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Mary Thompson Named Citizen of the Year

By January 26, 2021February 18th, 2021No Comments

Citizen of the Year: Mary Thompson

Young Citizen of the Year: Giulia Pilat

Community Organisation of the Year: Mt Carbine Rodeo Association

Community Service Award: Possum Corner Op Shop

Community Service Award: Karen Braes

Junior Community Service Award: Kara Trimble

Junior Sportsperson of the Year: Leon Grundling

Mary Thompson – Citizen of the Year

Local historian and community volunteer, Mary is recognised for her dedication to our town over many years and as an inspirational role model in our community.

Mary is a founding volunteer at the Mareeba Heritage Centre and has continued to dedicate her time to the Centre, offering assistance to grow and develop the attraction for the community and visitors.

Mary was an assistant teacher at St Thomas’s Primary School where she developed an avid interest in history and formed a partnership with teacher Lorraine Townsend. Each new school year, Mary would take on the role of John Atherton and delight in introducing the new students to how Mareeba was founded.

Together Mary and Lorraine produced what became almost two decades of historic St Thomas calendars and two books – A pictorial history of Mareeba in 1981 and Street Names of Mareeba in 1994.

Mary then transferred her love and knowledge of history towards the new Mareeba Museum and Heritage Centre, where she continues to dedicate her time to the visitor attraction. Mary was instrumental in acquiring artefacts for the display. Today she is better known for her direction in conveying her knowledge to tourists when they visit the museum and heritage centre.

Her pioneer cemetary and town walking tours are also very informative and have been popular with locals.

Giulia Pilat – Young Citizen of the Year

Former St Stephen’s Catholic College Pastoral Leader, Giulia achieved academic excellence while giving back to her community. Giulia received Dux of the College last year and was acknowledged for her achievements in a number of subject areas.

She received subject awards for Mathematical Methods, Specialist Mathematics and Legal Studies and was also awarded the Amaroo Medical Bursary. In 2019, Giulia was selected to participate in the Griffith University Stem Horizons Program in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, focussing on the study of infectious diseases.

Giulia participated in the Great Wheelbarrow Race in 2019, raising money for Multiple Sclerosis research. She also pedaled over 300 kms in the Cardiac Challenge from Cairns to Cooktown to raise vital funds for cardiac care in Far North Queensland. Giulia dedicates her time volunteering at Rosie’s Food Van, she participated in the Vinnies Sleepout for the homeless and the Mareeba Lions Metrogain, supporting childhood cancer research.

This young role model is committed to making a positive difference in her community and hopes to pursue a career in medicine.

Mt Carbine Rodeo Association – Community Organisation of the Year

This not-for-profit organisation is recognised for the contribution its members, volunteers and sponsors have made over the past 20 years. The association is committed to promoting and encouraging visitors to the region, donating to local charities as well as fundraising to continuously improve the facility.

The volunteer committee hosts and supports several events throughout the year, including the annual bull and bronc ride, the Far North Queensland Cardiac Challenge and Australia’s Biggest morning tea, all raising money for worthy causes. Over $13,000 has been raised and donated to various groups including the local Mens Shed, the RSL Sub-Branch, rural fire brigade, P&C Foundations and the Cancer Council. The committee also used the funds to purchase a defibrillator for the community.

Possum Op Shop Kuranda – Community Service Award

In recognition of the significant contribution the volunteers make within the community and overseas. Supported by dedicated and selfless volunteers, the Possum Corner Op Shop provides an essential service to both the Kuranda community and communities in Papua New Guinea. The Op Shop provides a central focus for the Kuranda community for both social connection and support. The Shop also provides a location for recycling of clothing, kitchen goods, toys, books and music – a very worthwhile environmental venture in keeping the circular economy going.

Karen Braes – Community Service Award

Karen has dedicated many hours of her time to give back to her local community. Much of Karen’s community service has been behind the scenes. Karen is recognised for her commitment to the Lionesses, Meals on Wheels and Mareeba Historic Society as well as supporting many other worthy causes including learning how to knit beanies for children in Nepal.

This inspirational volunteer was on the ground in Tully and Mission beach after Cyclone Yasi, helping clear fallen trees and debris and to support those who had been devastated by the event. Karen’s never-give-up attitude has seen her overcome many challenges and she is truly inspirational.

Kara Trimble – Junior Community Service

Kara received many awards for her outstanding leadership and community involvement. Kara was the recipient of the Bendigo Bank Community Service Award and the Australian Defence Force  Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Award, in recognition of her service to the school and local community.

Kara truly shines in the sporting arena and also enjoys coaching the kids at Mareeba CrossFit. Kara has been highly competitive in all school athletics, swimming and cross-country carnivals. She has represented the Peninsula District in athletics, touch football, volleyball and rugby league. Kara’s passion for CrossFit is evident in her determination. She finished 5th in Australia in the Out of the Box CrossFit competition and placed 9th in the Junior World Games in her age group.

Leon Grundling – Junior Sportsperson of the Year

Leon is a talented young man who demonstrates incredible sportsmanship and resilience in his endeavours and achievements on track and field. Leon has represented Mareeba State High School at a local, regional and state level.

Last year, Leon competed in the State Championships where he achieved 2 silver medals in hammer throw and shotput and a bronze medal for discus, achieving two personal bests in hammer throw. His achievements qualified him for all the school’s national champions. Leon also competed at the ANQ Regional Championships and is now invited to attend the Australian Nationals in Sydney later this year. Best of luck.

Leon is an inspirational role model who demonstrates leadership qualities, dedication, sportsmanship, resilience and commitment.