Australia Day Awards 2022

Council recognises that our wonderful region is built by amazing people who are deserving of recognition for their efforts.

Every year Council asks the community who they think has made a noteable contribution in the form of nominations for our annual Australia Day Awards. These awards are incredibly special as they allow us to shine a light on those who contribute to the community of the Western Downs and help make our region the place we love.

We need your help to recognise these special people and make sure their hard work is not going unnoticed!

Australia Day Award nominations are now open and will close on Sunday 31 October 2021.

Need help with your submission? Contact Council on 1300 COUNCIL (1300 268 624) or email, or pop into one of our Western Dows Libraries, Council's friendly staff are always happy to help.

Award Categories

A local person who has demonstrated vision, leadership, innovation or creativity, has been a positive role model for their peers/community/region, shown significant and outstanding contributions to their community and demonstrated a high level of personal, academic or professional achievements with demonstrated benefits for others.


A local person who has made a significant contribution at community level through their volunteering and has shown a personal effort that has made a lasting and significant difference to the community.


A local person or group that has shown vision, leadership, innovation or creativity and has  made an outstanding contribution bringing long or short-term benefits to the arts and/or cultural community of the Western Downs.


A local person between the ages of 16 and 25 who has demonstrated leadership, innovation or creativity ,has shown outstanding achievement in their chosen field (e.g. academic, sporting, cultural, environment or civic responsibility), is a role model that other young people can aspire to and has shown a significant contribution to the community.


A local community group or organisation whose contributions have brought or will bring social, cultural and/or economic benefits to individuals, community organisations or the community in general as well as having significant volunteer involvement or excellence in their field.


A local person who is an outstanding sportsperson with a noteworthy record of achievement in sport and is a role model that people in the Western Downs region can aspire to.



When do nominations close?
Nominations closed at midnight Sunday 31 October 202.

Are late nominations accepted?
No late nominations will be accepted.

Can I submit a handwritten nomination?
All nominations must be submitted via the online portal.

When will I know if the person I nominated was successful or not?
If the person you nominated is successful, you and the person nominated will be notified by email no later than Wednesday 22 December 20201. If your nominee is unsuccessful, you will not receive a notification.

When will the winners be announced?
Winners of the Local Awards will be announced prior to Australia Day celebrartions to allow family and friends of the winners to make arrangements to be in attendance at the awards ceremony. Regional Award winners will be announced at Australia Day Award Ceremonies on Wednesday 26 January 2021.

Can the same person win an award more than once?
If the nominated person has won a Regional Citizen or Regional Young Citizen of the Year Award from 2009 onwards, they will be ineligible to win this award again. If the person or group has won a Local Award in the last five (5) years, they will be ineligible to be nominated for a Local Award until five (5) years has passed. If you are unsure whether the person or group you would like to nominate has received an award previously, contact Council’s Australia Day team.

The person I would like to nominate is a voluntary coach of a sporting team. Do I nominate them for a Sports Award or Volunteer of the Year?
Any person who is volunteering their time in any area, including sport, should be nominated in the Volunteer of the Year category.

Do I need to answer all the questions on the nomination form?
Yes. The more information you can provide the assessment panel about your nominee, the better they will understand the outstanding achievements of the person or group. Assume that the assessment panel do not know anything about the person or organisation being nominated, so please give as much information as possible.

Can I upload supporting information?
Yes, you can upload a large amount of supporting material. This can include (but is not limited to) media articles (social and print media), copies of other awards and achievements, personal references, copies of written feedback and photos.

How are the winners decided?
The Australia Day Awards are selected by Council based on responses to the selection criteria. Councillors meet to make their selection on Wednesday 9 December 2020, which will be ratified in a confidential Council.

Can my nomination remain anonymous?
The nominee is not provided with the name of the person that nominated them, however as the nominor, you will be provided with an acknowledgement that the nomination has been received. If the person you nominated is successful, you and the person nominated will be notified by email no later than Wednesday 23 December 2020. If your nominee is unsuccessful, you will not receive a notification.

Can I nominate someone in multiple categories?
A person may be nominated in multiple categories; however, a separate nomination is required for each category. Questions are different for each category so you must provide the information required specifically for each one.

If I nominated someone last year and they didn’t win, can I nominate them again?
Nominations each year can be very strong and choosing a winner is difficult. If the nomination wasn’t successful last year, this doesn’t mean they weren’t a worthy applicant. You may submit an application again; however, you must fill the nomination out using the online nomination portal. We are unable to carry over an application from last year automatically.

If someone has won an award in one category can they win an award in another category?
Yes. Nominations can be received for individuals or groups that have won an award in a different category previously.

Does the volunteer work have to be undertaken in the Western Downs to be eligible?
The contribution made by nominee must be to the Western Downs Regional Council community.

Is there a junior and senior category for the Sports Award and Creative Arts Award?
There is no upper or lower limit on age for nominations for the Sports Award and Creative Art Award.

Australia Day Awards 2021

Regional Citizen of the Year

Marilyn Bidstrup

Regional Young Citizen of the Year 

Karsten Duvel

Local Volunteer of the Year 

Dalby & District – Cecil Woods

Jandowae & District – Donna Woollett

Miles & District – Edward Gibbons

Tara & District – Linda Steinohrt

Wandoan & District – Dinah Fraser

Local Creative Arts Award

Bell & District – Bell Theatre Group Inc

Local Community Organisation Achievement Award

Jandowae & District – Jandowae Squash Club

Chinchilla & District – Chinchilla Netball Inc

Miles & District – Dogwood Motor Auto Group - Miles Motoring Enthusiast Club (DMAG-MMEC)

Tara & District – Tara Futures Group

Local Sports Award

Chinchilla & District – Breanna Collins

Dalby & District – Mitchell Hemmings

Miles & District – Lachlan Moore

Tara & District – Addison Clay

Wandoan & District - Elli Zillman