Lockyer Valley celebrates Australia Day

27/01/2019 12:00 a.m.

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

Ernie has volunteered with the Scouting movement for 38 years, which I’m sure you will all agree, is quite an achievement. Not one to rest on his laurels, for the past 17 years, Ernie has volunteered with the Forest Hill Cricket Club, provided pastoral service and support to elderly Lutheran Church members, organised annual church Day Camps for young people and provided services to Blue Care and Anuha. Ernie is motivated by his deep-rooted commitment to help others, even at the age of 83!

Young Citizen of the Year: Chelsea Reinke

Chelsea finished 2018 as Junior Secondary Captain at Lockyer District High School. With a natural ability to lead, Chelsea excels academically, culturally and in sporting pursuits. A Baton Bearer in March 2018 for the Queen’s Baton Relay, Chelsea is a very proud member of the local community.

Junior Sports Award: Sarah Steinhardt

Sarah is making her presence known in the competitive sport of hockey, with great success in the sport. Sarah is committed to mentoring the next generation of hockey players and makes sure she “gives back” at every opportunity.

Senior Sports Award: Catherine Ovenden

Catherine is passionate about Tae Kwon Do and has a list of national and international achievements under her belt. Last year, she competed in four tournaments and achieved 13 medals. Catherine competed in the ITF World Cup, where she won a bronze medal against Argentina.  She is in an inspiration to the junior students at the club, especially the young women and girls.

​Arts and Cultural Award: Something to Sing About Choir

Bringing joy to people through music and song is at the core of this group and they are to be congratulated for bringing a smile to not only their members, but the community too.  Choir members of the Something to Sing About Choir give their time voluntarily to ring joy to people through music and song. Members are all survivors of some form of cancer or a family member of a person that has had cancer. The group has close to 30 members, with more than 20 turning up for each performance. 

Community Event of the Year: Gatton Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show 

The Gatton Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show attracts close to 1000 attendees from Brisbane North, Northern New South Wales, South Australia, Toowoomba, Brisbane Valley, Kingaroy and districts every February. The event showcases the talents of local people in the areas of shaping and polishing stones and creating jewellery. The family-focused event provides a comprehensive range of local rock specimens and information about the geology of the Lockyer Valley. 

Sporting Group of the Year: Laidley Touch Association

The club first began around 1975, to assist with the off-season for the Laidley Rugby League Club. The first night they had only six players and by the following week, they had six teams. Players have gone on to represent Queensland and Australia for lengthy periods. The Club runs days for children from Alara and is committed to helping the region's youth by providing direction and support. This group has produced a host of first-class players throughout its time, is dedicated to helping the youth of the region and keeping the Lockyer Valley active. 

Volunteer of the Year: Ken Bowden

Ken Bowden is a passionate supporter of the Gatton Heavy Horse Show. He first competed in 1989 and has held the role of president, vice president, maintenance co-ordinator and grounds caretaker, just to name a few. Ken is committed to promoting the Lockyer Valley at every opportunity and attends many local events with a heavy horse display in tow. Ken is also one of Council’s official volunteers and helps at a range of Council events throughout the year

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.

Page reviewed: 22 Feb 2019 2:57pm