Congratulations to Warwick 2012 Australia Day Award Recipients
Posted: January 27, 2012
This year there are ten recipients of Warwick Australia Day Awards, as two Warwick Australia Day Sports Administration Awards are being bestowed and judges created a new category called Community Sporting Event of the Year in 2012.
A spokesperson from the selection panel said the calibre of this year's nominees was outstanding particularly with the community response after the January 2011 floods and the subsequent recovery work.
“It was impossible to differentiate between these two valuable community sports administration groups,” the spokesperson said.
It is the first time the Sports Administration Award has been awarded jointly in Warwick.
“In addition, we had a community sports event nominated which we felt was so good it deserved a category all on its own.”
Mayor Ron Bellingham said the prestigious Warwick Australia Day Awards were an opportunity to acknowledge the work that is done voluntarily in communities in and around Warwick and district.
“Everyone who is nominated should consider themselves valued,” Cr Bellingham said.
“These prestigious awards are important within our regional community and it is always a challenge to choose one person or group out of a number of nominees who all equally deserve community recognition.”
The Awards were presented by the Mayor at Warwick Town Hall on Thursday 26 January 2012 at 7:30pm.
The 2012 Warwick Australia Day award recipients are:
Citizen of the Year - Bette Bonney
The 2012 Warwick Australia Day Citizen of the Year Award goes to Bette Bonney.
Bette Bonney has volunteered her time for two years as coordinator of volunteers for the Southern Downs community. During the floods of 2011 and subsequent recovery period which continues to this day, Bette gives top priority to providing speedy and high quality volunteer support to those who need it. She co-ordinated over 200 spontaneous volunteers in the weeks after the January 2011 floods and her vision to continue to develop the general and spontaneous volunteer program has paid off for this community.
Bette also voluntarily chairs the Domestic Violence Strategy Group and is a member of the steering committee that manages Warwick Safe Haven Domestic Violence Shelter, which receives no government funding and relies on volunteers and community sponsorship.
Bette is also very involved in her local Baptist church being responsible for bringing creative arts activities to the wider community. She took part in planning in the Baptist church’s 100th birthday celebration in 2011 where the church committed to providing a gift to the community. It is in giving that you receive – a value that epitomises Bette Bonney and her commitment to our community.
Junior Citizen of the Year – Bianca Fitch
The 2012 Warwick Australia Day Junior Citizen of the Year Award goes to Bianca Fitch.
Bianca Fitch has been involved in a range of community events including volunteering at Southern Downs Youth Service; being a Young Ambassador for Southern Downs Regional Council; playing volleyball in local competitions and volunteering with set up and pack down of games; participation in local hockey and also at representative level and volunteering at various community events.
Bianca won two awards at the National Youth Week Awards including Young Change Maker and Community Volunteer of the Year. Bianca has also overcome a life changing experience (personal) to help other young people through difficult times.
Bianca has used negative experiences she has had in her own life to turn that around and help various young people around her. She is happy go lucky and the first to put her hand up to volunteer at community events.
Cultural Award – Awakening Voices of Harmony
The 2012 Warwick Australia Day Cultural Award goes to Awakening Voices of Harmony.
This Warwick-based Awakening Voices of Harmony choir grew out of the activity of the Peace Festival and was created through a research exercise on the benefits of singing on indigenous health with the Aboriginal Health Council and Griffith University.
As part of this research project the Choir has helped establish five other choirs in Queensland and they performed with them at the Queen Street Mall. For themselves it’s provided a positive involvement and opened up a number of opportunities to perform at different places and take part in different workshops. The Choir participated in a cross-cultural workshop in Toowoomba and took part in social inclusion day at Griffith University where they did a workshop with Jonathon Welsh, the founder for the Choir of Hard Knocks.
Two choir members had the opportunity to go to Uganda where they did some charity work at an orphanage and participated in singing workshops with the African Children’s Choir and did a number of performances.
The choir provides a regular purposeful and positive activity for the community and was initially led by singer songwriter Roger Knox.
It has provided a regular positive activity that is a connection point for indigenous people in Warwick and opened up opportunities for them to do things they would never have thought to do before. It’s increased awareness in the broader community of the aboriginal population and featured on 7:30 Report on ABC TV.
Junior Cultural Award – Killarney School of Dance Performance Troupe
The 2012 Warwick Australia Day Junior Cultural Award goes to the Killarney School of Dance Performance Troupe.
This group of almost 50 children performs at Community events during the year, as well as dance competitions out of town. They perform at shows, fetes, festivals and the Rodeo, among many events. Many of the dancers train for 4 – 14 hours per week, and all members have to audition to be eligible for the troupe and attend extra classes before performance dances.
In 2011 a group of 27 older Troupe members (age 10 – 18) performed at Disney land and Universal Studios to critical acclaim.
The Troupe received accolades by Premier Anna Bligh after performing in the Warwick 150th Celebrations in 2011.
Sports Administration Award – Warwick Hockey Association 2011 Committee
One of two 2011 Warwick Australia Day Sports Administration Awards goes to the Warwick Hockey Association 2011 committee.
Just a few weeks after their election, the club suffered the worst disaster in the clubs’ history. Warwick Hockey’s brand new $300,000 Olympic grade synthetic turf was destroyed and the clubhouse, equipment and fencing significantly damaged in the January 2011 flood. The Minister for Sport Phil Reeves said it was the worst affected sporting club in the whole of Queensland, with an overall damage and loss of income bill exceeding $750,000.
The committee has also worked hard to run their normal fixtures despite having only grass fields. A very successful junior program was run by Phil Rolfe, and a social seniors program was achieved.
