- Wednesday 18 September 2019
When Sunshine Coast resident Debra Knight heard her name called as the 2019 Sunshine Coast Australia Day Award Citizen of the Year earlier this year, she was lost for words.
Debra has provided more than 10 years’ support to thousands of families through Gateway Care in Caloundra and has established a group of volunteers who offer the same genuine care for others as she does.
If you know someone like Debra, or a community group or organisation making a difference to the Sunshine Coast community, help them to achieve the recognition they deserve by nominating them for a 2020 Sunshine Coast Australia Day Award.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson launched the 2020 awards on September 17 and encouraged residents to nominate a local legend in one of the seven Australia Day Award categories.
“The Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards celebrate the achievement and contribution of individuals and community organisations across our healthy, smart, creative region,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“We’re looking for everyday people. They don’t have to be famous to be nominated for our Australia Day Awards. We want to honour the unsung heroes in our community.
“As a region we are fortunate to have so many individuals in our community who work to make the Coast a better place.
“So, have a think about those people or organisations making a difference in your community and nominate them - it’s really easy to nominate and a great way to say thanks.”
Debra Knight said receiving the award was overwhelming.
“I was really encouraged to be nominated for the work Gateway Care is doing in the community,” Ms Knight said.
“I know there are many others doing great things and I was grateful to receive this recognition and the award.”
Nominate now in one of the following categories:
- Citizen of the Year, sponsored by 7 News Sunshine Coast
- Senior Citizen of the Year, sponsored by Maroochy RSL
- Young Citizen of the Year, sponsored by MixFM
- Community – Group or Organisation, sponsored by Sunshine Coast Daily
- Environment, sponsored by Living Smart Sunshine Coast
- Creative, sponsored by TAFE Queensland
- Sport and Recreation, sponsored by Sunshine Coast Sports Federation.
For inspiration, the other 2019 award recipients were:
- David Woodrow, our Senior Citizen of the Year who has raised money for the emergency helicopter service and served in the SES and Rotary
- Evie Marshall, our Young Citizen of the Year who has changed the lives of Cystic Fibrosis sufferers, including herself, by campaigning for affordable access to a life-extending medication
- Mark and Gayle Forbes, our Community Group recipients who established ended
- our joint Environment award recipients, Wildlife Volunteer Association and the Junior Eco-Leaders from Coolum and North Shore Coast Care
- our Creative award winners, Tony Gill and Jane Caraffi, and
- our Sport and Recreation recipient, Maroochy Athletic Club.
Nominations for the 2020 Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards close on November 18, 2019.
Sunshine Coast Australia Day Award 2020 recipients will be announced at a special ceremony to be held on Friday, January 24, 2020.
Image: 2019 Sunshine Coast Citizen of the Year, Debra Knight with Tom Lew, her nominator