Rain didn’t put a dampener on Mareeba’s Australia Day Celebrations on Friday night.
Mareeba Shire welcomed 13 new citizens at Council’s annual Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony.
Hundreds gathered at the Mareeba International Club on the eve of Australia Day, celebrating 70 years since citizenship was introduced into law, creating for the first time a legal status of being uniquely Australian.
Mayor Tom Gilmore congratulated the new citizens and welcomed them to the Shire.
“Citizenship is a common bond which unites all Australians, whether they are Australia’s traditional owners, first generation migrants or the descendants of earlier settlers,” Cr Gilmore said.
“You have made a pledge of commitment to Australia and its people and I offer my warmest congratulations to you,” he said.
Councillor Gilmore said that 18 nominees were recognised for their outstanding contribution to and achievements in the fields of art and culture, sport and community service.
“The annual celebration is an important occasion where we get to acknowledge those individuals who are influential and play a valuable role in our community,” he said.
“It is our chance to say thank you for the work they do behind the scenes for the common good of those within the community.”
The judges awarded 11 Australia Day Awards to those most worthy of an accolade including Natasha Srhoj who received an award for her contribution to the community over many years. Quiet achiever, Elwyn Troughton was nominated for her dedication to the fallen. Elwyn received a special award for her devotion to keeping history alive, researching and recording artefacts of wars and establishing family connections. Jasmin Grogan and Cole Wyatt both received an award for their achievements and contributions in art and culture, while Declan Wason was named junior sportsperson of the year.
The evening culminated with Dimbulah’s Eddie Toffanallo being named Mareeba Shire Council’s Citizen of the Year while Mareeba teenager Joshua Theakston received the Young Citizen of the Year award.
Mr Toffanello has been a dedicated and passionate member of the Dimbulah Lions Club since 1992. Within a few short years of joining the club, Eddie began to undertake important cabinet positions becoming President, Secretary and Treasurer multiple times throughout the years. Mr Toffanello has also been instrumental in organising and keeping the annual Dimbulah Lions Festival alive.
Former Mareeba State High School student, Joshua Theakston was named Junior Citizen of the Year for his outstanding contribution to the community while exceeding in his studies achieving an OP1 result. Josh was the Caltex All-Rounder Award recipient for his academic performance, sporting success, leadership and community service. He is also the school’s nominee for the TJ Ryan Memorial Medal for 2019.
AWARD RECIPIENTS 2019
Citizen of the Year – Eddie Toffanello
Young Citizen of the Year – Joshua Theakston
Sports Award – Patricia Spry
Junior Sports Award – Declan Wason
Arts & Cultural Award – Samantha Malcolm
Junior Visual Arts & Cultural Award – Jasmine Grogan
Junior Performing Arts & Cultural Award – Cole Wyatt
Community Service Award – Natasha Srhoj
Junior Community Service Award – Finnian Weaver
Special Award – Elwyn Troughton
Community Organisation of the Year – Mareeba Gymnastics Club