Each year, Ipswich City Council acknowledges the work of residents to make the city a better place. In six categories, this year’s award recipients worked tirelessly in the fields of domestic violence, fundraising, volunteering, arts and culture.
Here is a brief overview of the fine achievements of the six winners shows why they are worthy recipients of their award.
Citizen of the Year: Vanessa Fowler
Vanessa teaches at Ipswich Junior Grammar School and is also head of the Allison Baden-Clay Foundation. She has brought awareness to the school and community through the “Strive To Be Kind Day”. Vanessa raises money for the Allison Baden-Clay Foundation, which she started after the tragic death of her sister, Allison, and strives to improve the outcomes of domestic violence.
Young Australian of the Year: Kieran McLeod
Kieran is vice-captain of Bremer State High School and was diagnosed from an inoperable brain tumour in 2014.
Kieran is an advocate for the disease and has attended State Parliament, where Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard told his story. He plans to hold his walk for Brain Cancer every year.
Senior Citizen of the Year: Doug Abbot
Doug, aged 90 years young, has spent thousands of hours working in and around Eric Edwardson Park at Bellbird Park. Over the years, he’s turned the park from a largely unused facility into something the neighbourhood is proud of. He maintains the picnic area, seats, benches, drinking fountain, and monument/memorial.
Doug also volunteers for Drug Arm and Guide Dogs Australia, and he helps youth.
Cultural Award of the Year: Arthur Frame
Arthur has been President of the Ipswich Regional Branch of the National Trust since 2010, instrumental in creating the award-winning Great Houses of Ipswich. He has worked in the arts and cultural sectors over five decades, with a particular area of expertise focussed on regional arts and youth arts programs and projects, and is a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
Community Event of the Year: ‘Having Your Voice’
With a small budget of $500 and a committee of 6 volunteers, ArtsConnect Ipswich Inc hosted the exhibition and workshops ‘Having Your Voice’. It supported artists who identify as living with a disability and through it the artists and ArtsConnect hoped to change the way society views disability, not as a hindrance but as a unique attribute. Over 60 artists took part.
Spirit Award of the Year: Jacqueline Connelly
If you have been reunited with your lost pet, then it is quite possible you have Jackie to thank. She has put countless hours of hard work into running a Facebook page, Lost and Found Pets Ipswich QLD, in 2018. This page is an online hub for anyone having lost or found a pet in Ipswich and has nearly 9,000 members, including hundreds of regular followers who keep an eye out for stray pets. Her work encourages responsible animal ownership in the wider Ipswich community and has resulted in hundreds of pets being reunited with their owners.