Dickson Australia Day winners honoured

Published 4:00pm 31 January 2022

Dickson Australia Day winners honoured
Words by Jodie Powell

A Veterans’ advocate, an avid historian, Pine Rivers’ answer to Santa Claus and a science buff are among those to receive 2022 Australia Day Dickson Awards.

Organised by Dickson MP Peter Dutton, the awards recognise outstanding local residents for their hard work and dedication to the community.

Meet this year’s winners…

Citizen of the Year

Dickson Australia Day winners honoured

A former member of the Australian Defence force, passionate volunteer and Veterans’ advocate has been named the 2022 Dickson Citizen of the Year.

John Hardgrave spent 17 years in the Defence Force, including operational service in the Solomon Islands, Timor Leste and Afghanistan.

He was awarded the Soldier Medallion for Exemplary Service and the Deputy Chief of Joint Operations Commendation - Bronze for service on operations in the Solomon Islands in 2008 and continues to serve as a Sergeant in the Army Reserve.

With a passion for assisting veterans, John has taken on the challenge of developing employment and education programs for veterans as the Pathways Program Director for Soldier On.

Under John’s leadership and guidance, the Queensland division now has the highest engagement with the veteran community of all States and Territories nationwide.

As a volunteer, he’s a member of the DVA Younger Veterans Forum, the DVA QLD Consultative Forum and the Steering Committee Adelaide Veterans Welfare Hub, as well as serving as a director at the Gaythorne RSL and the treasurer.

John coaches at the Albany Creek Crushers Junior Rugby League Club and has been volunteering as a surf lifesaver at the Bribie Island Surf Club after seeing a shortage of volunteers when his children joined Nippers.

Small Business of the Year

Dickson Australia Day winners honoured

Brendale’s Bridgeman Stainless Solutions & Amaroo Landscape Group has been named the 2022 Dickson Small Business of the Year.

The business has more than 100 staff, 25 percent of whom are indigenous and is leading the way with programs to engage the indigenous community.

Among them is the ‘One Mob Initiative’ which targets long-term unemployed indigenous men and women to provide them with guidance, inspiration and motivation to re-enter the workforce.

With former professional footballers also working in the business, they have started “Kickin’ with a Cuz”, which is designed to engage young indigenous children through football and encourage them to make good life choices.

The program, in place at Marsden State School, helps indigenous students stay focused on their education and avoid long term unemployment when they leave school.

Bridgeman Stainless Solutions & Amaroo Landscape Group hopes to implement Kickin’ with a Cuz at Moreton Bay schools.

Local Legend of the Year

Dickson Australia Day winners honoured

A stalwart of the local Veteran community and avid historian has been named the 2022 Dickson Local Legend.

Judy Kranen has been heavily involved in honouring the Anzacs through the Anzac Memorial Avenue Committee, whose work includes included providing four sentries representing a Nnavy sailor, nurse and Australian and New Zealand soldiers at each corner of the bridge over the highway at North Lakes.

The committee is working on a submission to complete the final piece of the puzzle, officially renaming the bridge across the M1 at Anzac Ave between Kallangur and North Lakes to the Anzac Avenue Centenary Memorial Bridge.

Judy served on the executive of the Pine Rivers RSL for many years, including as president.

She’s a keen historian and has taken an interest in the history of the Pine Rivers region through the North Pine Historical Society.

Sports Person of the Year

A triathlete who won the 2021 National Championships, the Noosa Triathlon and represented and Australia at the Tokyo Olympics in both the Mixed Triathlon Relay and the individual competition has been named the 2022 Dickson Sports Person of the Year.

Hills District resident Ashleigh Gentle has travelled the world competing in triathlons over the past 15 years.

Consistently in the top 30 triathletes in the world and one of Australia’s best for over a decade, Ashleigh is a two-time Olympian including representing Australia at the Tokyo Olympics last year, a 2018 Commonwealth gold medalist in the triathlon mixed team relay and a former World Junior Champion.

In March 2021, she won the Australian championships at Mooloolaba to qualify for the Olympics.

Ashleigh showed resilience and grit to resume training for the 2021 Noosa Triathlon – the premiere event on Australia’s triathlon calendar – going on to win a record 8th Noosa Triathlon, coming from a minute behind at the start of the run leg to beat some of the best athletes in the sport.

Young Sports Person of the Year

Clear Mountain gymnast and Genesis Christian College student Toby Armstrong’s wins at the regional and state championships in 2021 have earnt him the honour of being named the Dickcon Young Sports Person of the year.

After his win at state level, Toby was selected to compete at the National Championships, putting in hard work before school, after school and on weekends.

Competing in the Open Level 7 Category, Toby beat 39 of the best gymnasts from around the country to win the nationwide title.

in addition, he won gold in the Vault and silver on the Parallel Bars.

“As we all know, junior sports are a family affair and mum and dad have been driving 40 minutes back and forth to training at least four times per week to make this possible since they started at Lawnton Academy of Artistic Gymnastics at age three,” Mr Dutton says.

“It is very exciting to have him in our local area and we are all proud of what he has achieved and look forward to seeing what he does in the future.”

Community Group of the Year

Dickson Australia Day winners honoured

Lions Clubs across the Dickson electorate have been honoured with the Community Group of the Year award.

The Albany Creek, Dayboro, Golden Valley Keperra, Kallangur Pine Rivers, Samford and Warner clubs were named joint winners of the Community Group of the Year award for their work on projects across the region.

