As the Sunshine Coast reflects on a challenging year, public nominations are now open for the fourth annual Fisher Community Awards, organised by Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace. This year’s double awards ceremony will recognise winners from 2019/20 as well as the past year following the disappointing cancellation of the 2020 awards ceremony.
Mr Wallace said that the Fisher Community Awards this year will recognise organisations and individuals who have made a difference through the COVID-19 pandemic in the fields of education, employment and retirement.
“Over the past 12 months we have needed the resilience, the compassion and the energy of our volunteers and community leaders more than ever. As many locals lost they jobs, homes or businesses, and our young students struggled with isolation and learning from home, the dedicated work of our teachers, community groups and business leaders at times made all the difference. I am more determined than ever to recognise that contribution.” Mr Wallace said.
Nominations in each of nine categories can be made by members of the public at www.andrewwallacemp.com.au/awards until Friday 26 February 2021. The winners in each category will be selected from the public’s nominations by representatives of the Fisher Youth Council, Business Council and Seniors Council. These councils are consultation groups, drawn from local residents, set up by Mr Wallace.
“Among the many events cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19, my Fisher Community Awards were, sadly, another late scratching. All the finalists had been nominated by our community, the winners had been chosen by our judges and the invitations were just going out when the pandemic shut us down. However, I am delighted to say that those nominees and winners have not been forgotten and their work will not go unrecognised, because in 2021 the Fisher Community Awards will be back with a special bumper double edition.”
Winners nominated in 2020 and those nominated in 2021 will receive a trophy and a gift voucher from a local business at a special COVID-safe awards night in late March this year at the Caloundra Power Boat Club.
“Our previous award ceremonies have been full of beautiful and inspiring stories. We have had the privilege to learn so much more about some of the local legends who are our community’s greatest assets. I am sure this year’s ceremony will be the biggest yet. I hope Sunshine Coast residents will back our community in the coming weeks by making a nomination and help show that we value those who give back in our region.” Mr Wallace said.
Previous winners have included well-known organisations like endED, Queensland Air Museum and the Wharf Mooloolaba. However, most awards went to unsung local individuals like Shivawn Davis whose work in early intervention and speech pathology has transformed the lives of many families on the Sunshine Coast. Other past winners have included local youth leader and activist Jazmin Simmons of Caloundra State High School, Caloundra Rotary Club’s RYDA program which helps reduce deaths on the road by teaching thousands of local students about safe driving, and “The Board Meeting”, a group of surfing enthusiasts and business leaders who have quietly raised more than $1 million over 10 years for families of local children living with severe disability.
“I need your help to find these unsung local people. Please visit my website before Friday 26 February 2021 and tell me about an individual or organisation that you think deserves to win an award in any or all of my nine categories and why.” Mr Wallace said.
The award categories are:
- Fisher Educator of the Year
- Fisher Student of the Year
- Fisher Education Provider of the Year
- Fisher Business of the Year
- Fisher Employee of the Year
- Fisher Innovator of the Year
- Fisher Senior of the Year
- Fisher Senior Group of the Year
The Andrew Wallace Community Group of the Year Award
More information about the Fisher Community Awards can be found at www.andrewwallacemp.com.au/awards