Australia Day Awards

2022 Australia Day Award Nominees

  • Mayoral Award – Julie Palmer

    Julie Palmer has been a member of SES Yeppoon for over 20 years, She is currently the Group Leader for Yeppoon SES and has held this position for a number of years. As an executive of Yeppoon SES Julie's responsibilities is incredibly huge. Julie is responsible for over 60 active members within Yeppoon SES Group. Julie has lead Yeppoon SES Group with the upmost professional attitude. Julie has lead the group through major Cyclones, Floods, Bush Fires and major disasters that have come through Livingstone Area. Julie has also been the backbone driver of community engagement, and has a strong repaul and presences with the Yeppoon Community.

    Julie's kind hearted & Trusting approach to her leadership has allowed many members to strive and achieve goals and course qualifications through building their confidence and providing an excellent training foundation to her members. Julie ensures her members are well embraced when joining Yeppoon Group. Each new member is provided with the upmost guidance and support to learning all about SES and what our role is within the community.

    In 2021, Julie's memberships have grown dramatically, with up to 2-3 new members joining monthly and or transferring from other groups through relocation. This has allowed Yeppoon SES group to have a solid capabilities in skills across various areas where required.

  • Mr Malcolm Wells 

    Malcolm is passionate about the environment and the President of the Capricorn Coast Landcare Group. Malcolm works alongside Capricorn Catchments, Fitzroy Basin Association, Tangaroa Blu, Greening Australia, Great Barrier Reef Marine Parks Authority, Emu Park Bushcare, GenYadaba, Friends of Lammermoor and the local council. He also hosts a weekly Junior Landcare Group at Yeppoon State School and works with Yeppoon Girl Guides to share his knowledge of how areas are turned into native corridors, and the benefits it brings to the wildlife and the community.

    In 2021, Malcolm has worked to improve the Farnborough Dunes, Pineapple Rail Trail, North Keppel Island and Pumpkin Island, Fig Tree Creek, and Lammermoor Gardens through rubbish removal, weeding and planting. He co-hosted an Electric Car information day and hosted a micro plastics and marine debris danger science experiments day through distance learning.

    Mr Ross O'Reilly

    Ross is the Owner and Developer of High Valley Dawn Permaculture Farm, President of Great Keppel Island Progress Association, Owner and director of Rosslyn Bay Wellness Retreat Centre, Elder of 'Journey to Manhood' a worldwide men’s wellbeing program, Past Principal of O'Reilly’s Real Estate, Owner of Beaches Restaurant Rosslyn Bay and Ex Professional Rugby League Coach.

    Ross is passionate about leading positive change in our community and loves permaculture and the ethics associated with it – Earth Care, People Care, Future Care and Community Care. Ross established High Valley Dawn Farm five years ago promoting a sustainable future for the Livingstone community. High Valley Dawn Farm has been featured on many TV programs including My Way, Travel and Eat, Queensland Weekender, Landline and Sydney Weekender.

    Mrs Karla McPhail

    Karla is both a generous and faithful person who supports community and Livingstone residents in many ways. Through her business, The Real Group, she gives to local businesses, sporting groups, social groups and clubs, community groups and individuals. Karla sponsors the Crocs, Netball teams, Yeppoon Lions Tropical Pinefest, the ICare International Women’s Day Event, the Middlemount Races, and has previously generously sponsored Carols by the Beach, The Great Australian Day Beach Party and CQU Village Festival.            

    Mrs Michelle McCann

    Michelle is a selfless and dedicated member of the community contributing to Girl Guides since 2013. Since joining she has taken on various roles from unit leader to her current role as Capricorn Girl Guide Region Manager. Michelle takes a minimum of 35 hours a week out of her time to volunteer.

    In 2021, Michelle was instrumental in having the Habitat Stepping Stones initiative promoted at state level through the State Good Turn challenge, encouraging people to add food, water and shelter elements to their backyard or balcony to create a habitat stepping stone for local wildlife.

    Michelle’s contributions to Girl Guides has benefited the community by creating a generation of self-respecting and compassionate young women in Livingstone. In the future Michelle hopes to increase the volunteer base for Keppel Coast Guides, and expand the activities available and upgrade facilities at its local campsite Kooyalee.

