ON the eve of the recent lockdown federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace hosted an awards event for the Fisher Community Awards.
The awards saw 18 community groups, volunteers and businesses take home medallions, which also included winners from the cancelled 2020 awards ceremony.
Mr Wallace said that despite impending COVID-19 restrictions, he was determined that the awards go ahead safely this year.
Just as COVID-19 did not stop the Sunshine Coast’s volunteers in 2020 and 2021, Mr Wallace was determined to not let it stop him from recognising their contribution to our communities.
“Over the past 12 months we have needed the resilience, the compassion and the energy of our volunteers and community leaders more than ever,” Mr Wallace said.
Two of the winners from the Glasshouse Country and Maleny readership area were Glasshouse Christian College student Charlie Bidgood, who was awarded Fisher Student of the Year 2021, and the Maleny and District Senior Citizens, who received the Fisher Senior Community Group 2020.
Mr Wallace said that Charlie was an outstanding student who had been a consistent academic leader in science, with a strong interest in the space industry. He had secured work experience with Coletec, an Australian-owned company specialising in robotics, coding and prototyping.
“Charlie marries IT and engineering and already has grand ideas that recently inspired his science teacher to tout him as the student most likely to be a young millionaire,” Mr Wallace said.
“Charlie’s focus and dedication to science is extremely impressive but beyond his academic achievements he is also a keen motorbike and mountain bike fan and has attained a 1st dan black belt in taekwondo.”
Mr Wallace said the seniors group had been serving the district since its formation in 1977 and had more than 90 members ranging in age from 60 to 99.
The organisation assists with the social aspect of the ageing and meets every Wednesday for indoor bowls and on Friday morning for coffee and fun. Its Busy Needles group knits and crochets rugs, beanies and toys to donate to the Salvation Army, local care homes, a premie babies organisation and the Maleny Soldiers Memorial Hospital.
Throughout the year the seniors supported various local groups with financial donations, including Range Care, Soldiers Memorial Hospital, the Rural Fire Brigade, Life Flight and Cancer Council of Queensland plus a $200 high school bursary for a year 7 student.
“I want our part of the Sunshine Coast to be the place to be for education, employment and retirement, and that’s why I set up these awards,” Mr Wallace said.
“I want to do everything I can to recognise and encourage the people in our schools, our workplaces, healthcare facilities and community groups who are making that a reality with their work in the community. I am already looking forward to coming back next year with the fifth Fisher Community Awards,” he said.
Initial nominations were called for from the public with well over 100 received in both 2019 and 2020.
Photo: Margaret Martin and Lyn Burgess from Maleny Seniors with Andrew Wallace (centre)