Keeping our community safe – whether it be in the water or in the face of bushfires - and providing opportunities for young people is the common thread behind the 2020 Sunshine Coast Australia Day Honours awards recipients, Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said.
“The recipients from the Sunshine Coast, named by the Governor-General in the 2020 Australia Day Honours, have been recognised for their contributions to youth support, surf lifesaving and fire-fighting services, reflecting decades of service to our community,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Each of the Sunshine Coast recipients have worked tirelessly to improve the safety and well-being of our community through their dedication and commitment.
“They’ve made a difference to our residents, our children and young people and visitors to our region over many years.”
Mr Michael McDonald OAM of Caloundra has been recognised for his services to lifesaving, as has Mr Mal Pratt OAM.
“As a life member of the Metropolitan Caloundra Surf Life Saving Club, its President from 2012-2018, member of the club for over 25 years and with service roles with Surf Life Saving Queensland and Surf Life Saving Australia, Mr McDonald exemplifies the commitment and dedication that is an inherent feature of the Sunshine Coast lifesaving community,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Likewise, Mr Pratt has over five decades of service to surf lifesaving as a member of the Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club, as well as making a significant contribution to youth development through the Mal Pratt Youth Development Foundation and his generosity to organisations like the Maroochydore Gymnastics Club, the University of the Sunshine Coast and Bloomhill Cancer Care.
“Both Mr McDonald and Mr Pratt have made a long-standing contribution to the well-being and social fabric of our Sunshine Coast and their contributions to the community have been deservedly recognised,” Mayor Jamieson said.
Mr Ken Howes OAM of Nambour has also been recognised for his services to youth through Scouts.
“The Scouts play an important role in teaching valuable life skills to our children and young people such as leadership, teamwork, problem solving and communication and Mr Howes has dedicated much of his life to helping build the capacity and capabilities of young people in our community,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Equipping our young people with these skills are an invaluable asset as they pursue their pathways through life, and I am pleased that Mr Howes has been recognised for his efforts in this regard.”
Mr John Sambrooks AFSM of Palmwoods has also been recognised in the Australia Day Honours with the Australian Fire Services Medal.
Mr Sambrooks has provided an extensive and distinguished period of service to the community spanning 59 years with the Country Fire Authority, Victoria and both the Fire and Rescue Service and Rural Fire Service in Queensland.
Since moving to Queensland, he has worked as an Auxiliary Firefighter and was promoted to the position of Captain of the Buderim Fire and Rescue Station. He has also served as the President of the Queensland Auxiliary Firefighters Association for more than 17 years and is a Volunteer Firefighter with the Palmwoods Rural Fire Brigade.
“There is no doubt that Australians have faced some monumental challenges in the last few months – both here on the Sunshine Coast and further afield – as we have dealt with the devastation of bushfires impacting communities across our nation,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“The efforts of our firefighters and emergency services personnel like Mr Sambrooks are truly invaluable and inspirational and I am delighted that his decades of service have been recognised in this year’s Honours.”
Mayor Jamieson also acknowledged Mr Bob Abbot OAM, who has been recognised for his service to local government and the community, including as Mayor of the Sunshine Coast Council between 2008 and 2012.
“On behalf of our Sunshine Coast Council, I offer congratulations to all Australia Day Honours award recipients. Our community thanks you for giving so much to so many.”