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Isaac region celebrates its community champions

A Vietnam Veteran helping keep the Anzac spirit alive, a community-minded school captain and dux, and a theatrical tribute to the music of the 80s have been honoured with the Isaac region’s top Australia Day Awards for 2019.

In a celebration of pure people power, award nominees for Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Community Event of the Year from across the Isaac region, spanning some 58,000sq km from the coast the coalfields, were recognised at a civic ceremony in Moranbah on Friday night.

The evening event was a first for the Isaac region, with regional award nominees and winners previously announced in their home communities as part of local celebrations.

“This was an opportunity to elevate the recognition of our regional award nominees – the quiet achievers, unsung heroes and local champions who help our communities to thrive – by collectively celebrating their contribution to the civic, social, cultural and sporting fabric of the region,” Isaac region Mayor Anne Baker said.

“I couldn’t hazard a guess at the combined hours of community service devoted by our 21 nominees for Citizen of the Year, five nominees for Young Citizen of the Year and 14 nominees of Community Event of the Year.

“Isaac is helping to energise the world through our wealth of resources from coal to cattle and cane, but we are also blessed with the greatest resource of all, our pure people power.”

Vietnam veteran Richard Crabb from Ilibilbie on the Isaac Coast was named 2019 Citizen of the Year for his efforts in keeping the Anzac tradition alive by organising the annual dawn service on Greenhill Beach.

What started as a small fireside gathering of friends in 2002 has now grown to a community event which attracts more than 200 people annually.

“Greenhill’s Anzac Day dawn service is an absolute credit to Richard for his continued work and dedication for a day of remembrance close to his heart,” Mayor Baker said.

Clermont’s Bailey Richardson was announced as Young Citizen of the Year. The teenager was school captain in 2018 and class dux in her final three years of high school.

She has represented her school and community in a range of sports and is actively involved in the Clermont community through a number of organisations, including the pony club.

Last year, she carried the Queen’s Baton during the Clermont leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay.

“She is a role model to her peers and a shining example to rural youth of what you can achieve if you have a go,” Mayor Baker said.

Back To The 80’s, a theatrical tribute to the music and culture of the era, was named as Community Event of the Year. The show involved approximately 80 volunteer performers and production crew drawn from Clermont, Moranbah and Dysart.

“The event developed local creative skills while also engaging the wider community, playing to an audience of 1400 people across three locations within the region,” Mayor Baker said.

In addition to honouring the Isaac’s regional Australia Day award nominees and winners for 2019, eight Isaac residents completed the journey from migrant to citizen during a Citizenship Ceremony at Friday’s event.

Moranbah community medallions for local groups and individuals in the fields of achievement, culture and sport, as well as a Mayor’s Award, were also presented, with similar local Australia Day award presentations held at ceremonies across Isaac communities on Saturday.

Local Australia Day community events were held throughout the region on Saturday, kicking off the with annual Moranbah Triathlon, followed by gatherings in Clermont, Dysart, Middlemount, Glenden, Nebo, Carmila and St Lawrence.