Locals shine in biggest ever Caloundra Community Awards

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has congratulated the local community for their outstanding representation in the sixth annual Caloundra Electorate Community Awards. In the largest ever showing, 180 people filled the CCSA Hall on Friday to hear the winners announced for each of the nine award categories, which were selected from 71 individual nominations.


“These Awards are about recognising the best of the best in our community and I am continually inspired by the people who are nominated each year.” Mr McArdle said.

Fourteen individual students and two classes from across the Caloundra Electorate were nominated this year in the two youth categories, Young Achieve and Young Sports Achiever. Molly Rava from Caloundra City Private School took out the Young Achiever Award for her work towards the Duke of Edinburgh Award and countless hours of dedication to charitable causes.

Li-Lou Burns- Gillet from Baringa State Primary School was recognised as the 2018 Young Sport Achiever for her outstanding achievements as an accomplished International Rhythmic Gymnast. Li-lou has won a number of accolades which include Overall Champion AA Gold Medal at the International Rhythmic Gymnastics Tournament Prahran Invitational, QLD Senior Challenge 1 and 2 and the QLD Senior State Championship – just to name a few.

Dicky Beach Surf Lifesaving Club’s Jess Simpson was recognised in the adult Sport Achiever category this year for her dedication to community safety in her roleas volunteer Club Caption. Jess was recently named the Young Lifesaver of the Year and was previously named Summer Surf Girl in the same year she helped raise almost $100,000 for the club.

In the Environmental Contributor category, Friends of the Forest member Jan Kesby took out the award for her role for devoting 23 years to the environment including educating thousands of children and adults on waterways, fauna, flora and bush tucker.

Across the three community award categories 31 groups and individuals were nominated for their dedication to supporting local residents through volunteering, support programs and special events. There are many great events across the Sunshine Coast but Caloundra’s New Year’s Eve Celebration too out this year’s Community Event of the Year. Organised by Pelican Waters resident Rhonda Pattinson, the event has grown from fireworks, to a full family celebration which attracts locals and tourist alike.

Pacific Lutheran College’s own Gary Graves was award Volunteer of the Year for single handily leading the kayaking program at the College for over 16 years. Gary has also been instrumental in providing opportunity for students who are not naturally inclined towards sport to find a sport they love and experience success. This has had a profound effect on the self-esteem of many students.

Caloundra SES was awarded the Community Group of the Year award for their work behind the scenes preparing themselves and the community to minimise the effects of a disaster. The volunteers of Caloundra SES have and continue to empower people to help themselves and others in their community in times of emergency and disaster.

Business Achiever of the Year, Caloundra Garden and Pet Supplies has become a fixture in Caloundra in just seven years of operation. Owner, Will Waterford’s dedication to his customers will also be recognised in the State Government’s ‘100 Faces of Small Business’. Will says there is no point starting a business if you don’t love it and feels his customers keep coming back because they know the staff want to be there.

To cap off the morning’s celebration of outstanding community achievers, The Barry Family of Ithaca-Caloundra’s Surf Lifesaving Club were honoured with the top award of Caloundra Hall of Fame Identity.

Mr McArdle, who referred to the Barry’s as the “First Family of Caloundra” said three generations of Barry’s have been keeping Bulcock Beach safe for the community for more than 30 years.

“Tony, Trish, Lynda, Paul, Samantha and Laura Barry are fixtures in Caloundra, and you will see them patrolling every season,’ Mr McArdle said.

“People like the Barry family epitomise the community spirit we are so lucky to have here in Caloundra and these awards give us a little glimpse into the selfless, quiet achievers working behind the scenes for all of us.

“I am so proud to be part of a great community that works so well together and tend to look after each other.” Mr McArdle said.

“I would like to thank our sponsors at Caloundra Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank, Henzells Agency and Caloundra RSL Services Club for helping to make these awards possible.”

“Again, thank you and congratulations to each of our winners and all the nominees for their hard work helps make Caloundra the wonderful place it is,” Mr McArdle concluded

2018 Caloundra Electorate Community Award Winners

Young Achiever of the Year: Molly Rava from Caloundra City Private School

Young Sport Achiever of the Year: Li-Lou Burns- Gillet from Baringa State Primary School

Sports Achiever of the Year: Jess Simpson of Dicky Beach Surf Lifesaving Club

Environmental Achiever of the Year: Jan Kesby from Friends of the Forest

Community Volunteer of the Year: Gary Graves from Pacific Lutheran College

Community Group of the Year: Caloundra SES

Community Event of the Year: Caloundra New Year’s Eve Celebration

Business Achiever of the Year: Caloundra Garden and Pet Supplies

Caloundra Hall of Fame Identity: Barry Family from Ithaca Surf Life Saving


For further information contact: Shari Engelbrecht, Office of Mark McArdle, 5329 4100.