Judith Young. Photo contributed.
Judith Young. Photo contributed. Contributed

Judy Young named Gladstone region's Citizen of the Year


A STRONG advocate in establishing community-based disability services, Judith Young, has been named Gladstone Regional Council's 2014 Australia Day Citizen of the Year.

The winners of all eight awards were named at the council's Australia Day Awards Presentation Evening at the Gladstone Convention Centre on Saturday evening.

Gladstone region Mayor Gail Sellers said Mrs Young was highly deserving of the prestigious accolade.

"This award recognises Mrs Young's 30 year involvement in the disability sector and her dedication in the establishment, provision and growth of quality services for people with disabilities and their families," Cr Sellers said.

"Mrs Young has exhibited a commitment towards improving Gladstone's disability sector by assisting families to access disability information, support networks and a choice of services.

"In addition to her achievements, Mrs Young has sought to ensure people with a disability are respected, valued and integral members of the community."

Mrs Young was a key figure in the establishment of the Gladstone and District Combined Handicapped Association in 1983, which has become the Gladstone Community Linking Agency (GCLA).

"All nominees have made exceptional public contributions and Council acknowledges and thanks each individual for their outstanding community involvement," Cr Sellers said.

The 2014 Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year Award was presented to 18-year-old Andrew McLean.

As 2013 Gladstone State High School captain, Mr McLean was committed to designing and implementing programs to ensure greater acceptance for students while assisting a number of charities and community organisations through the school's Interact Club.

Mr McLean strives to initiate change and has shown promising characteristics as a young future community leader.

He was instrumental in founding the Gladstone Captains' Alliance, is a three-time recipient of Australian Defence Force Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Awards and is a founder of the Zimbabwe Relay.

Mr McLean also founded a Films for Change night to highlight the plight of those living in poverty and personally raised $1000 for the Live Below the Line charity benefitting those living in extreme poverty in developing nations.

The invitation to acknowledge our often unsung regional heroes resulted in 38 Australia Day Award nominations being received across eight categories.

In addition to his senior school studies, Mr McLean maintained strong community involvement by volunteering for Rotary and serving as acting ambassador for the Red Shield Doorknock Appeal and the Australian Red Cross Blood Service in Gladstone.

"Andrew is a truly deserving recipient who has displayed exceptional drive and dedication to prompt beneficial changes for his school, local and global community," Cr Sellers said.

"This remarkable young citizen typifies what this award is about, delivering exceptional community service, demonstrating leadership, innovation and creativity."

Cr Sellers congratulated all Australia Day Award nominees and thanked community members for their nominations.

"The invitation to acknowledge our often unsung regional heroes resulted in 38 Australia Day Award nominations being received across eight categories," she said.

"These awards provide the perfect opportunity for Council and the community to give thanks to each nominee for their contributions to the Gladstone Region."

Winners of the 2014 Australia Day Awards are:

Citizen of the Year - Judith Young

AS PRESIDENT of the Gladstone Community Linking Agency (GCLA) for 10 years and a board member since its inception, Judith Young has been instrumental in its delivery of care and support to community members with disabilities.

Currently, the GCLA provides care to more than 150 people.

Mrs Young has 30 years' experience in community based disability services, having been a key figure in establishing the Gladstone and District Combined Handicapped Association, later to become GCLA, in 1983.

Mrs Young's input was pivotal to the funding and development of Mainstay Respite House in 1992 and her experience in the research, development and implementation of community-based agencies to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities has been instrumental in its provision of high quality care.

Mrs Young was also a founder of the Port Curtis Toy Library in the early 1990s and an inaugural member of the Central Queensland Regional Disability Council from 1999 to 2004.

A Centenary Medal recipient from the Department of the Prime Minister for her distinguished services to the community, Mrs Young supports several other community services, including the Community Hub.

In her various roles, Mrs Young has sought to ensure people who have a disability are respected and viewed as valued and integral members of the community.

