Dear Friends,

A number of people in our Diocese have been recognised in various awards on Australia Day. On behalf of the Diocese I extend our congratulations to them on this well-deserved recognition.

Mr Ian Roberts, CEO of Anglicare NQ, who has been named Cairns Citizen of the Year. Under Ian’s leadership Anglicare NQ has responded wonderfully to the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic; this award reflects both Ian’s dedication to his work and to the community of North Queensland, and also the excellent work of Anglicare NQ as they reach out to the poor and distressed in our community.

Mrs Chris Fairbrother from Yungaburra in the Ministry Unit of Atherton Tablelands received an OAM for services to children and to the community. Such awards are recognition by the sovereign and the entire nation for meritorious service. Congratulations to Mrs Chris Fairbrother OAM!

The Rev’d Dr Digby and Mrs Ann Hoyal. Digby and Ann have been named Citizens of the Year for the Atherton Tablelands Regional Council. Many of you will be aware of their work in Nepal, but they also serve their local community in Yungaburra in many different ways. Clearly a bumper crop for Yungaburra this year!

Ms Mabel Quakawoot has been named Mackay Citizen of the Year. Mabel is an institution at St Charles, West Mackay, and is a proud woman of South Sea Islander and Aboriginal descent. Mabel was the first woman of Pacific Islander descent to serve in the Royal Australian Airforce, but due to the policies at the time left when she married her late husband Colin. For many years she was a volunteer at the Mackay Court House and has undertaken numerous other forms of service to the Mackay and Pioneer Valley community. Congratulations Mabel!

Mr Emmet Withers has been named Mackay Young Citizen of the Year. Emmet is a student at Whitsunday Anglican School which has a distinguished record of its students being involved in serving their community. Emmet received his award for his work in animal welfare.

Possum Corner Op Shop Kuranda. Op Shops are another form of community service. They not only provide a source of quality goods at a low price, but also are a place where people meet and form a community which supports each other and those who come into the Op Shop. Possum Corner Op Shop is an outreach of the Ministry Unit of Kuranda and has received a community service award from the Mareeba Shire Council. Congratulations to Archdeacon Chris Wright and all those who work and volunteer at Possum Corner.

A remarkable list showing the involvement of our people in so many different ways for the benefit of our community. Congratulations again to all our award winners!

The Right Reverend Dr Keith Joseph
Bishop of North Queensland 

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