Previous award recipients
  • Last updated:
  • 02 Aug 2022

Below is a list of past Sunshine Coast Australia Day Award Winners since the Sunshine Coast Council began in 2009. Council holds annual Australia Day Awards which celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and groups in the region.

2022

Citizen of the Year – Mark Ellis

Mark Ellis is a dedicated advocate and community worker, fighting homelessness on the Sunshine Coast. Between 2019 – 2021 he volunteered over 250 hours. Mark developed the 2019-21 One Roof Program which provides a range of support and services to almost 10,000 vulnerable people. Mark also collaborated with Sunny Street to launch their first medical outreach clinic, which seeks to provide free medical assistance to the vulnerable. Following the murder of a gentleman who had been sleeping rough, Mark has also raised $200,000 for the Coast’s first sleep bus for men, women and children.

Senior Citizen of the Year - James Coles

James (Jim) Coles is RangeCare’s longest serving volunteer with 27 years of voluntary service. Jim has served as Blackall RangeCare Group’s voluntary Management Committee for 14 years. The last three years of his time on the Management Committee, Jim served as Vice President. Jim raised funds for renovations to the RangeCare site in Flaxton and raised $460,000 for a new building in 1994. Jim remains an active member of the organisation and currently volunteers at least twice a week in RangeCare’s Op Shop in Mapleton.

Young Citizen of the Year - Sophie Greenhalgh & Jack Watson (Tied Result)

Sophie is a Year 11 student at Mountain Creek State High School who strives daily to be an inspirational role model. She continually displays excellence in her academic studies, leadership, innovation, community and volunteer work. Sophie’s dedication to service and academic excellence is reflected in her many awards and accolades including the 2020 USC Rise ‘n’ Shine Award and 2020 ADF Future Innovators Award. Sophie also volunteers for Chaplain pancake breakfast each week at school and was one of 20 ambassadors nationally, selected for the 2020 – 2021 PNG Aus Partnership.

Jack is very involved in his school community and his co-curricular activities include being Co-founder of the school’s Debate Club, a Member of Student Representative Council, a Lion’s Youth of the Year Participant and a participant of the University of Melbourne’s Corporate Social Responsibility Board Program. Jack has been accepted to study a Bachelor of Law and Commerce (Accounting). He has received numerous awards including Queensland Secondary Schools Citizenship Award 2021 by the Order of Australia Association, Dr Joe Goodall Community Spirit Award, Burnside Mortgage Choice Bursary and the Burnside Rotary Citizenship Award.

Community Group or Organisation - Mooloolaba Surf Life Saving Club

In 2022, Mooloolaba Surf Life Saving Club will celebrate 100 years of community service. Mooloolaba Surf Life Saving Club has over 1425 members, with Mooloolaba lifesavers completing 14,000 volunteer patrol hours and performing over 1800 preventative actions and rescues per season including upwards of around 180 first aids. The Club organises countless community events including an ANZAC Day Dawn Service, Christmas Tree Appeal, Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast, Mooloolaba Mile Ocean Swim and the Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival. The Mooloolaba Nipper program has over 430 children participating per season and Starfish Nippers for children with disabilities.

Sport and Recreation - Dr Bridie Kean

Bridie is a duel Paralympic medallist, former Captain of the Australian Gliders, USC academic, President of the Suncoast Spinners wheelchair sports club and the Paralympic representative who helped win the Brisbane bid for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Bridie leads by example and inspires those around her to create inclusive sporting opportunities with lasting outcomes. Bridie is working to ensure that the 2032 Games have a legacy that trickles through for people with a disability into all aspects of life – education, employment, public transport and access to sport.

Creative - Toni Eggleston & John Waldron (Tied Result)

Toni has worked with Arts Connect, organising Sculpture on the Edge, Sunshine Coast Open Studio’s and is currently working on reopening Stevens Street Gallery in Yandina. Her dedication to enabling the artistic community is admirable. She is passionate about creating spaces to appreciate art through events and giving a voice to artists. Her business, Mother Goose Media, saw the birth of Kids on the Coast magazine, a publication that is still running today. She also runs Boxed Up, a business that only stocks products from Sunshine Coast local artisans.

For over 30 years, John has contributed vastly to the arts sector as an artist, art educator, curator, and manager. For over 20 years, he worked as an education officer and gallery director for government and corporation,leading innovative gallery facilities and programs. For close to eight years John was Gallery Manager for both Caloundra and Noosa Regional Galleries.  During that time, he developed the Sunshine Coast Art Prize, curated touring exhibitions featuring local artists and led a team responsible for the situating of Andy Goldsworthy’s ‘Strangler Cairn’ within the Conondale Great Walk.

