Australia Day Awards


​​​​​​Each year on 26 January, Australians all around the country will celebrate what’s great about Australia.

Help us celebrate what’s great about our community by nominating someone you know for an Australia Day Award

The Lockyer Valley Regional Council Australia Day Awards recognises members of our community who have made an outstanding contribution to the community, and for exceptional achievement in the areas of Sport and Culture.

​Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony 2020​

Boxing champion to visit the Lockyer Valley this Australia Day

Lockyer Valley Regional Council will welcome a boxing champion to the region as the 2020 Australia Day Ambassador.

Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan said this year's Ambassador was a fitting choice f​or the Lockyer Valley.

"We are thrilled to announce Jeff Horn, former WBO World Welterweight boxing champion, will join us this Australia Day.

"Jeff has won numerous awards, including the Don Award, Queensland Sports Star of the Year Award and the GQ Sportsman of the Year Award.

"Jeff was a quarter finalist at the 2012 London Olympics, which was the best performance by an Australian Olympic boxer for 20 years," Mayor Milligan said.

In what's regarded as the biggest fight in Australian boxing history, Jeff famously defeated 11 times World Champion Manny Pacquiao in 2017. That same year, he successfully defended his world title against the WBO #10 Gary Corcoran. In 2018, he defeated Anthony Mundine in just 96 seconds. Just last month Jeff won an against-the-odds re-match with Michael Zerafa.

Jeff is the national ambassador for anti-bullying for AMAYDA (Australian Martial Arts Youth Development Alliance), an empowerment program developed to combat bullying in schools, as well as an ambassador for the INAS Global Games.

"Jeff has built a career on being resilient and the ability to rise above the hand he's dealt and for a region such as ours, this really rings true for so many here in the Lockyer Valley," Mayor Milligan said.

Those attending the Awards ceremony will also enjoy the opportunity to hear Jeff speak candidly about his career and achievements, when he sits down with Mayor Milligan to discuss the charities he supports, the work he is passionate about, his resilience and more.

The Lockyer Valley Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony will be held at the Gatton Shire Hall on Sunday 26 January 2020. Doors open at 8.30am with the ceremony to begin at 9am, sharp.

The region's newest citizens will also be welcomed. The day aims to pay tribute to individuals and groups who have made significant contributions to our local community or achieved exceptional results in sporting, environment or cultural endeavours.

For more information on Australia Day activities being held throughout the Lockyer Valley visit or contact the Lake Apex Visitor Information Centre on 5466 3246.


Nominations for the 2020 Australia Day Awards have now closed.

The nomination period for Lockyer Valley Australia Day Awards is open year-round, beginning 1 February each year and closing in November of that year. This gives the community the opportunity to nominate someone at any time, possibly after a successful event or sporting achievement.

The award nomination categories include:​
  • ​Citizen of the Year
  • Young Citizen of the Year
  • Junior Sports Award
  • Senior Sports Award
  • Sporting / Community Group of the Year
  • Arts and Cultural Award
  • Community Event of the Year
  • Volunteer of the Year​

You can submit your application form by:

  • Email: 
  • Mail:
    • Lockyer Valley Regional Council
      Marketing, Communications & Engagement
      PO Box 82
      Gatton QLD 4343
  • Council offices:
    • 26 Railway Street, Gatton; or
    • 9 Spicer Street, Laidley

2019 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 and has been teaching for almost 20 years and is Head of Curriculum at Laidley District State School.​​​​

About Australia Day 

On January 26 we celebrate all the things we love about Australia, it is the day to reflect on what it means to be Australian, to celebrate contemporary  Australia and to acknowledge our history.  

Australia Day is about acknowledging and celebrating the contribution that every Australian makes to our dynamic nation. From our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people  - who have been here for more than 65,000 years - to those who have lived here for generations, to those who have come from all corners of the globe to call our country home.

Our national day provides an opportunity to acknowledge and learn about our nation's past and celebrate its future. It's a time to reflect on what it means to be Australian and celebrate the things we value land, sense of fair go, lifestyle, democracy, the freedoms we enjoy but particularly our people.​​

Page reviewed: 09 Jan 2020 2:13pm