Some of the Coorong’s most exceptional community people have had their local commitment, volunteerism and dedication recognised after recently being announced as the Coorong District Council’s 2019 Australia Day Citizens of the Year.
Known for his great sense of humour that has lifted the spirits of many, Meningie’s Ian Qualmann was named one of the deserving award recipients for his dedication to his town from firefighting and volunteering as an ambulance officer to multiple sports, community and service club roles.
Over 55 years of contributing to the Peake community has also earned farmer Trevor Johnson the award. A quiet achiever who goes the extra mile, his willingness to take on any job no matter how big or small has made him a local hero.
The generosity of two standout candidates from Tailem Bend has been recognised with awards going to Lynton Piggott and Joyce Medlow – two exceptional local volunteers who consistently dedicate volunteer time and energy to their community.
Highly-respected Tintinara couple Jim and Jacki Cunningham were also awarded the dual title for their hard work, being described in their nomination as: “commitment to the community personified”.
In the Community Event of the Year category, the Murraylands Ambrose, Scrambrose and LALA Classic was the deserving winner. Founded 25 years ago, the annual event has gone from strength to strength for the Lake Albert Golf Club, attracting about 180 competitors to the popular three-day contest from up to 20 clubs across SA.
Three winners were chosen as Community Projects of the Year. The development of the Tintinara Nature Playground wouldn’t have been possible without a whole of community effort.
The long running Meningie-based non-profit Coorong Cottage Industries was recognised for its efforts to promote and support the region’s artists and craftspeople, while the Tailem Bend Community Centre Bucket List initiative won the accolade for its work to start a conversation between older residents and their families over active ageing.
The Australia Day Awards are proudly presented by the Australia Day Council of South Australia in conjunction with the Coorong District Council.
Mayor Paul Simmons said the awards recognised outstanding examples of hard work and dedication which reflected a culture of generosity and service within the region’s communities.
“This year’s awards recognise those who lead and inspire us, as well as those who see a need and quietly step up and deliver outcomes to make their community a better place,” Mayor Simmons said.
“Our winning community projects and events are outstanding examples of what can be achieved when we all work together for the betterment of our district.
“The efforts of all our winners are not only making their communities better places to live, they are also inspiring others to contribute their time and skills to ensure our towns continue to thrive. These awards are an important way for the whole district to say ‘thank you’ to these quiet achievers for their generosity and dedication to their communities.”