Ex-Capricorn Coast resident recognised among UKs finest
A CAPRICORN Coast export of sorts has recently been awarded one of the highest honours of the British Empire.
On New Year’s Eve, ex-Yeppoon resident Fiona Kalache was recognised on the Queen’s 2020 honours list to receive an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to young people in Mid Argyll.
After leaving the Capricorn Coast, Ms Kalache assumed a manager’s role at Mid Argyll Youth Development Services in her home nation of Scotland.
The 41 year old has been working to provide a safe and welcoming environment for up to 300 disadvantaged young Scots each week.
Ms Kalache had rapidly grown the service since her time at the helm including attracting funds more than £1 million ($1.9M AUD) for MAYDS.
Upon hearing the news that she would be receiving the award, she said she was “shocked but delighted”.
“This is an award for all the people at MAYDS, from staff, committee, volunteers, funders and partner agencies to the children, young people and their families that have helped shape a service that has made a real difference across the area,” she added.
The company aims to help burdened young people including young carers, young parents, young people with disabilities and those looking for fun activities.
MAYDS also supports those with drugs and alcohol abuse and training is provided to improve their career prospects.
As for success stories, Ms Kalache said “there’s been so much over the years”.
“But when you see the people we have helped, from young carers to young people who are struggling, making a success of their lives, that’s what stands out for me,” she said.
Despite her achievements in Scotland, she said her old Central Queensland hometown still held a special place in her heart.
“I spent many years in Yeppoon bringing up my family and I hold fond memories of my life there,” she said.
“I still have strong ties there in my friends and amazing sister-in-law and brother in-law Vanessa and Duwayne Keefe who have supported me immensely.”
Ms Kalache will receive her MBE on June 30 at Holyrood – the Queen’s Scottish palace.
Others to be honoured in the New Year’s Eve ceremony included English cricket superstar Ben Stokes, and Australian pop icon Olivia Newton John. She also now joins the ranks of all four of the Beatles, who received their MBEs in 1965.