Shortlist & Winners
The 2020 Fisher Community Awards
Unfortunately the 2020 Fisher Community Awards ceremony was cancelled due to COVID-19. However, these awards will be celebrated in a bumper special edition at the 2021 Awards ceremony in March 2021.
The 2019 Fisher Community Awards
The 2019 Winners and Finalists were:
ANDREW WALLACE AWARD
The BOARD MEETING
“The families The Board Meeting help have usually fallen through the cracks of Government support, are doing it extremely tough financially and have children with needs those of us with healthy kids could hardly fathom. Run for the last 12 years by a committee of volunteers consisting of local business people, their work is direct and pragmatic, and every single dollar goes into the hands of the families in need. The Board Meeting provides a conduit between those within the community who would like to help others and those that really need this outside support. Past help has included mobility equipment like wheelchairs and walking frames, specialty seating and standing apparatus, specialised bedding, orthopaedic products, learning technology and software, safe play and sensory equipment, lifting equipment, feeding aides, care dogs, special therapy, emergency respite care and in-home modifications. In total The Board Meeting has raised more than $1 million over ten years for the families of local children living with severe disability who have been unable to find help anywhere else."
endED – The team at endED have tirelessly campaigned for those with eating disorders in order to create Australia's first residential treatment facility for the conditions. They have worked hard to make a difference in the lives of those who often have no voice and whose families suffer in silence. endED are creating hope for many sufferers in our community.
Queensland Air Museum – QAM is Australia's largest and most diverse aviation museum. It is 100% member owned and operates with the support of a 100 strong volunteer workforce who contribute 60,000 hours annually. QAM collects, restores, maintains and displays historic aircraft and makes a great contribution to local tourism and heritage.
A Little Sparkle – A Little Sparkle provides safe, fun and engaging activities for girls on the Autism Spectrum who are often excluded elsewhere, helping them to experience life and engage with others who understand them. Director Daisy helps participants to embrace what makes them individuals and to see their quirks as strengths – not weaknesses.
FISHER EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR
ROB REID (Sunshine Coast Technical Trade Training Centre)
“Rob has worked at the Training Centre as a Construction Trainer since its inception and first intake of students in 2011. Rob is a qualified tradesperson with 35 years of experience. He displays a gentle, compassionate and kind nature which helps students to feel comfortable, accepted and on a definite career pathway. Rob leads by example, exhibiting the honesty and respect so important for today’s youth. Rob’s students notably gain in personal confidence and enhanced trade skills making them more employable. Rob is continually coming up with innovative ideas to improve the Centre’s facilities and their students’ learning. As a colleague, he is described as always the first person to lend a hand. Rob consistently puts in efforts above and beyond his role and asks for nothing but the success of his students in return..”
Tanya Favier – Tanya, of Kawana Waters State College, led in developing “Preppy Ted”. This campaign has gained huge media and social media attention this year, helping to remind parents on how to prepare their children for school and how to settle their nerves in the first weeks.
Jenny Thomas – Jenny is a much loved and respected teacher at Matthew Flinders Anglican College. A talented locally born musician herself, she has volunteered for the Sunshine Coast Junior Eisteddfod for 40 consecutive years and is now President.
Rose Gould – As an adult literacy teacher in both Beerwah and Maleny libraries Rose has run the Read and Write literacy programs, helping countless students, including refugees. Rose’s individualised programs have helped many to gain employment and maximise their potential.
FISHER STUDENT OF THE YEAR
JAZMIN SIMMONS (Caloundra State High School)
“As a member of Caloundra State High School’s Community Ambassador Z Club program, Jazmin has led and organised several activities which have made a significant contribution within the school and with local community groups. Jazmin was instrumental in ensuring the School’s ‘couch surfing kit toiletry drive’ was a success, proactively promoting the initiative, collecting goods within the school and sourcing supplies from local businesses. Jazmin has also participated in several community events including Clean Up Australia Day, International Women’s Day and the Caloundra ANZAC community walk. Jazmin has promoted and been supportive of the school’s commitment to White Ribbon, including speaking at assemblies in front of her peers about impacts of domestic violence and of the importance of respectful relationships.”
Libby Haines – Libby is a model student and sportswoman at Peachester State School who volunteers in her lunchbreaks in her school library and works to mentor young students through the Enviro Club. She initiated a ‘friendship chair’ for lonely students, a noticeboard to pay tribute to the school’s volunteers and a Prep reading program.
Denika Broad - Denika is an inspirational role model at Caloundra Christian College and exhibits leadership qualities of humility, kindness, integrity, gentleness, initiative, and compassion. She is involved in the College’s leadership program and is the Chapel Coordinator. She is a developing international artist, and was a 2018 Young Archibald entrant.