The people on the 2011 Warwick Hockey Association committee have worked tirelessly to overcome the devastation, run their normal winter season and raise flood recovery funds. The committee has successfully lobbied local and state government and applied for numerous corporate grants, driven particularly by a flood recovery sub-committee of Sheryl Windle, Pete Pickering, Sam Farrell and Bernie Trapp and Glen Eastwell. In total, in a span of 11 months the committee raised $649,041.59 thanks to the donations from the hockey community, local organisations and others, as well as grants from numerous organisations and government entities.
This outstanding effort means that by the 2012 hockey season a brand new Olympic grade synthetic blue turf will be laid just like the turf to be used in the London Olympics. Warwick will be only the second blue hockey field in Australia with the aim of attracting state, national and international training camps and tournaments.
Sports Administration Award – Warwick Cowboys Rugby League Football Club
One of two 2011 Warwick Australia Day Sports Administration Awards goes to the Warwick Cowboys Rugby League Football Club.
Warwick Cowboys Rugby League Football Club was also inundated by the 2011 floods and the Club Committee, members and volunteers have worked tirelessly to reclaim the clubhouse and grounds, raise money for the flood recovery effort and continue to run the normal football season.
Numerous working bees and events such as the special St. George/Illawarra Rugby League team visits with Coach Wayne Bennett succeeded in this Club pulling together in an outstanding achievement for the community.
Sportsperson of the Year – Jeff Clark
The 2012 Warwick Australia Day Sportsperson of the Year is Jeff Clark.
Warwick Wildcats basketball coach Jeff Clark. Jeff coached the Wildcats to a regional A-grade premiership victory in December 2011 and played in the Warwick Green reserve-grade side which also won a regional premiership. With so few on court and so many interchanges, coach is probably more important in basketball than other sports. Jeff has been very active in the past few years as an official, coach and player and does well on court.
He has been into basketball since he was around seven years old. He moved to Warwick about five years ago, and he initially coached the Under 19 team in the early days of the regional competition. He then became head coach of the men’s team.
Jeff has put a lot of effort behind Warwick basketball, and has especially worked hard to get juniors involved. It has been a passion of his since arriving in the Rose City. Jeff is credited with being a big part of getting Warwick basketball up and running again.
Junior Sportsperson of the Year – Carly Cooper
The 2012 Warwick Australia Day Young Sportsperson of the Year is Carly Cooper.
At just 15 years of age, Carly has a remarkable track record of sporting achievements. She has excelled in athletics, cricket, polocrosse and soccer, participates in Pony Club and plays touch football.
In 2011, she was named Junior Sportsperson for the second year in a row at Assumption College, and was also Age Champion Interhouse, Age Champion 5 School Meet (Allora) and Age Champion Interschool (Warwick).
In Cricket, she was selected for the Darling Downs Under 15 Girls Cricket Team which were the State title winners in 2011, and also won the National Titles in Sydney as a member of the Queensland Under 15 Girls Cricket Team.
In Junior Polocrosse championships in Albury she captained the State Team to become runners up and won best Number 1 and Best Female Australian Stock Horse. As part of the State Team she won the Warwick Barastock competition. She captained her team to a win in the QLD Zone Championships in June 2011 Mixed Division in Cunningham. Carly has now been selected as Captain to play the 2012 Nationals in Warwick. She has represented Queensland on many other occasions in Polocrosse.
Carly has been a representative player in soccer, is a current member of the Cunningham Pony Club and has played touch football in 2011.
Community Sporting Event of the Year – Warwick Cowboys Flood Recovery Legends Benefit Match 2011
The 2012 Warwick Australia Day Community Sporting Event of the Year Award goes to the Warwick Cowboys Flood Recovery Legends Benefit Match 2011.
On the weekend of August 19 and 20, 2011, Warwick Cowboys Rugby League Football Club held a special benefit event to assist the Club with flood recovery,
Master-minded by Committee member Glen Whitton, the Flood Recovery Legends Benefit Match saw a past Warwick and District Team play a St. George/Illawarra Red V Team (Old Boys). The weekend started on Friday night with a dinner for 300 league patrons. The game was played on Saturday with over 2,000 spectators passing through the gates to witness some of the greats of Rugby League thrill the crowd with entertaining play. Wayne Bennett coached the red V Team while his brother Bob coached the Warwick and District team.
Glen and the Club raised over $18,000 in sponsorship for the weekend, which grossed over $70,000 for the Club to use for flood recovery.
Community Event of the Year – Warwick 150th Celebrations
The 2012 Warwick Australia Day Community Event of the Year Award goes to the the Warwick 150th Celebrations.
Warwick celebrated its 150th birthday since becoming a municipality on May 25th 2011 with a memorable ten day program of events crossing multiple areas of the community. The hardworking committee consisted of volunteers from Warwick and District Historical Society, Southern Downs Steam Railway, as well as representatives from Southern Downs Regional Council, TAFE and the general community.
It was truly a cross community event with an amazing line up of talented performers at the Variety Concerts under the direction of Marco Gliori; a series of Heritage Coach Tours guided by volunteers Elva Sinclair and Greg Ziser that visited Canning Downs with the generous permission of John Barnes and a series of self guided walking and driving tours put together by historian Paul Munson. There was the opening of the Warwick and District Historical Society’s new Sandstone and Heritage Rose Garden; and a special day organised by the Steam Railway crew which unfortunately did not go ahead due to engine trouble.
A fun historical car rally was organised by Rotary and a family history display organised by Jennifer Walker was extremely popular, even travelling out to Glengallan Homestead, which also launched its Family History Centre. A special 150th Mayoral Gala Dinner for Charity raised over $13,500 for local charitable organisations and the festival ended with a Family Fun Day in the Park supported by Warwick Credit Union. Thanks goes to all the sponsors, volunteers who can’t all be mentioned here, and everyone who took part in this amazing event which brought the community together to recognise our local history.