Young Citizen of the Year - Andrew McLean

GLADSTONE State High school captain Andrew McLean's concern for the welfare of fellow students and the wider society is evidenced by his receipt of the prestigious Order of Australia Association's Secondary Schools Citizenship Award - restricted to a dozen Year 11 or 12 recipients in Queensland each year.

Whether designing and implementing programs to ensure greater acceptance for students at school or helping a number of charities and community organisations through his school's Interact Club, Andrew has proved his credentials as a future community leader.

His work with the Gladstone Captains' Alliance, which he founded, benefits the local community as well as the School of St Judes in Tanzania.

The Gladstone High School Dux is a three-time recipient of Australian Defence Force Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Awards honours and is a founder of the Zimbabwe Relay, an annual event that raises money for forgotten children of Zimbabwe.

Mr McLean maintained his high grades while still finding time to volunteer for Rotary, acting ambassador for the Red Shield Doorknock Appeal and the Australian Red Cross Blood Service in Gladstone.

He has personally raised $1000 for the Live Below the Line charity which benefits those living in extreme poverty in developing nations.

Arts and Culture Award - Angela May Clifton

GLADSTONE born and bred, Angela May Clifton is a well-respected musician and teacher.

Proficient in many instruments, Ms Clifton studied at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and now shares her talent and enthusiasm for music with students as a classroom and instrumental teacher.

She has been the musical director of many high school and community musical theatre performances and was wrangler, or band coordinator, for this year's 'Boomtown' musical extravaganza hosted in Gladstone.

In her role, Ms Clifton was responsible for conducting and scheduling rehearsals when the principal conductor was unavailable and her expert coaching was made evident by the band's performance at the event.

She has directed many musical theatre performances in Gladstone and her bands are regular high placegetters in school Eisteddfod and Fanfare competitions.

She performs with local band, The Corporates, is a member of the Gladstone Youth Music Council which conducts student workshops, plays sax at Carols by Candlelight, and is involved with German Bells, Encore bands, and the Gladstone Thistle Pipe Band. 

Ms Clifton stimulates students with her endless energy and vitality and is unstinting in her donation of time, expertise and tutelage.

Her efforts have helped a number of Gladstone region students earn much sought-after roles in the music world.

Senior Sportsperson Award - Michael Newell

MICHAEL Newell, 44, enjoyed a strong 2013 on the masters cycling circuit, taking out the Champion of Champions title and the 100km road race honours at the Australian Road Cycling Championships in Goulburn.

His Champion of Champions title came courtesy of a strong all-round performance which also netted him fourth placing in the individual time trial and criterium events.

Mr Newell's road race talents had previously shone through at the Queensland Masters Road Cycling Championships where he also beat all challengers in the 100km event as well as finishing sixth in the individual time trial.

Mr Newell also finished second in the Tour of the Goldfields at Charters Towers and dominated proceedings at his Rockhampton Cycling Club base, finishing as club champion for 2013 in the individual time trial, 100km road race and King of the Mountain Hill Climb.

He competes with the Rockhampton club as there is no Gladstone equivalent.

Mr Newell's achievements have not been limited to competition.

He was also instrumental in establishing the Port Curtis Bicycle User Group which serves as an advocate for cyclist safety issues.

Mr Newell has also developed a cycling safety package, delivering it to businesses with truck operations in the Gladstone area in order to enhance cyclist safety.

Young Sportsperson Award - Tallis Stanhope

TALLIS Stanhope, 12, stars with an oval ball, but that is not the extent of his abilities.

The St John's Primary School student enjoyed a strong year on the rugby league field, earning A Players' Player of the Carnival award at the Jason Hetherington Cup in Gladstone and the Best and Fairest of the Carnival honours at the Challenge Cup in Yeppoon.

Tallis also captained the Central Queensland Bulls under-12 touch team to a state championship victory, having earned his spot with a Players' Player of the Carnival performance at the CQ Championships.

