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26 January, 2022

MSC Australia Day Awards

A “QUIET achiever” was how Mareeba Shire Council’s 2022 Citizen of the Year, Norma Moloney, was described at this morning’s Australia Day Awards ceremony.

By Robyn Holmes

Mareeba Shire Council's 2022 Citizen of the Year Norma Moloney with her family

Ms Moloney was one of 12 winners recognised at the presentation event held at the Mareeba International Club.

Mareeba Mayor Angela Toppin said Ms Moloney had been an active member of the community over many years, working tirelessly behind the scenes in a volunteer capacity.

Ms Moloney with her award

Her commitment to the Crime Stopper Queensland Volunteer Area Committee, including being a founding member and treasurer was a key component of her nomination.

Her fund-raising efforts were particularly noted, with Ms Moloney assisting the group to secure funds to buy a much-needed vehicle and a purpose-built trailer to take the Crime Stoppers message to regional centres throughout the Cape and west into the gulf.

She also initiated the Mt Emerald Wind Farm Community Walk which was a huge success with over 120 people attending the inaugural event, and 160 attending last year’s walk. Last year, she also established a volunteer database that now has around 45 names.

Two young women – Kara Trimble and Nicole Theakston – shared the Young Citizen of the Year award for 2022.

Joint Junior Citizens Nicole Theakston and Kara Trimble

Kara recently graduated from Mareeba State High School where she was recognised as a role model for all students through her dedication as a school leader, a team player and a sporting mentor. In 2021, Kara was awarded a School Service and Cultural Award, the Mr Tom Braes Outstanding Community Service Award and the Australian Defence Force Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Award.

As a young sportswoman, Kara has been highly competitive, participating in athletics, swimming, cross country, touch football, volleyball and rugby league.  Kara also participates in Crossfit, with her greatest sporting achievement last year when she was crowned the title of “The Fittest Teen (Female) in Australia” resulting in her qualification to the CrossFit Australian All Stars Championships.

Nicole, a recently graduated student of Mareeba State High School, was nominated for her outstanding academic, sporting, cultural and leadership achievements which culminated in a number of awards including the Physical Education Award, a School Service and Cultural Award, the Mareeba Leagues Club Community Involvement Award, and the Ampol Best All Rounder Award.

Nicole is a member of the Mareeba Baptist Church Youth Group (since 2015), meeting fortnightly to participate in youth group activities and positively engaging with other young people and leaders.

She puts in many hours attending community events such as ANZAC Day, NAIDOC Family Days, Child Protection Week Family Fun Days and the Mareeba Multi-Cultural Festival.

Other award winners were: Community Event of the Year – Rotary FNQ Field Days Inc; Community Service Award (joint winners) – Lee Gordon and Tammy Sivyer; Sportsperson of the Year – Leonard Hodges;  Sports Administrator of the Year - Irene Roy; Junior Sportsperson of the Year– Angus Campman; Cultural Award – Historical Society of Mareeba; Junior Cultural Award – The Combined Saints Band; and Environmental Excellence Award – Wildlife & Raptor Care Queensland.

Two nominations were also recognised as Highly Commended for their community service - The Hungry Pug and Mrs Ellen Duff, while the Chillagoe Alliance Inc also received a Highly Commended for Community Events

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