A FORMER Gold Coast City CEO, turned charity worker, has been named our Citizen of the Year.
Today’s Gold Coast Australia Day Awards recognised the unique contribution that 26 outstanding local residents have made to the city and community.
Asking himself if there was life after local government, retired CEO Paul Stevens found the answer in devoting himself to the community and he was today recognised for his civic and charity work, as the 2014 Gold Coast Citizen of the Year.
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Formerly Chief Executive Officer City of Gold Coast from 1998 until his retirement in 2003, Paul now participates significantly in community life through his involvement in numerous boards, committees, institutes and trusts.
Paul has carried out honorary work as Secretary/Treasurer of the Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame, since 1999. He is the founding member of The Jonathan Foundation and The Good Life Village and for many years has been involved in a voluntary capacity with Gold Coast Sport and Recreation Inc.
Zachary Henwood was announced the Gold Coast Young Citizen of the Year, recognised for his enormous contribution to beach safety through his involvement with the Miami Beach Surf Life Saving Club alongside his studies for a Bachelor of Engineering.
Zac has completed over 1,230 rostered and voluntary patrolling hours and over 600 water safety volunteer hours.
MAYOR Tom Tate said the Gold Coast Australia Day awards were about recognising and celebrating the city’s outstanding community members and organisations.
“This year’s award recipients are all celebrated for their achievements, and the importance that they place on supporting others and giving back to the community,” he said.
The Community Service award went to Andrew and Gregory Bell, the Sports Achievement award to Peter Hallet, the Environment Achievement award to Tarrabora Reserve Bushcare Group and the Cultural Achievement awards to Nao Hirano.
Mayor Tate congratulated all award recipients saying they were extraordinary people doing vital work in our community.
“Each of you embodies characteristics and qualities admired by all Gold Coast residents. Your achievements are inspiring, and on behalf of the city I thank you for your contribution to our community,” he said.
2014 Gold FM COMMUNITY SERVICE: Andrew and Gregory Bell, recognised for their ongoing support towards the Queensland Muscular Dystrophy Association, raising almost $3 million to date through the Annual Gala Ball and Charity Auction. The pair also raised $550,000 through the Annual Sportsman’s Lunch and Auction for the Surfers Paradise Surf Lifesaving Club.
2014 SPORTS ACHIEVEMENT: Peter Hallet, resconised for his unwavering commitment to the North Burleigh Surf Life Saving Club. For 33 years Peter has been involved in lifesaving every weekend, in training, mentoring, coaching and patrolling.
2014 ENVIRONMENTAL ACHIEVEMENT: Tarrabora Reserve Bushcare Group, recognised for their assistance with environmental weed management and the revegetation of native plants within Tarrabora Reserve, Palm Beach. The group have planted over 8,000 native plants and have successfully restored Tarrabora from a once barren open landscape to a haven for wildlife and a popular park for locals and tourists.
2014 CULTURAL ACHIEVEMENT: Nao Hirano, recognised for his close work with the local community for over 15 years. Since migrating from Japan, he has been a valued community member, adding exceptional value to culture and the arts by actively leading or partnering with community events and programs.