Maxine Brushe and Gail Sellers pictured in 2012 donating blood at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.
Maxine Brushe and Gail Sellers pictured in 2012 donating blood at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

Trio help give the region a good name

Three community champions have been added to Gladstone Regional Council's Approved Place Names Register.

Former mayor Gail Sellers, former councillor Maxine Brushe and Dennis Wickham were added to the list at Tuesday's council meeting.

The register is used to name major and minor infrastructure assets, roads and privately owned roads.

The council received three individual requests for the names to be added.

The agenda item sparked debate in the chamber as both Ms Sellers and Ms Brushe were originally listed as being non-compliant according to the council's Naming of Infrastructure Assets policy adopted in February.

One criteria of the policy is that persons must "no longer (be) in service, position or community", therefore ruling both women ineligible.

However, Mayor Matt Burnett moved a motion to include his former colleagues on the list, indicating he did so nearly four years ago.

"I put this motion as a statement at the very first council meeting we had and somehow it didn't make it into the minutes," Cr Burnett said at Tuesday's council meeting.

"I'm sure you (councillors) remember because you were all here, with the exception of Cr (Natalia) Muszkat.

"I particularly spoke about Gail and Maxine and suggested we add them to the names register and it was carried."

Deputy Mayor Chris Trevor suggested due to the contributions of Ms Sellers and Ms Brushe that both their first and last names be added to the register, going against the policy.

"I think in the years to come people will say 'Sellers Road' or 'Sellers Building' … We should perhaps look at their full name," Cr Trevor said.

Cameleer Dennis Wickham in Tannum Sands, Qld – 1972. When this photo was taken Dennis Wickham was about to embark on his eight month journey across Australia. He previously rode a penny farthing bicycle from London to Australia in 1971.
Cameleer Dennis Wickham in Tannum Sands, Qld – 1972. When this photo was taken Dennis Wickham was about to embark on his eight month journey across Australia. He previously rode a penny farthing bicycle from London to Australia in 1971.

It's understood surnames - or a single name - are preferred as they are easier for emergency services to distinguish.

Cr Muszkat suggested the policy may need tweaking.

Councillor Kahn Goodluck agreed, reminding the chamber that the February decision wasn't unanimous.

Cr Goodluck was absent for the February 5 meeting due to pre-approved leave, with the vote to implement the policy split 4-4 and carried by the mayor's casting vote.

The policy review will return to the council within six months.

About Dennis Wickham

Penny-farthing cyclist Dennis Wickham pictured in Redcliffe circa 1971.
Penny-farthing cyclist Dennis Wickham pictured in Redcliffe circa 1971.

Dennis Wickham became the first person to ride a penny farthing from England to Australia. Dennis Wickham was a former Gladstone sheet-metal worker who was working in Bavaria in the late 1960s.

On the journey home, he suffered a concussion, smashed teeth and broken leg in Munich, which set his journey back by 11 months, and was arrested by soldiers in Bulgaria.

He reached Darwin in September 1971 and rode 40 days through the outback to meet mayor Clem Jones at the Brisbane City Hall after a 24,000km journey.

Following this journey, Dennis Wickham crossed the continent twice on camels before developing motor neuron's disease.

- words courtesy of Gladstone Regional Council.