Tallis's fleet feet also served him well on the region's athletics scene.

His accomplishments in 2013 included breaking the Little Athletics Regionals 400m and 800m records as well as claiming the age championship and 800m record at the Gladstone Athletics Club multi event carnival.

The gifted youngster was just as impressive over longer distances, being the first under-12 competitor across the line in the Harbour Festival Fun Run, and winning the Port Curtis and Capricornia school cross country events.

His leadership qualities were again recognised when he was appointed Capricornia team captain for the state athletics titles where he competed in the multi-event, long jump and 200m events.

Sports Official Award - Jon Ogden

A LONG-TERM official and coach within in the Gladstone hockey ranks, Jon Ogden was instrumental in the Gladstone Hockey Association's (GHA) acquisition of a synthetic playing surface at Rigby Park.

Mr Ogden, who has served as GHA vice president since 2011, was involved in the project from the start, his efforts helping with the grant submission, research and development, liaison with contractors, and the completion of facilities supplementing the new field.

He previously served as Souths Sports Club president (2004 - 2006) and vice president (2007-2010), has been on the GHA Turf Committee since 2006 and is the GHA delegate to Hockey Queensland.

The new field has resulted in an improved pathway to higher representative honours for Gladstone region players and for the region to host more high level championships.

Always willing to dedicate his time and efforts to assist with general maintenance duties at the hockey fields, Mr Ogden's influence also extends directly to the players as a coach and manager of representative teams since 2011.

He was also a passionate voice for GHA's introduction of an out-of-season summer outdoor competition, encouraging members of the community who had not previously played hockey to give it a go in a social atmosphere.

Community Event or Initiative Award - Gladstone Multicultural Week and Festival Day

THE Gladstone Multicultural Week & Festival Day is a nine-day program of events that promotes and develops multiculturalism and its benefits to the Gladstone region.

The region is becoming home to an increasing number of people from different customs, faiths and cultures, and their knowledge and experience enriches the community.

Gladstone Multicultural Week and Festival Day, which is open to all members of the public, provides an opportunity to bring the region's residents together with food, arts and entertainment reflecting the various cultural and ethnic groups upon which our community is built.

The nine-day format was adopted after it became evident to the committee that it was no longer possible to capture and showcase all of the multicultural elements of the region in just one day.

Organised by volunteers from a variety of community groups, the event caters for all, with about 8000 community members attending the Festival Day and strong attendances recording across the other regional events.

Presented by the Gladstone Multicultural Association, Gladstone Regional Council and Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours, the region's largest multicultural event brings together business, industry, schools, sporting groups, community groups and service providers in order to promote cultural harmony.

Community Volunteer Award - Christopher Roy Jones

CHRISTOPHER Roy Jones, more often known as Roy, has made an outstanding voluntary contribution to the Gladstone region community over many years.

Roy is dedicated to doing all he can to enhance the well-being of others in the community and has dedicated 30 years and thousands of hours to performing voluntary work.

He assists many organisations including Red Cross Blood Bank, Blue Care Auxiliary, Evenglow Committee, NRG Industry Tours, Gladstone Men's Shed, Clean Up Australia Day, Leukaemia Foundation Door Knock, Red Shield Door Knock Appeal and National Seniors Australia Gladstone Branch. 

Whether performing various duties for the blood bank (where he has also given blood on more than 150 occasions), repairing donated goods and delivering and picking up furniture for Blue Care, volunteering as a tour guide for NRG, or serving as a committee member for National Seniors Australia, Roy has proved himself a valuable volunteer.

His passion for keeping his city tidy is not limited to Clean Up Australia Day activities as he frequently clears Gladstone streets of litter.

Roy is considered to be a reliable, dedicated and hard-working volunteer whose good nature and obliging attitude make him a pleasure to work with.

Roy's wife Val shares his community spirit having also volunteered for several organisations.