Australia Day 2018 HomeVisiting Western DownsEventsSpecial EventsAustralia Day 2018 Australia Day 2018 Congratulations to the following 2018 Australia Day Regional Award Winners. You can also read the full list of Local Award Winners here. Regional Citizen of the Year Marie-Louise Thornbury Marie-Louise, or Lou as she is affectionately known, has given her time to many Tara community organisations over the years. Her commitment to making Tara a vibrant place to both live and visit has seen her dedicate countless hours to the Tara Festival of Culture and Camel Races, Tara Show Society, Tara Bloomin’ Showcase and Tara Race Club to name just a few. As a ‘quiet achiever’ Lou dedicates many hours of her time sourcing sponsorship and also fundraising for the many organisations she is involved with to make sure her local community gets the most out of their events. Always willing to lend a hand or try something new, whether it be chauffeuring local school children to sporting events, helping to raise donations for local families in need or putting Tara’s events on the map, Lou is an outstanding recipient of the Regional Citizen of the Year Award and is a wonderful inspiration to people both locally and regionally. Regional Young Citizen of the Year Isaac Forrest The list of sporting, cultural and academic achievements for Isaac is outstanding, but it is his efforts as a mentor and role model to so many young people in the community that sets him apart. From Co-Captaining the Chinchilla Bulldogs – Under 18 Rugby League team, to the lead role in the school musical and his efforts as School Captain of the Chinchilla State High School in 2017, Isaac’s list of achievements are impressive and extensive. Isaac strives to help others be the best that they can be and is willing to do anything to help anyone. Regional Cultural Award Nancy Evans Nancy is an extremely worthy winner of this year’s Regional Cultural Award. Nancy has lived in the Western Downs for 26 years and has contributed an enormous amount of time to organisations as a volunteer to ensure the region continues its rich cultural life. Her passions in particular include volunteering for the Dalby Players Little Theatre, the Dalby Drama Festival, Bell Theatre Restaurant and 4ddd Community Radio. This year Nancy will be bringing her community spirit to the rest of Australia and the world, having been selected as a volunteer for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Regional Sports Achievement Award Dr Dean Russell As a current Australian champion, dual Queensland champion and dual World Masters Games medalist, Dean has excelled in the sport of cycling. He is regarded as one of Queensland’s best Masters Cyclists and Coach, supporting athletes in Dalby and other locations. One of his most notable achievements is a silver medal in the World Masters Games – Individual Pursuit in April 2017. His long list of cycling medals and dedication to skilling the next generation of cyclists in the Western Downs is a testament to his hard work and devotion. Regional Community Project / Event of the Year Award Tara Festival of Culture and Camel Races The Tara Festival of Culture and Camel Races is a biannual event well known across the region that sees the population of Tara grow from 2,500 to around 16,000 bringing people from across the country to experience the very best that the Western Downs has to offer. The 2017 Tara Festival of Culture and Camel Races was the ninth time the festival has been held and featured five days of fun filled activities, all coordinated by a volunteer committee. The countless hours dedicated to this festival by the volunteer committee and the wider community is a testament to Tara’s community pride and dedication.