 2016!

Not only is Trent a successful coach, he’s also President of the club and has volunteered countless hours at various fundraising and other events such as the recent Queensland State of Origin Team and Billy Slater coaching visits.


Longreach – Community Event of the Year
The Longreach Yellow-Belly Fishing Classic

The Classic experienced another record breaking year with a total of 732 nominations for adults, juniors and minis. Anglers travelled from all parts of Queensland and interstate to take part in the event, which is recognised as a great weekend for families. Over $40,000 worth of prizes were handed out for the event; with the majority being sourced from local businesses and supporting sponsors. The Longreach Recreational Fishing Club has only 25 members; which makes their achievement in staging the event even more remarkable. 


Longreach – Junior Cultural Achievement
Matthew Worland

Matthew has been a member of the Longreach Scout group since he was 8 years old. As a scout and more recently as a Venturer he has served with considerable dedication. He’s played Rugby League with the Central West team and assists in coaching the Thomson Tiger Juniors earning his Level 1 training certificate in the process. In 2016 Matthew joined the town band and with them he has played drums and percussion at several community events in the past year. 


Longreach – Senior Cultural Achievement
Ebonee Christopher

Ebonee started five years ago as a student at Longreach School of Dance. She has progressed rapidly through the grades to become a teacher; specialising in Hip-Hop and Jazz. She visits Blackall on a regular basis to provide lessons to the youth there. She is also an active participant in the Shockwave program; facilitating workshops in towns throughout the region.


Longreach – Junior Sporting Achievement
Sophie Kent

Sophie has amassed an impressive list of honours in the sports of dressage and showing. Most remarkably, she had the Supreme Champion horse of both the Longreach and Barcaldine shows; a major achievement for a 10 year old, competing against adults including seasoned veterans of the sport! It was the first time in the history of both shows that a 10 year old has won!


Longreach – Senior Sporting Achievement
Jodie Browning

Jodie took up triathlon approximately 4 years ago. The “Holy Grail” of the triathlon competitor is to qualify for the World Ironman Triathlon Championships held each October in Kona, Hawaii. The overwhelming majority of triathletes, seeking to qualify for Kona, will go through their lifetime and never qualify; such is the competitiveness across all age groups. In June, Jodie finished 3rd place at the Asia-pacific championships in Cairns, qualifying her for Kona, where she competed against the world’s best and completed the event – an incredible achievement in itself. By the end of the year, Jodie was ranked first in her age group from a worldwide field of over 2,700 participants, qualifying her for Kona again in 2017!  


Longreach – Citizen of the Year
Rosemary Champion

Rosemary is a long standing Longreach resident and fourth generation Western Queenslander. Rosemary has been nominated in recognition of her unrelenting dedication championing causes over a lifetime of service to the community. Rosemary was an early advocate for Tourism in our region and has demonstrated unwavering support for, and belief in, the values of the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame. She is a vehement promoter of the bush lifestyle and is often invited to speak in the media on rural issues. Rosemary is an effective fundraiser for many causes; in particular for Cystic Fibrosis, which touched her personally in 1999. She’s served the Longreach Show Society, the Longreach Pastoral College Board, the Longreach State School and Longreach State High School, the Uniting Church Guild, the Country Women’s Association; and many more.