Every community needs an Ernest, according to Lockyer Valley Mayor, Councillor Tanya Milligan.
So much so that Mayor Milligan today announced Ernest (Ernie) Chesterton as the Lockyer Valley Citizen of the Year at the Australia Day celebrations in the Lockyer Valley.
At the official Australia Day ceremony held at the Gatton Shire Hall, Mayor Milligan said Ernie's nomination form featured an impressive 68 pages of photos, awards, certificates and newspaper articles.
"You will struggle to find a more deserving winner than Ernie Chesterton.
"Ernie is heavily involved in the Scouting movement, the Forest Hill Cricket Club, Lutheran Church and Blue Care.
"At 83-years young, he is still a leader of Cub and Venturer Scouts.
"Ernie is driven by his true love of helping others and his community and for that, we congratulate him," Mayor Milligan said.
The Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Chelsea Reinke.
As the Junior Secondary Captain at Lockyer District High School, Chelsea is a committed individual who excels academically, culturally and in her chosen sporting pursuits.
"Chelsea was chosen to run a leg in the Queen's Baton Relay last year, which demonstrates her standing in the community.
"Chelsea is a selfless young woman who encourages others before celebrating her own success.
"That is a rare trait and one that deserves recognition," Mayor Milligan said.
A range of other awards were presented to the various category winners, while Nicole (Nicci) Martin was presented with the Mayoral Award for 2019.
Nicci was instrumental in the establishment of Together 44341, a group that brings community, government and education leaders together with the aim of improving outcomes for children aged under 8 in Laidley and the wider community.
The wife and mum has worked tirelessly to build relationships with the Health Department, West Moreton Health, Early Childhood Education Centres, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Domestic Violence Against Children, Queensland Police Service and National Disability Insurance Scheme, just to name a few.
A teacher at Laidley District State School, Nicci is also the driving force behind the Under 5s and Under 8s day in Laidley.
"Nicci Martin is a member of our community who is always thinking of others before herself.
"I decided to give Nicci the Mayoral Award this year for her tireless work in improving the lives of children in the Lockyer Valley," Mayor Milligan said.
The Awards were part of an entertaining day right across the region. There was also an array of entertainment at the Laidley Pioneer Village and Museum and the Gatton and District Historical Society as well as many other community and commercial venues throughout the region.
Congratulations to the following Lockyer Valley Australia Day Award winners:
Citizen of the Year: Ernie Chesterton
Young Citizen of the Year: Chelsea Reinke
Junior Sports Award: Sarah Steinhardt
Senior Sports Award: Catherine Ovenden
Arts and Cultural Award: Something to Sing About Choir
Community Event of the Year: Gatton Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show
Sporting Group of the Year: Laidley Touch Association
Volunteer of the Year: Ken Bowden
Mayoral Award: Nicci Martin
Nicci has been instrumental in the establishment of Together 44341. A group that brings together community, government and educational leaders with a common goal to improve outcomes for children under 8 in the Laidley and wider community.
Nicci has built relationships with West Moreton Hospital and Health, with Early Childhood Education Centres, our Council, both local and Qld Police, Community health workers, libraries, community centres and with the parents of our region.
She established Under 5's Day in the Laidley District in 2018 and also organises the Under 8's Day.
Nicci has been teaching for almost 20 years and is Head of Curriculum at Laidley District State School.