Locals recognised for their contributions to Rockhampton Region

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Yesterday, community groups and local individuals were acknowledged for their achievements and positive contributions to the Rockhampton Region at the 2022 Australia Day Awards ceremony.

Rockhampton Region Mayor Tony Williams said he was honoured to present six awards to community members and groups who have positively impacted the Region.

“Our Region has so many outstanding individuals and groups who are vital to the community. It was fantastic to see them nominated and recognised for their hard work and commitment,” Mayor Williams said.

“It was my pleasure to award Jennifer Hilcher as our 2022 Citizen of the Year.

“Jennifer Hilcher is a well-respected community member and a prominent figure within many organisations and events that raise awareness and money for those affected by cancer.

“Jennifer’s volunteering activities began in 1996 and continue today, where she holds many different roles at Cancer Council Queensland and assists with a range of activities including Relay for Life, Daffodil Day, Walk for Women’s Cancer and Girls Night In.

“Her commitment to others is outstanding, and she is a well-deserving recipient of this award.

“In sporting, I was proud to present Joel Coughlan as Sports Person of the Year, and Craig McCormack as Sports Official of the Year.

“Joel recently competed at the Tokyo Paralympics in the Australian Table Tennis team and in Rockhampton he still takes part in the open grade fixture competitions, trains and assists with the development of other players.

“Craig is the shining light of improving the health and fitness of the Rockhampton region, known for his involvement in the sport of triathlons in the Region.

“Our Community Initiative Award was presented to Rockhampton Relay for life, with Gary Murray receiving the Community Service Award.

“Relay For Life has made an outstanding contribution to the community for 19 years and raised over $3.8 million in the process.

“Gary Murray’s contribution to the community has been through his involvement in scouting, where he has been a well-respected leader for over 50 years.

“The final award presented was the Cultural Award and was awarded to Shelby Ward for her noteworthy contribution to the cultural life of the community.

“Shelby’s most notable achievement is her recently self-published teen fiction book, titled ‘The Velvet Mansion & the Discovery of Magic’, which is available in select local stores within Rockhampton.

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to nominate a community member or group and congratulate all of our winners and nominees whose actions benefit and positively impact our region.”

Australia Day Award winners:

Citizen of the Year – Jennifer Hilcher

Community Service Award – Gary Murray

Community Initiative Award – Rockhampton Relay For Life

Cultural Award – Shelby Ward

Sportsperson of the Year – Joel Coughlan

Sports Official of the Year – Craig McCormack

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