‘Hope’ is a word that clearly resonates with City of Logan’s 2021 Citizen of the Year.
Anita Anderson is the founder of Springwood charity, A Touch of Hope and through it, she and her team support hundreds of Logan residents each year.
The charity hosts two community outreach sessions each week on the corners of Wembley and Ewing Roads in Woodridge.
It provides hot meals, desserts, drinks, clothing, linen and more for those in need and at times, also becomes street library, hairdresser or vet for family pets.
But hope has also served Ms Anderson personally in recent months as she has recovered from a brain tumour.
It was the driving the force that – even despite having to learn to walk and talk again – enabled Ms Anderson to get straight back out on Logan’s streets, to help others.
Logan Mayor Darren Power was honoured to present Ms Anderson with the City of Logan’s 2021 Citizen of the Year award at yesterday’s Australia Day ceremony.
“Anita represents and supports her community at the highest possible level and is more than deserving of the highest honour our City bestows on Australia Day,” Cr Power said.
“Through A Touch of Hope, Anita has changed the lives of so many people across Logan, and beyond.
“And in recent months, she has done that despite facing incredible personal challenges of her own.
“She, and our other Australia Day award winners, are no less than an inspiration to all of us and it has been my privilege to recognise and thank them for their incredible efforts.”
The 2021 Logan Young Person of the Year is 17-year-old, Juliet Thottunkal, who was recognised for her volunteer work at the Asthma Foundation, the Queensland Cancer Council, the Smith Foundation, Doctors Without Borders and Second Chance, among others.
The enterprising teen recently developed, organised and ran a garden show in Logan West to raise money for the Cancer Council, collecting over $5000.
Two Spirit of Logan Awards were also presented to Takisha Lyons, and Robert Haberle at the Australia Day ceremony.
Takisha, also just 17, is the co-founder of Diversity with Dance which has developed inclusive dancing programs through Access Community Services, Logan City Council, City View and the PCYC.
Robert was recognised for his work spreading festive joy to children across Logan as part of the Be an Elf Charity, which grants wishes in the form of gifts for vulnerable youth on Christmas Day.
Logan’s Australia Day ceremony was also one of welcome and celebration for 144 people who became Australian citizens at the event.
“Welcoming new citizens to our City is always a special moment for me and I am thrilled to have been able to conduct our Australia Day citizenship ceremony for the first time as Mayor this year,” Cr Power said.
“Our newest citizens are joining a community made up of 217 different cultures and I am sure they will contribute richly to our future.”
About 275 people gathered at the Logan Entertainment Centre for Logan’s Australia Day ceremony, which was held in a COVID Safe manner and with social distancing measures in place.