FISHER EDUCATION PROVIDER OF THE YEAR
“RYDA focuses on the big five road safety issues of speeding, driving under the influence, fatigue, seatbelts and distractions. Young people are nearly twice as likely as older people to die in traffic collisions while the most common age to die on roads is 18. RYDA works to reduce these statistics by ensuring young people have received the best road safety education possible, long before they jump behind the wheel. The Caloundra Rotary Club intends to educate a further 4,500 students over the next three years. It is hard to put a figure on lives saved as a result.”
Kawana Waters State College – The College is not only a fantastic learning environment, but partners with community organisations and businesses on programs like their ‘Under 8s Day’ education program, “Harmony Day” diversity event. Their unique ‘Health hub’ hosts older students from all over the Coast.
Quota International of Caloundra – QuoCKA Reading Program – This program gives every child in Grade 2 at participating schools a book to keep and a book for the school library. Police, politicians, parents and grandparents read with the children helping to build a sense of community and a lifelong love of reading.
Sunshine Coast Technical Trade Training Centre – Accepting students from 35 Sunshine Coast secondary schools, the Training Centre is regarded as the lead training facility on the Coast for career minded students who want to learn a trade with over 90% of graduates employed or in further training.
FISHER BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
THE WHARF MOOLOOLABA
“The Wharf Mooloolaba is being transformed into an exciting and vibrant place on the beautiful Mooloolah River with attractions for everyone, including special spaces for children. It now has a wide choice of restaurants and cafes serving delicious and affordable meals, snacks, ice creams and gelatos. It is also home to specialty shops, including clothing, homewares and gifts. In addition it provides access to a wide range of activities including scuba diving, whale watching, river cruises, boat and paddle board hire to name but a few. It is being enjoyed by an increasing number of locals, as well as interstate and international visitors. It is a great asset to our region and will continue to improve.”
The Dance Academy – In only a year The Dance Academy has trebled in size, with three separate Sunshine Coast studios and close to 150 families involved. Offering a standard of dance training normally found in the bigger cities, the Academy is constantly trying to increase what is offered to ensure their students feel they have every opportunity to take dance all the way.
Travis Schultz Law – Travis Schultz has committed an enormous amount of his time, energy and resources to supporting community and charities across the Sunshine Coast including the Tour de Kawana, Travis Schultz Winemaker’s Masterclass, and the Centurion Charity Ride. Travis created the highly successful Spring Racing Gala for Wishlist which this year raised more than $1.2 million for local health.
Art on Cairncross – Tony and Jane Gill work tirelessly to promote tourism in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. As a couple they also support fund raisers and elevate art awareness through media and through forums like Andrew’s Fisher Tourism Council.
FISHER EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR
SHIVAWN DAVIS (Parent Connect)
“Shivawn Davis is a Counsellor and Speech Pathologist working as the Sunshine Coast contact for Parent Connect. She works with local parents in providing early intervention, prevention and transition support for parents of children with disability. Shivawn goes so far beyond the boundaries of her job to ensure that she provides a lasting solution to vulnerable families in the Sunshine Coast community that it often leaves her nominator stunned. While many hide behind the confines of their job or use bureaucracy as an excuse for not acting Shivawn ploughs ahead and more often than not finds a solution. Many families on the coast are leading a functional life thanks to her work.”
Laura Chamberlain – Laura is currently studying to become an Eating Disorder recovery coach with endED and provides companionship and support to many girls across the Sunshine Coast. Laura's lived experience allows her to connect deeply with the sufferers and offers the connection that is so often lacking within the current health system.
Bernadette Bumpstead – Working at Caloundra Community Care Bernadette is described as “kind, thoughtful and caring but also charming, hilarious and full of energy.” She trains new employees at the Centre with zest and is calm and a wonderful role model. As her nominator says “She is the best.”
FISHER INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
“Damien has created a flight school with a goal of providing the best instruction possible using highly qualified instructors and the use of modern technology, saving on training costs to improve skills. Online lessons, 360 degree Virtual Reality training videos and new virtual reality training computer are three of the training aids put in place to ensure pilots who graduate from his courses are the best trained on the Coast, and not broke. Damien has created a branch of GoFly based in Singapore and has also employed a Chinese speaking instructor who provides flight instruction to Chinese students looking to obtain their licence. With a fleet of 4 modern Sling training aircraft and a Cessna 172, Damien business is a Sunshine Coast success story.”
Bradley Ashpole –Bradley is introducing Australia to an environmentally friendly building technology using recycled glass. Tuf-eco’s product is termite proof, fire proof, insulated, sound proof, weather resistant and allows a house to be built within 16 hours. The flat pack panels can be used for internal and external walls, floors, rooves and even the slab at only an eighth the weight of concrete.
