Estelle Dempster, Toowoomba Citizen of the Year 2020.
Estelle Dempster, Toowoomba Citizen of the Year 2020.

How Toowoomba’s Australia Day Awards will change in 2021

NEXT year’s Australia Day Awards will look very different, with the Toowoomba Regional Council making extensive changes based on feedback.

The councillors voted at this week’s ordinary meeting to scrap the regional award categories, and instead expand awards at the nine local district areas.

An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander award will also be given at each local area.

Deputy Mayor Geoff McDonald, who moved the motion, said this was based on more than 267 responses from the community earlier this year.

“It is a reflection of the survey, where there were 267 responses, 209 supporting of the local areas keeping their awards,” he said.

“That’s the main change in regard to no region award.

“In the past, there has been an overall regional winner, but the feedback is that we give local awards only.”

Awards will still be handed out for Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Cultural, Junior Sports, Senior Sports and Community Group or Event of the Year.

Cr Carol Taylor backed the emphasis on local awards.

“Australia Day is about local heroes, making a difference. I think to change this the way they’ve changed it is very good,” she said.