Shortlist & Winners

The Fisher Community Awards

2019 Winners and Finalists will be announced in March 2019.

The 2018 Winners and Finalists were:





“Sunny Kids works tirelessly to break intergenerational cycles of poverty and disadvantage. In particular they work to protect children and families from domestic abuse and family violence. Figures released today show that in the past 12 months, there has been a 30% increase in children living in out of home care. On the Sunshine Coast alone we have 5,000 children at risk of this violence every year, and in response Sunny Kids provides thousands of nights of emergency accommodation. They partner with health, education and child protection agencies to keep children safe on an on-going basis. They also provide a range of informative resources online, a series of events, a National Literacy project, a mentoring program, training placements and a schools program which are helping to raise awareness and develop critical skills in our community to give disadvantaged children the opportunity to get ahead.”


Fisher Educator of the Year


SIMON RICHARDSON (Chancellor State College)

“Simon instigated a new Robotics program at Chancellor State College which he gives up every lunchtime to supervise as well as spending afternoons and weekends training his most committed students. His students last year won an Australian robotics title and then a World title in the US. This year they have won their second Australian title and are off to America once again. Simon partners with the local business community to ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate, regardless of their socio-economic status. He also provides professional development for other teachers across Australia to help students nationwide to share in this innovative program.”


John Byrne – John is the Principal of Maleny State School and is unfaltering in his commitment to students, staff and the school community. John leads by example and is relentless in pursuit of scholarship, decency and respect in every aspect of school life.

Kim Kirkman – Kim is an inspirational music teacher and choir leader who, in addition to his work in schools, has established community choirs in Caloundra and Beachmere. More than 300 people now regularly benefit from the social and personal benefits of taking part.

Mike Turner – Mike is the tireless and selfless Chappy at Beerwah State High School. When not helping students, families and staff at the school he raises money for the Chappy program and volunteers at numerous community events.

Fisher Student of the Year


TEA CARTER (Kawana Waters State College)

“Tea is one of the 2018 School captains at Kawana Waters State College. She is described by her teachers as ‘an exceptional role model to the college community’, a ‘tireless worker’ on the school’s behalf and an ‘accomplished and dedicated student with a genuine flair for all her subjects’. In Year 11, Tea was a peer support mentor, helping new year 7 students to transition into high school. She was also actively involved in her school’s international program, corresponding with a Taiwanese student and hosting another international student for six months. At the end of last year Tea also submitted some beautiful images to Andrew’s Photos of Fisher competition!”


Shea Dawson – Shea has been assistant director of his Kawana Waters State college’s junior theatre company, its school band and director of the college choir. He is one of the 2018 School captains and is described by his teacher as ‘one of the most accomplished, disciplined and critical thinkers in his cohort’.

Fisher Education Provider of the Year



“Steps Pathway College is an Australian first, equipping young people with disabilities with life and social skills which will enable them to live independently and shape their own futures. Living independently in homes in a small residential learning community, the students support each other and learn together how to play their own part in our community. Many students of the 12 month program have never previously lived away from home. The experience of shared living and learning is literally changing the lives of many students and their families.” 


Kawana Waters State College – Last year Kawana Waters State College opened its Health Education Ward. One of a kind on the Coast, this simulation ward lets 107 students from across local schools to take qualifications in Health care and support services and get a head start in their chosen career.

Sunshine Coast Youth Orchestra – This not for profit community group provides high quality orchestral training for 237 students up to the age of 23 across seven ensembles. The group plays at many local community events, and even takes the students to countries like China and Japan.

Sunshine Coast Technical Trade Training Centre – Accepting students from 30 Sunshine Coast secondary schools from all sectors, the Training Centre is regarded as the lead training facility on the Coast for career minded students who want to learn a trade.


Fisher Business of the Year



“Following their own tragic family experience with cancer, All Love Carpet and Pest Control’s Paul and Deborah Warrington-Love have worked to build a legacy for other families suffering in the same situation. They contribute 10% of their business’s profit to the building of a house on the Sunshine Coast, James House, which will provide accommodation to support families who are travelling here for cancer treatment for their children.”


Campaign Group – Campaign Group are tireless supporters of the Sunshine Coast community. A nurturing employer of local university students and aspiring Coast residents, the company’s Rebecca Grisman also provides voluntary media support to local organisation SunnyKids

Sunny Kids Inc. – Sunny Kids provides thousands of nights of emergency accommodation to protect children at risk from domestic and family violence. The organisation also works with local health, education and child protection agencies to keep children safe.

Orange Sky Laundry – A not for profit business providing free mobile laundry services for the homeless, with 8 sites around the region. With 54 local volunteers, the service provides 8 loads of washing every night and on average provides a human connection for 20 homeless people every night.

Fisher Employee of the Year



“Millie is currently working with 40 young girls on the Sunshine Coast, mentoring them through their recovery from eating disorders. She runs mentor workshops for sufferers every Wednesday night at the Thompson Institute. However, due to the nature of eating disoders, Millie is on call every day, and regularly helps at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital with emergency cases. She is currently working with the Hospital’s staff to help them to better understand eating disorders from a sufferer’s perspective.”