Kawana Waters State College – Kawana Waters has had a 100% success rate in 2018 with students from schools across the region completing Certificates in Health Support Services and Basic Health Care. The school has created a customised program aligned with 21st Century Skills, hosting a Health Heroes Symposium, and building a simulated hospital ward.
FISHER SENIOR OF THE YEAR
“Ivon loves our area and in particular his beloved Glasshouse Mountains with a fierce drive and dedication befitting a person a quarter his age. Over recent years he has worked tirelessly researching and writing his wonderful, federally funded book "The National Heritage Listed Glasshouse Mountains" so both visitors and locals alike can be better informed on their history, geology, legend and environment. He is also working on improving the walking trails for all to enjoy. Ivon’s energy, effort and knowledge on the mountains are legendary. He is now busy researching Matthew Flinder's visits to our area and also working to help design a monument to the man himself. He regularly volunteers at the Glasshouse information Centre and has been doing for over 20 years. His nominator says “Ivon really is a living local treasure himself.”
Ray Sandberg – Ray began, and continues to, organise an initiative to provide a community meal for needy people on Tuesday evenings which now attracts up to 85 people. Two mornings a month he arranges a breakfast for two schools in the area and is a volunteer member of The Salvation Army Emergency services. He helps plan The Gathering, recently orchestrated the erection of an outdoor chapel and regularly visits sick people who cannot attend church.
Athol Johnston – Johno is a tireless volunteer in at least three organisations servicing the community including Coast Guard Mooloolaba (QF6), the Vietnam Veterans Association Sunshine Coast and Mooloolaba Surf Life Saving Club. He’s a great mentor and fundraiser and as a rule, he always does the busiest volunteer shifts, often putting in a 12 hour a day effort.
Iris Usher – Iris has been treasurer of Beerwah Hall Committee 10 years, Treasurer of Beerwah State School P & C for 14 years, and a volunteer for the Endeavour Foundation Beerwah for a period of 20 years. She monitors medical alert buttons for 7 people as well as transporting them to appointments and social activities 3 times a week.
FISHER SENIOR COMMUNITY GROUP OF THE YEAR
PALMWOODS SINGERS THEATRICAL SOCIETY LITTLE VILLAGE CHOIR
“The Society has been in existence since 1984 and this year has introduced the Little Village Choir which will give participants the opportunity to discover the many health and social benefits of singing. The Society is administered by a vibrant band of Seniors, although membership is open to a wide variety of ages, and regularly performs at Nursing Homes and Retirement villages. Members support in a voluntary capacity at numerous community events throughout the year, recently making a significant contribution to the highly successful and well attended Heritage Christmas event. The Society was recently responsible for the installation of modern sound and lighting in the Palmwoods Hall which will now be available for community use and enjoyment.”
Stitches Sewing Group – This group of around 90 women last year donated $3000 to charities, crocheted and knitted more than 60 blankets for the needy and homeless and more than 40 trauma teddys for premature babies.
Caloundra Men’s Shed – The Caloundra Men's Shed gives men of all ages the opportunity to talk about their health problems either physical or mental with like-minded people. The success of the Caloundra Shed is reflected by the continual growth in membership in spite of the difficulties the Club have experienced in obtaining a permanent home in Caloundra.
FISHER SENIOR SUPPORT SERVICE OF THE YEAR
CALOUNDRA SENIOR CITIZENS CLUB
“Every week, Monday through Thursday, Caloundra Senior Citizens Club, and its dedicated President Ray and Treasurer Monica front up and offer seven different activities enjoyed by members. Activities include Tai Chi, Mahjong, Bolivia, Whist, Five Hundred, Indoor Bowls and Hoy.
The Club and its leaders have weathered serious problems over recent years with fortitude and grace and have rescued this Club from certain disintegration by finding a new venue for the activities of its 300+ members. The Club organizes entertainers to visit weekly for busloads of elderly members some of whom stay on after the concert to play Hoy. It is a very convivial club with a number of social outings throughout the year.”
Maleny Meals on Wheels – Maleny Meals on Wheels deliver meals to clients' homes to not only ensure their nutritional requirements are being met, but to provide regular social contact and a friendly check to see all is well.
Comlink – Comlink offer door to door transport services for those in need as well as home care and support services. Employees are always friendly and helpful, and if they cannot deliver the service a client needs they will help to find someone who can.
The 2018 Winners and Finalists were:
ANDREW WALLACE AWARD
“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 PATHWAYS PROGRAM
“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
ALL LOVE PEST CONTROL & CARPET CLEANING
“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 THOMAS (endED)
“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
DR EVAN JONES
“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
CALOUNDRA COMMITTEE SERVICES FOR THE AGING HALL
“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
COASTAL CARING CLOWNS
“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.