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29 January, 2021

Mackay community members recognised for efforts

Australia Day has come and gone but some Mackay citizens had plenty of others reasons to celebrate.

By Andrew Sorensen

Mabel Quakawoot
2021 Citizen of the Year Mabel Quakawoot

On January 25, outstanding community members were recognised by the Mackay Regional Council through an awards gala dinner held at the MECC in honour of all winners and Nominees.

More than 140 nominations were received for individuals and groups across eight award categories.

One example was Citizen of the Year Mabel Quakawoot, who was recognised by many people as an active citizen, educator, mentor and volunteer.

She was joined by Young Citizen of the Emmett Withers and Lori Burgess Communtiy Volunteer Award winner Russell McLennan as Mackay’s major Australia Day Award winners for 2021.

Emmett Withers cared for four animals when he was five year years old and has since gone on to help thousands of stray animals across the region.

Emmett Withers
Daryl Barnes

Russell McLennan worked tirelessly behind the scenes at Volunteer Marine Rescue Mackay since 1977. 

Mackay Regional Council Mayor Greg Williamson said all nominees and winners deserved the recognition they received during the evening.

“They don’t seek recognition or accolades. These awards are a well-deserved thank you from the Mackay region community,” Cr Williamson said.

“We all know last year was a tough year, but there’s an old saying about when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and we saw a lot of that in our region in 2020.

“The individuals we are recognising tonight are a true representation of the people who make our region a great place to live and we are extremely proud of them.

“Rather than giving up on their goals or community projects, some truly inspirational people and community groups stepped up, worked harder than ever and found innovative ways to overcome social distancing restrictions.”

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