Townsville City Council Australia Day Awards
Premier of Queensland and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk MP; Minister for Resources and Member for Townsville, the Honourable Scott Stewart MP; Member for Thuringowa, Mr Aaron Harper MP; Member for Hinchinbrook, Mr Nick Dametto MP; Federal Member for Herbert, Mr Phillip Thompson OAM MP; Senator for Queensland, Senator Susan McDonald; Commander, 1st Division/Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, Australian Army, Major General Scott Winter AM DSM; Commanding Officer of the RAAF – CO 27 Squadron, Wing Commander Naomi Gill; Commander of the 3rd Brigade, Australian Army, Brigadier David McCammon DSM; Assistant Commissioner, Northern Region of the Queensland Ambulance Service, Mr Matthew Green; Defence Force personnel; Townsville City Council Mayor, Councillor Jenny Hill, CEO, Dr Prins Ralston, Councillors and staff; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you Ms Virginia Wyles for welcoming us to Country this evening. I would also like to acknowledge the original custodians of the lands on which we gather, the Bindal and Wulgurukaba People, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations people here tonight.
It is such a pleasure to be joining you all this evening, for this very special Australia Day Awards ceremony, which brings Graeme and me back to beautiful Townsville, and allows us to meet more of the inspirational locals who make this city thrive.
This excellent initiative by the Townsville City Council publicly recognises and honours those outstanding individuals and groups who work with dedication and devotion to serve others.
I am so delighted that we have this opportunity to celebrate efforts that may otherwise go unacknowledged.
It is important that we thank our local heroes for the positive impact they are having on the community.
What makes these awards even more special is that nominations come from peers – often those whose lives have been touched by the contributions of these extraordinary Queenslanders.
Recognition of those who go above and beyond is a vital part of the Australia Day tradition.
I therefore congratulate all nominees for being such incredible role models - not just for others living in Townsville, but for all Queenslanders.
The breadth of the seven awards being presented highlights that communities are made stronger and more vibrant by contributions made in fields as diverse as the arts, volunteering, sport and the environment.
And you’ll no doubt be excited to know which two remarkable individuals will shortly be named Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year.
But regardless of who takes home an award tonight, each of this year’s nominees are to be commended for the time, industry and commitment they have willingly given - and which I am sure also requires immense focus, sacrifice and courage.
You should be enormously proud of all you have achieved.
I am looking forward to shortly presenting the remarkable Citizen of the Year 2023 Winner, an altruistic all-rounder who stands apart.
And tomorrow, we will have another chance to honour tonight’s winners in a ceremony as part of Townsville’s Australia Day activities.
I thank Mayor Hill for her kind invitation to join you here tonight, and extend my gratitude to all Councillors for the hard work they do, in the interests of Townsville and its people.
Please enjoy this magnificent evening and take this well-earned opportunity to relish the limelight!