  • Miss Charlie Erlewein

    Charlie has presented to the Livingstone Shire Council and Rockhampton Regional Council around banning single use plastics and single use plastic straws. Charlie is regularly picking up rubbish on our beaches and streets. Charlie is an Ambassador for Straw No More and volunteer for Team Turtle CQ and Great Keppel Island Hatchlings, dedicating approximately 10 hours a week whilst also attending school.

    Charlie's absolute goal/mission is to be a Marine Biologist. She is also hoping when she is old enough to gain employment with Freedom Fast Cats a local business where she can work to help her future studies, educate the public about our reef and waterways. Charlie is also keen through her signing choir participation to be able to sign the safety briefings on board the Freedom Fast Cats vessels to the passengers.

    Miss Halla Curtis-Gee

    Halla is deeply involved with our community and serves through her school and her dance studio. Within the school environment Halla demonstrates her love for learning every day through her respectful relationships with teachers and students alike. She has been chosen by her peers to represent students on Yeppoon State High School student parliament for the past three years.

    Halla’s passion for Music and Japanese see her invest her personal time in extracurricular efforts alongside the teachers and bands. Halla also leads, coaches and serves with her dance school. In 2021 Halla has been recognised for her service and achievement by the presentation of the Cultural Award, Academic Excellence Award, Sally Urquhart Memorial Award, and Prix d’Honneur Award for Leadership & Citizenship. She has also been awarded the Sir Samuel Griffith Scholarship – Principal’s Recommendation Program for demonstrating academic excellence, leadership, civic responsibility and social awareness.

    Ms Breanna Willett 

    Breanna is involved in multiple community and charity initiatives. She has achieved the highest rank in the Yeppoon Air Cadets Squadron and trains other young cadets and seeks to genuinely implement the organisation's values for youth development. Breanna is also an active member of Livingstone Shire Council’s Youth Action Group and Keppel Bay Sports Fishing Club.

    As a senior at St Ursula's College she was voted the Environmental Captain for 2021, awarded the highest achieving student in Aquatic practices, the JCU Shield Award for academic achievement and leadership and the Defence Forces Long Tan Leadership Award. As Environmental Captain she successfully applied for a $1,000 Landcare grant and Bunnings donation to build 22 wildlife boxes to go out into the community. She also raised $4,000 through recycling to raise money for an environmental charity.

  • Mr Don Knowles 

    Don Knowles joined Yeppoon Lions in 1981 and has been extremely active member since. During his 40 years as an active member of Yeppoon Lions, Don has been President, Treasurer and Secretary as well as Pinefest Chairman.

    Don has had leadership roles in Yeppoon Choral Society and is committee member and President of the Royal Bush Childrens’ Health Scheme. He also assists the RSL with the preparations for Anzac Day, Armistice Day and has assisted with fundraising for the Cockscomb Veterans' Retreat.

    Don manned the 2015 Cyclone Shelter at St Brendan's with other Lions and assisted the food supply of the Emergency Services at the Barmaryee Sports Ground during the 2019 Cobraball fires. Don's spare time is heavily devoted to volunteering to better the Central Queensland Community.

    Mr Scott Murray

    Scott Murray is a retired Cattle Grazier who has voluntarily collected more than 11 tons of rubbish from our local beaches and Yeppoon-Rockhampton Road corridor during the past two years. Using his own resources, he has personally collected and disposed of everything from washing machines and tyres to cigarette butts. Through the Qld Adopt-a-spot program, Scott has volunteered himself to be the caretaker of 14km of our Yeppoon Highway, an area extending from the beach front out to The Oaks service station. Additionally, Scott has joined and pledged to clean up Kemp Beach and its surrounding areas.

    Scott would like to see our local authorities and citizens take more action to tackle our growing rubbish problem. He is conscious of our growing population and the increasing damage that will have on our land and oceans. He is now a volunteer employee of Transport and Main Roads department which helps to cover some of his expenses and liabilities while he is working at the road side. Scott has calculated that 7km of highway will generally produce 1000kg of rubbish per year. He would like to see changes within the shire which will leave people with fewer excuses to do the wrong thing and deliver harsher penalties for those with blatant disregard.

    Mr Ross O'Reilly

    Ross is passionate about permaculture and the ethics associated with it - Earth Care, People Care and Community Care. Ross established High Valley Dawn Farm five years ago after devoting two years to learning the advantages of working towards a sustainable future and realising that we, on this planet, have to change the way we go about things. In the Livingstone Shire Region, we have one permaculture farm, but to be more self-sufficient by way of producing food locally, which is a definite focus for Ross, we need 15 - 20 such farms.