Environment and Sustainability - ECOllaboration

ECOllaboration (formerly Maroochy Waterwatch) is a not-for-profit community organisation that has been working on conservation projects across the Sunshine Coast for over 25 years. They have planted tens of thousands of trees, removed tonnes of weeds from the Coast’s natural areas, eliminated tonnes of rubbish from the Mooloolah and Maroochy Rivers, employed dozens of disadvantaged Sunshine Coasters and trained them in Conservation and Land Management and taken thousands of water quality samples in waterways across the region. Through the education of school children, they have created a sense of environmental stewardship across multiple generations. region.

2021

  • Citizen of the Year, Cheryl Harris
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Carmel Crouch
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Angelique Hallett
  • Community Group or Organisation, Lions Club Mooloolaba
  • Environment and Sustainability, Reef Check Australia
  • Creative, Aleesah Darlison
  • Sport and Recreation, Stephen Ossedryver 

2020

  • Citizen of the Year, Mark Forbes
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Mark Skinner
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Ella Woodborne
  • Community Group or Organisation, Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge
  • Environment and Sustainability, Ten Little Pieces
  • Creative, Jennifer Radbourne
  • Sport and Recreation, Robert Angus & Brendan Powell and Scott Park (Tied result) 

2019

  • Citizen on the Year, Debra Knight
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Evie Marshall
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, David Woodrow
  • Community – Group or Organisation, endED
  • Environment and Sustainability, Wildlife Volunteer Association (WILVOS) and Junior Eco-Leaders, Coolum and North Shore Coast Care (tied result)
  • Creative, Art on Cairncross
  • Sports and Recreation, Maroochy Athletic Club

2018

  • Citizen on the Year, Bruce and Denise Morcombe (tied result)
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Olivia Lindsay
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Donald Moffatt
  • Community – Group or Organisation, Daniel Morcombe Foundation
  • Environment and Sustainability, Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors
  • Creative, Judy Pippen
  • Sports and Recreation, Sunshine Coast Lightning

2017

  • Citizen on the Year, Julie Penlington
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Jak Hardy
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, George Farmer 
  • Community – Group or Organisation, Innovation Centre, Sunshine Coast
  • Environment, Rhondda Alexander 
  • Creative, Robyn Ernst
  • Sports and Recreation, Ron Grabbe
  • Outstanding achievement Award, ‚ÄčLachlan Smart

2016

  • Citizen on the Year, David Larkin
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Nathan Tressman and Brooke Pratt (tied result)
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Anne Wensley
  • Community – Group or Organisation, Suncoast Community Legal Service
  • Environment, The Millington Family
  • Creative, Maria Salmon
  • Sports and Recreation, Marayke Jonkers

2015

  • Citizen on the Year, Chris Turner
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Sarah Morcom
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Prudence Cawley
  • Community – Group or Organisation, Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC)
  • Environment, Derek Foster and Reef Check Australia (tied result)
  • Creative, Ferre De Deyne
  • Sports and Recreation, Julie Templeton

2014

  • Citizen on the Year, David Dangerfield
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Bindi Irwin and Samara Welbourne (tied result)
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Greg McKean
  • Community – Group or Organisation, Queensland Air Museum
  • Environment, Eumundi Wildlife Rehab Centre Inc.
  • Creative, Steven McLeish
  • Sports and Recreation, Tim Sheridan 

2013    

  • Citizen on the Year, Garry Church
  • Young Citizen of the Year, Adem Crosby
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Esma Armstrong
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Colin White
  • Community, Supporting Teenagers with Education, Mothering and Mentoring (STEMM)
  • Environment, Noosa and District Landcare Group
  • Creative, Jean Sandell
  • Sports and Recreation, Leanne Hipwood

2012

  • Young Citizen of the Year, Ailish Bolt and Ashley Ogilvie (tied result)
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Ruth Bode
  • Community, Jessie Wen Jie Li
  • Business, Ross Hopper
  • Environment, Kerry Jones
  • Creative, Jacqui O'Connor
  • Sports and Recreation, Gordon Howitt
  • Outstanding Achievement (Posthumous), Stan Tutt

2011

  • Young Citizen of the Year, Manual Barth and Nathanael Ford (tied result)
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Kevin Franzi
  • Community, Glenda Lloyd
  • Business, Amber Werchon
  • Environment, Leigh Warneminde
  • Creative, Cynthia Morgan
  • Sports and Recreation, Guy Tanner
  • Outstanding Achievement, Jessica Watson 

2010

  • Young Citizen of the Year, Bianca Bond
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, John Cooke
  • Community, Dawn Wilson
  • Business, Donald McBryde
  • Environment, Vernon Flood
  • Creative, Ross and Tamsin Kerr
  • Sports and Recreation, Kristy Ellis
  • Posthumous Award, Allan and Kari Taylor

2009

  • Young Citizen of the Year, Laura Monaghan
  • Senior Citizen of the Year, Malcolm Graham
  • Community, Valerie Zwart
  • Environment, Coolum District Coast Care Group
  • Creative, Lisa Chandler
  • Sports and Recreation, Roger Newton