[caption id="attachment_242" align="alignright" width="271" caption="Stephanie celebrates her third World Title in Torquay"]
This morning at the Gold Coast Arts Centre, Mayor Ron Clarke announced the winners of this years Australia Day Awards.
The dedication of eight outstanding residents in working to make the Gold Coast a better place has been recognised by honouring them at this year's Awards.
Cr Clarke said 65 people and organisations had been nominated for this year's awards, which showed that a strong community spirit still flourished in a vibrant and rapidly evolving city.
Congratulations to Southern Gold Coaster Stephanie Gilmore who was honoured with the Sports Achievement Award!
Stephanie took out the world championship on her first World Tour in 2007 then followed up again in 2008 with another victory. In November, 2009, Stephanie took out surfing's triple crown by winning her third straight world surfing title to become the only surfer in history to win the world title in every year she has competed at the elite level.
Congratulations also goes out to the other Award recipients who are:
Gold Coast Citizen of the Year:
Donald is an esteemed local artist whose community spirit is revealed in his work with troubled youth and the Police Citizens Youth Club. He is a major benefactor to Gold Coast Schools and a leader in environmental sustainability. Donald donates many of his art works for fund-raising auctions to support the PCYC, Variety Club, rural fire brigades, SIDS, Air Sea Rescue, Cane Festival, Twin Rivers Care and other worthy organisations.
Donald supports the Dream a Better World children's film festival at Coomera, chairs the Jacobs Well Environmental Centre Advisory Council, is patron of the Canefields Clubhouse, a house for people with mental illness, and is a former president of the Jacobs Well Progress Association.
Young Gold Coast Citizen of the Year:
Benjamin has over the past three years developed his leadership skills as a member of the Junior Council program, which is a partnership with participating High Schools, Rotary Ashmore and Gold Coast City Council. Outside school hours he has been a volunteer with Tallebudgera Valley Rural Fire Brigade. In December took part in a two-week Cambodia Service Learning trip in which students helped with sustainable planning in rural districts.
Gold FM Community Service Award:
Humphrey Firkins and Glenn Norris
Humphrey established and funds the Goda Foundation, a charitable trust named in honour of his late wife. The Foundation provides opportunities for young people in South East Queensland and has initiated a number of bursaries, scholarships and awards, including the opportunity to participate in programs, including Outward Bound and the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme. The foundation also supports medical research through Bond University and funds artwork for children at Allamanda Hospital.
is a stalwart of the Volunteer Marine Rescue at Southport. As well as fundraising, Glenn is an active crew member and has been Operations Controller since 1999. He looks after the maintenance of the three rescue vessels and is. also responsible for maintaining statistics, crew manning, rosters, training, etc. Glenn also organises the VMR's involvement at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show each year.
Environmental Achievement Award:
Nita has served with Mudgeeraba Community Association and Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland and is a founding member of the Hinterland Regional Park Bushcare Group. She leads local school and scout groups in educational activities with a focus on habitat values and local wildlife.
Nita has worked on numerous projects, including securing former dairy land for public open space; rehabilitating tracts of degraded floodplain, and re-vegetating land for the preservation of the Glossy Black Cockatoo, of which cause she is a strong supporter.
Cultural Achievement Award:
Joel Beskin and Pamela Lowry
Joel is former president now secretary of the Gold Coast Theatre Alliance. He has been instrumental in bringing together many areas of the arts - dance, theatre and music - to stimulate a strong and vibrant arts culture on the Gold Coast. He performs in stage productions and is a volunteer member of the Regional Arts Development Fund Committee, which develops the arts in regional Queensland.
Pamela has been the driving force behind the Gold Coast Philharmonic Orchestra for 24 years, including serving as publicity officer, president and secretary. She co-ordinates all the orchestra volunteers and designs the advertising flyers, program and newsletters and backgrounds for concerts.