The projects ranged from environmental care through planting or weeding at local parks to helping people with disabilities receive equipment or transport to improve their lives.

“Well known for supporting those in need, these clubs in our community have also contributed to the Campaign 100 initiative to rid the world of preventable blindness, assist youth, provide disaster relief and support humanitarian efforts and help those suffering diabetes among other things,” Mr Dutton says.

“There are many hours spent volunteering, organising events and fundraisers, and assisting people in need.

“We are grateful for their commitment to our community and their continued service and sacrifice.”

Community Service Award

Dickson Australia Day winners honoured
Dan Broxham from Bray Park

Known as Pine Rivers’ own Santa Claus, each year Daniel Broxham hosts an extraordinary Christmas lights display at his home in Bray Park and dresses up as Santa Claus, giving out thousands of presents to local children in need.

Taking the spirit of Christmas whole new level, Dan was named runner up in the Best Residential Property Display in the inaugural Moreton Daily Christmas Lights in Moreton Bay Region competition.

After hearing he had won $5000 as the runner-up, Dan wasn’t thinking about how he would spend the money on himself.

Instead, he was thinking about how many presents he could buy for children who visit his display.

Every year Dan uses his own hard-earned cash to purchase up to 3000 gifts such as Barbie dolls, Nerf Guns and even boogie boards for the children who visit.

“It’s good to give back to the community and bring a smile to someone’s face,” Dan says.

“Some people might be going through difficult times, so the presents they receive here might be the only ones they get to open on Christmas Day.”

Community Service Award

Steve Casey is a stalwart of his local cricketing community.

Beginning as a coach of the under-9s team at the Albany Creek Hawks Cricket Club in 1999, Steve has volunteered at the club ever since.

He was vice president in 2004-2005 and has been president since the 2005-2006 season, undertaking management roles in Brisbane North teams and organising the Ian Healy Cup for many years.

A hands-on worker, Steve is often found mowing the pitches, monitoring weather reports, completing match day draws and providing support and guidance for children on game day.

Ian ‘Watto’ Watson Great Mate Award

A man who has contributed to the community through his loyalty, friendship and willingness to lend a hand to anybody in need in the spirit of the late Ian ‘Watto’ Watson has been named Dickson’s Great Mate of the year.

Glen Friedrich has been involved in the Dayboro Men’s Shed for many years, answering questions, recruiting new members, sending correspondence as secretary and quietly working behind the scenes.

Glen helps members stay safe when using equipment and reminds members of important dates for events and meetings at the shed.

He is involved in the Dayboro RSL, serving as secretary and assisting many local veterans in the community.

Glen is described by others as “a fine example of the type of key people that communities need if they are to prosper”.

Inspirational Youth Award

An avid rock climber, science buff and Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award recipient is the winner of this year’s Dickson Inspirational Youth Award.

Harry Van Der Ark, who graduated from Hillbrook Anglican School last year, was also the Queensland Representative at 2021 UN Youth National Conference.

As a volunteer, he organised a TEDx talk at Hillbrook, having worked for more than 12 months to secure a TEDx licence.

Harry is credited with several new first ascents and helped establish the Mount D’Aguilar rock climbing area – the first new rock-climbing area in the Brisbane region in more than 50 years.

He founded the Hillbrook Science Club and was one of only two students in 2021 to be awarded the prestigious “Archbishop’s Badge” for attaining the Chairperson of the School Board Award in every semester during 6 years at Hillbrook.

Harry has volunteered at the World Science Festival, as a reading buddy with the Smith Family Reading program and received the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

Dickson Youth Achievement Award

Benjamin Bott, Peter Gear, Rory Iles, Frazer Petrie have jointly won this year’s Youth Achievement Award for demonstrating exceptional leadership and community service.

The quartet achieved the Queens Badge Award through the Boys Brigade. The Queens Badge is the highest honour a boy can achieve through the Boys Brigade.

To achieve the award, they must commit to completing environmental projects, leadership development activities including an eight-day leadership course, mentoring junior members, community involvement and volunteering, sport, s, academic study additional to schooling and much more.

Through the Queens Badge, recipients must demonstrate the values of discipline, reverence and the Christian values promoted for more than a century by the Boys Brigade.

Dickson Volunteer Award

Described by other members as the “soul of the Dayboro Pony Club over the last 15 years” Diane Bell has served as the uniform officer, committee chairperson, instructor, secretary, nominations officer and more.

Teaching, encouraging, and cheering on members, she has organised many events, including fortnightly musters for children to come and learn.

During the COVID-19 pandemic Diane kept in touch with many members, providing support and encouragement.

Dickson Volunteer Award

Joan Cullen has been a member of the Samford Tennis Club for more than 25 years and served as treasurer on the committee for 18 years.

As treasurer, Joan engages in all aspects of managing the finances of the club including invoicing, bookkeeping and record keeping.

She has been an active participant in event organisation, contributed to the development and planning of the new courts and more.

The Samford Tennis Club is in a much stronger position thanks to Joan’s involvement and her nomination for a Dickson volunteer award was supported by seven past presidents of the club.

In 2010, Joan was awarded life membership – one of only four people in the club’s history to receive honour.
As well as her work with the tennis club, Joan has been involved in volunteering through the Samford Farmers Hall as both a co-ordinator of the hall and secretary.

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