Stuart Coward – Stuart is dedicated to his work on behalf of people with a disability on the Sunshine Coast and nationwide. He spends a great deal of time away from home in the pursuit of great outcomes for STEP’s clients and even raises money for other charities in his own time. 

Leesa Bishop – Leesa always goes far beyond her contracted hours at the tuckshop of Landsborough State School, both in the shop and preparing food behind the scenes. She also gives up her time at all hours of the day and night to ensure that students enjoy a plethora of extra-curricular events. 

Svetlana Reid – Svetlana volunteers her time at the Bloomhill Cancer Op Shop to assist with cancer patients recovery and raising money at the cash register. It is well known that the shop raises a record amount of money every time Svetlana is in.

Fisher Innovator of the Year



“Evan is creating an entirely new patient-centred, fully integrated healthcare option for people in our region by creating a health hub on a grand scale. The hub, which opened on 11 December last year, includes everything a patient would usually require without major hospitalisation including radiography, pharmaceutical services and mental health services as well as a large number of GPs. Most of the services are provided at no or low cost to the patient and the Hub provides the option of a brand new healthcare approach for people on the Sunshine Coast.” 


Rachel Forsyth – Rachel is highly active in striving to create a vibrant film and TV industry here on the Coast, in particular with her new drama series SCRAP. Alongside acting in well known movies, she organises cultural events for the Council, and produces an online local music show Balcony TV.

Omar Sullieman – Omar is a serial entrepreneur on behalf of vulnerable people here on the Coast, running three disability and social care focussed businesses. He is in the process of launching CareFarm, which will provide unique tourism opportunities for families which include children living with disability.


Fisher Senior of the Year



“After arriving on the Coast in 1976 Kevin has constantly given up his time to help others. He has been President of the Metropolitan Caloundra Nippers, volunteered with Caloundra Junior Rugby League, and has been a member of the Sunshine Coast Referrees for 30 years. He has been President of Caloundra Senior Rugby League, as well as President and Vice President of the Junior Club. Since 2011 he has also found time to commit  himself to TS ONSLOW Australian Navy Cadets where he has been President and a Petty Officer Instructor, giving up his Wednesday nights for training and his weekends for Cadet activities.”


Peter Fitzgibbon – Peter is President of the Maleny Men’s Shed and has worked tirelessly to provide an inclusive and enjoyable environment. He has personally secured a number of grants for the club and made house calls to sick and ailing members.

Lyn Gahan – Lyn was the founder of the highly successful Probus Club of Pelican Waters and has grown the Club to a membership of 130. She also volunteers extensively with the Red Cross Emergency Services including over time as Team Convenor and Liaison Officer.

Malcolm Scott – For the past 7 years Malcolm has volunteered his time every week at the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane and now does the same at the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital. He works with cardiac patients, helps older people with computer literacy, and assists around his residential complex. 

Fisher Senior Community Group of the Year



“The CCSA Hall caters for community events and meetings which collectively average 900 visitors every week. Organisers Margaret and David Smythe collectively work around 110 hours a week to manage the Hall’s operations and get it ready for events, in addition to working on grant applications to make improvements to the hall. Supported by a dedicated team of volunteers, the CCSA Hall supports dancing, stage performances, community meetings, charity groups and much more. It is a vital and much loved community facility in Caloundra.”


Lions Club of Mooloolaba – This club has served the Sunshine Coast community for 43 years including managing the Fisherman’s Road Sunday Markets in Maroochydore. The club has raised and distributed more than $1.7 million to good causes over the past 17 years.

Caloundra Rotary Club – Caloundra Rotary Club have been conducting the RYDER driver awareness program for local schools for 10 years now. The life-saving program educates young learner drivers on the causes and consequences of road accidents and how they can avoid injury or death.

Currimundi Lakeside Villas Craft Group – 20 ladies living at Currimundi Lakeside Villas take part in this craft group, meeting every Tuesday. The articles they make are donated to local charities like the Adem Crosby Cancer Centre, IRT Aged Care, Dove Cottage and the Salvation Army.

Fisher Senior Support Service of the Year



“Well known for their visits to Hospitals, Coastal Caring Clowns also has over 40 aged care facilities on their annual visit list. Around two dozen dedicated volunteers bring warmth and cheer, provide relief from monotony, demonstrate that there are people who care and decrease for a while the stress experienced by older people, their families and staff. Caring Clowns provide a distraction from physical or emotional pain, and offer residents the chance to see and participate in some old fashioned silliness.”

PresCare Sunshine Coast Community Care – PresCare provides community support for elderly people who live in their homes. Their staff provide top quality care, with core values of care, respect, innovation and high performance delivery. 

Home Care Assistance Sunshine Coast – This local care centre has the view that investment in high quality carers and staff is the only way to care for our aged community. Charging the lowest possible administrative fees, this company has a 97% client satisfaction rate.

Seasons Aged Care – Seasons provide accommodation for older Sunshine Coast residents and tailor care plans to an individual’s need. Flexibility and choice are particular features of the Seasons community in Caloundra.

Authorised by Andrew Wallace MP, Liberal National Party, 11/10 Lake Kawana Blvd, Bokarina, QLD, 4575