    Ross is also the President of the Great Keppel Island Progress Association, Elder of Journey to Manhood a worldwide Men’s Wellbeing program, and past Principal of Ross O'Reilly Real Estate. Ross is a mental health advocate and has given his time freely to life coaching many community members referred to him who are in need of some counselling, support and guidance for mental health problems, suicide prevention, drug or alcohol addiction.

    Mr Paul Mitchell

    Paul is the Team Turtle CQ Community Champion having been involved in monitoring turtle nesting along the Capricorn Coast since 2017. Paul is the Marine Turtle Strandings Coordinator for the Livingstone Shire region, managing all liaison to the Department of Environment and Science Marine Stranding hotline regarding sick/injured turtles and coordinating volunteer responses as required.

    Paul is instrumental to Turtle Conservation in Livingstone Shire. He is a mentor to youth through Team Turtle CQ and the Fitzroy Basin Association Team Hatchling program, promoting actions to protect marine turtle species through local schools. Paul also regularly volunteers at ReefClean events held along the Capricorn Coast and recently volunteered his time assist with Tangaroa Blue’s 2021 Mapoon Beach Clean-up.



  • Dr Debra Ibbotson 

    Dr. Debra Ibbotson has been a General Practitioner at the Family Practice at Emu Park for 13 years. Dr. Ibbotson also attends to the residents at Sunset Ridge aged care facility. Her working week is approximately 70 hours plus. Outside of this she is involved in fundraising for cancer, including Relay for Life and is guest speaker for the same cause.

    Dr. Ibbotson’s empathy and caring nature toward her patients and the community has resulted in her being a well sought after doctor which has contributed to her workload. Through her love of science and personal experiences with the medical profession, Dr. Ibbotson wanted to become a doctor to provide care for people in their most difficult times with compassion and empathy.

    Dr. Ibbotson has a kind and caring nature, is a very well informed and dedicated doctor and that goes above and beyond for her patients. Her future goals are to continue to care for the residents and patients of the Capricorn Coast area.

  • Yeppoon Tennis Club

    The Yeppoon Tennis Club is run by a committee of 10 volunteers. Along with many other members who also volunteer their time, the Yeppoon Tennis Club continue to provide magnificent facilities and events for our community each year. Current club membership extends across Livingstone Shire from Yeppoon to Emu Park to Byfield and Rockhampton.

    In 2021, the Club introduced the game of Pickleball to Livingstone which offers an accessible pathway into Tennis and after Tennis for those players who can no longer participate in due to age and mobility.

    Emu Park Surf Club 

    Emu Park Surf Life Saving Club (EPSLSC) is a local hub providing training, sports participation, social activities, youth development & Lifesaving services. It is a 100% volunteer run organisation.

    In 2021, EPSLSC members contributed almost 3,500 volunteer patrol hours on our local beaches, beaches elsewhere in Queensland and at and for other community events. This includes the supervision of many thousands of beach goers, performing preventative actions, treating beach goers for jellyfish stings and other minor first aid. The Club also worked hard to fundraise and apply for the necessary grants to complete a new gear shed and amenities building, and renovation of the existing clubhouse.

    Blazers Basketball Club

    In 2021, the Blazers Basketball Club become incorporated. The Club is now run by a committee of nine volunteers who meet once per month to complete governance, administration and planning duties for the upcoming season covering coaching, training, fundraising, uniforms and events.

    The Blazers Basketball Club manages almost 100 registered players with 12 teams (11 junior teams and one men’s) entered into the Rockhampton competition. It is one of the only Club’s in the Rockhampton competition with their own training facility.

    Capricorn Coast Football Club

    Capricorn Coast Football Club (CCFC) membership is predominantly Yeppoon based but players also come to play at the club from as Emu Park and Marlborough. The Club’s Committee is made up of nine volunteers, 26 volunteer coaches, and 12 junior referees.

    CCFC’s mission is to foster and develop the game of football on the Capricorn Coast. It is to promote sportsmanship, goodwill and discipline within the club as well as protect and advance the members of the club. Founded in 1972, Capricorn Coast Football Club is Yeppoon's friendly and welcoming football club.

    Capricorn Coast Legatees of Legacy Rockhampton & Central Queensland

    Legacy supports veterans’ families after the loss or injury of a loved one in military service. Capricorn Coast Legatees has 14 volunteers, 10 of whom are designated as Legatees, all of which provide wellness support to the widows and families of deceased Veterans.

