The Burdekin Shire has named CORES (Community Response to Eliminating Suicide) Queensland Coordinator Ross Romeo as its Citizen of the Year.
Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Mr Romeo took on the role in 2009 and since that time had trained more than 500 people in the Burdekin district.
“This vital training provides people with the skills to recognise those with suicidal thoughts and how to deal with them,” she said.
“Ross has established CORES networks in Townsville, Charters Towers, Innisfail, Ingham, Cloncurry, Mount Isa and most recently the Whitsunday region.
“He was responsible for setting up a Suicide Bereavement Group in the Burdekin which has helped many people come to terms with the loss of a loved one. He has also successfully organised many events to highlight suicide including It Takes Two and Move for Life.
“Over the years, he has also coached soccer and basketball, is an active participant in the Burdekin Singers and Theatre Company, and a valued member of our community.”
Golden Octopus Foundation founder and talented Burdekin musician Keely Johnson was named Junior Citizen of the Year.
“Keely is the driving force behind the Golden Octopus Foundation and raising funds for childhood cancers,” the Mayor said.
“She has raised more than $500,000 towards childhood cancer and is providing a voice for children on the Queensland Health steering committee on upgrading regional health facilities for children and for adolescents through the Australian Adolescent Health Organisation.”
Cr McLaughlin also thanked the community’s volunteers for their time and efforts.
“What makes the Burdekin such a great place is the endless sense of community spirit that has built up over many decades,” she said.
“To the thousands of volunteers who have contributed financially, with time and with inspiration, I say thank you!”
Three new citizens were also welcomed to the Burdekin community – Muthusubramanian Muthaiya, his wife Ganga Thirunavukkarasu and their son, Mukundakrishnan Muthus. The Muthaiya family have been in the Burdekin for five years.
2017 Burdekin Shire Australia Day Award Winners
Citizen of the Year – Ross Romeo
Junior Citizen of the Year – Keely Johnson
Junior Citizen of the Year (Achievement) – Tianna Previtera
Life Time Contribution Award – Treena List
Community Event of the Year – Burdekin Singers & Theatre Company ‘Addams Family’ Production
Community Event of the Year (Achievement) – Burdekin Clay Target Club Official Reopening
Senior Cultural Award – Jaynai Slatcher & Samuel Row
Junior Cultural Award – Kacee Bromham
Excellence Award – Irene Cole
Excellence Award (Achievement) – Brad Perry
Senior Sportsperson of the Year – Lawrence Lampton
Senior Sportsperson (Achievement) – Shane Kennedy
Junior Sportsperson of the Year – Adam Walton
Junior Sportsperson (Achievement) – Charles Slaney
Sports Administrator – Rhonda Martin
Sportsperson with a Disability – Brent Dingle
Senior Environment Award – Keith Kiloh