Friday, November 10, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life


Mackay Regional Council is on the hunt for unsung heroes, community volunteers, inspirational sportspeople and local legends of all ages.

Now is the time to nominate residents for the 2024 Australia Day Awards.

Nominations are now open for the following categories: Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Arts and Culture, Environmental Achievement, Lori Burgess Community Volunteer, Community Group, Senior Sports and Young Sports Award.

Mayor Greg Williamson said there had been so many tremendous nominations last year and our region was extremely lucky to have so many amazing groups and individuals that stepped up for our community.

“Police District Crime Prevention Coordinator Nigel Dalton is our 2023 Citizen of the Year and is a great example of a community member who goes above and beyond,” Mayor Williamson said.

“Nigel not only works hard to educate and keep our young people safe, he’s also a very active community volunteer who has worked with disadvantaged youth and men’s groups like Shed Happens,” he said.

Nigel was awarded the Queensland Police Liaison Officer Award in 2017.

His Police District activities are outstanding, particularly Choices and Safety Circus safety talks across various age groups.

“The judges were also blown away by our Lori Burgess Community Volunteer Award winner Jody Burrows,” Mayor Williamson added.

“Jody has volunteered with Mackay Riding for the Disabled for about 30 years.

“She has changed people’s lives.

“There are many amazing stories of rider progress, from nonverbal autistic children talking when on a horse to riders being able to develop enough strength in their back or core to support life changing surgeries.”

The 2023 Young Citizen of the Year was Keira Brown.

Keira is the current coordinator of the Valley District Youth Council. She has been instrumental in working towards the group’s main goals of giving a voice to Pioneer Valley youth, developing leadership and building a regional youth community.

Mayor Greg Williamson said nominating someone for an Australia Day Award took just minutes and was as simple as filling out a nomination form on council’s website or grabbing a hard copy at council’s customer service centres.

“Each year, the nominees always say just how much it means to be nominated and recognised for the work they do,” he said.

“If there’s someone you know who goes above and beyond for our community, then please recognise them today with a nomination.”

Nominations close January 4, 2024.

Online nominations can be found at

All award winners and nominees will be recognised at a special awards ceremony at the MECC on Thursday, January 25, 2024.

2022 Citizen of the Year Frank Cowell, 2023 Citizen of the Year Nigel Dalton, Mayor Greg Williamson and Vassie Comino of P.Comino and Sons at the 2023 Australia Day Awards Gala

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