Bundy's Australia Day award recipients making a difference

GIN GIN'S Wendi Guy was been named Citizen of the Year at the Bundaberg Region Australia Day awards yesterday morning.

Ms Guy has been involved with many community organisations including the Gin Gin Theatrical Society, Gin Gin Markets, the Neighbourhood Centre, Gin Gin Historical Society, Landcare, Gin Gin Rugby League Sports Club, the Show Society and many more.

For 28 years Wendi has been with the Gin Gin Rural Fire Brigade and she has served with the Gin Gin SES for the past 18 years.

"I was very surprised to receive this and it is an honour," she said.

When accepting her award Ms Guy thanked her family and in particular, her mother.

"When my little one was tiny I used to get the phone calls at three o'clock in the morning from my controller or the police to say 'We've got an accident' or there's a call out emergencies," she said.

"I'd be on the phone to Mum saying 'Mum, sorry there's a call out, I've got to go' and she'd come over and stay with my son and stayed until I got home.

"There's been a lot of that over the many years."

Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said it was terrific to recognise Ms Guy for her hard work and dedication.

"Wendi has made a remarkable contribution to the community in many roles," he said.

"Volunteers are the lifeblood of country towns and Wendi's big heart beats strong and proud.

"It was a genuine pleasure to present her with the prestigious award as Bundaberg Region 2020 citizen of the year."

Taking out Young Citizen of the Year was Simon Rathbone.

Whether it's travelling to remote indigenous communities or being a driving force in local charity events like Relay for Life, Cane 2 Coral and 40 Hour Famine, Simon always gives his all.

Simon has done fundraising for mental health and suicide prevention organisations, including participating in the Lifeline Out of the Shadows and Into the Light Walks and fundraising for RUOK Days and Headspace.

Shirley Baldwin was named Senior Citizen of the year.

She joined the Hinkler CWA Branch soon after it was formed in 1976 and has been an active member ever since.

"Receiving a letter with the Bundaberg Regional Council logo that says private and confidential certainly had me wondering what I had done," she said.

"Instead, to my surprise I felt very honoured - privileged to be selected to receive the Australia Day Senior Citizen of the Year award."

Angels Community Group was crowned Community Group of the Year.

Community Event of the Year went to the Shalom College Confraternity Rugby League and Netball carnival which saw 1600 players, about 50 coaching staff as well as support staff, officials, guests, and thousands of family members make their way to the region.

As well as award recipients, many people were welcomed to Bundaberg as Australian citizens.
This year saw the Bundaberg region welcome more than 50 new Australians.

Some people had been waiting up to seven years for the day to come.

Coming from all across the globe, they each received a golden penda plant to welcome them to the region.