    2021 was particularly challenging for Legacy, a direct result of the uncertainty associated with COVID-19. Our Legatees were innovative in ensuring continued contact was maintained with the elderly, through visits and on-line chats, through our "Backyard Blitz" program and with some contacts even including the preparation and delivery of gift parcels.

Honour Roll

  • Citizen of the Year Malcolm Wells
    Young Citizen of the Year Breanna Willett
    Living Legend Award Don Knowles
    Community Group Service Award Emu Park Surf Club
    Outstanding Dedication to Public Service Award Dr Debra Ibbotson
    Mayoral Award Julie Palmer
  • Citizen of the Year Yeppoon Lions John and Estelle Lindsay
    Young Citizen of the Year Owen Harris
    Living Legend Award Barry Semple
    Community Group Service Award Capricorn Coast Information Visitor Centre
    Outstanding Dedication to Public Service Award Trevor Caunt
    Mayoral Award Owen Harris
  • Citizen of the Year Susan Pullar
    Young Citizen of the Year Jack Newton
    Living Legend Award Elizabeth Goodsell
    Community Group Award Lions Club of Emu Park 
  • Citizen of the Year Brian Dorey OAM
    Young Citizen of the Year Yasmin Craggs
    Community Group Service Award Yeppoon Surf Lifesaving Club
    Senior Sportsperson of the Year Bill Robertson
    Junior Sportsperson of the Year Shirin Kunkel
    Administrator of the Year Gurney Clamp
    Cultural Award Barbara Tamassy
    Environmental Award  Dr Alison Jones
  • Citizen of the Year Danielle McKenzie
    Young Citizen of the Year Mya McDonald
    Community Group Service Award Capricorn Coast Healthy Aging Group
    Community Event Yeppoon Lions Pinefest
    Sportsperson of the Year Brent Pearson
    Junior Sportsperson of the Year Aidan Scott
    Sports Administrator Mark Gwynne
    Cultural Award (Individual) Jet James
    Cultural Award (Group) Capricorn Coast Historical Society Inc. 
    Environmental Award (Individual) Glennard Keefer
  • Citizen of the Year Peter Conaghan
    Young Citizen of the Year Caitlin Buttenshaw
    Community Group Service Award Keppel Bay Sailing Club
    Community Event Beach Day Out
    Sportsperson of the Year Steve Gunther
    Junior Sportsperson of the Year Mackenzie Rolfe
    Sports Administrator Peter Watkins
    Cultural Award (Individual) Lyn Diefenbach
    Cultural Award (Group) No Nominations Received
    Environmental Award (Individual) Morgan Ells & Mikala Maloney
    Environmental Award (Group) Friends of Lammermoor Native Gardens Group
  • Citizen of the Year Glen Alexander
    Young Citizen of the Year Sarah Callinan
    Community Group Service Award The Caves Craft Group
    Community Event No Nominations Received
    Sportsperson of the Year Lewis Marshall
    Junior Sportsperson of the Year Blake Newton
    Sports Administrator Paul Keating
    Cultural Award (Individual) Tayla Jayne St James
    Cultural Award (Group) No Nominations Received
    Environmental Award (Individual) Shelly McArdle
    Environmental Award (Group) No Nominations Received
  • Citizen of the Year Arthur Hunt
    Young Citizen of the Year Gracie Wellspring
    Community Service Award (Individual) Marie Lee
    Community Service Award (Group) The Caves & District Lions Club Inc.
    Community Event Yeppoon Lions Tropical Pinefest
    Sportsperson of the Year Brent Pearson
    Junior Sportsperson of the Year Seamus Byrt
    Sports Administrator Carole Gifford
    Cultural Award Kenneth Powell Jones
    Junior Cultural Award No Nominations Received
    Environmental Award (Group) Livingstone Community Nursery
    Environmental Award (Individual) Leise Childs
  • Citizen of the Year Jan Boyd
    Young Citizen of the Year Reece Hedges
    Community Service Award Barry & Bev Hannam
    Community Event Yeppoon & District Show Society Inc
    Sportsperson of the Year Beverley Laundry & Kira-Lee Leo
    Junior Sportsperson of the Year Caleb Dooley
    Sports Administrator Margie Grant
    Cultural Award Terry Hayes
    Junior Cultural Award Emily Bartlett
    Environmental Award Ginny Gerlach