The Shalom College Confraternity Carnivals were named Community Event of the Year at the 2020 Bundaberg Regional Council's Australia Day Awards.
The events are regarded as among the best school rugby league and netball carnivals in Australia and they originated right here in Bundaberg.
Shalom College Principal Dan McMahon said the growth of the carnivals had been amazing.
“No one foresaw how either event would grow,” Dan said.
“Quite a number of young men who participated in the QISSRL (Qld Independent Schools Rugby League) Carnival have gone to play NRL, represent their state and country.
“Jonathon Thurston, Anthony Milford, Matt Bowen, Felise Kaufusi and Daly Cherry-Evans are among many who are well-known graduates of QISSRL.”
Dan said that although it’s had a shorter history, quite a number of QISSN (Qld Independent Secondary Schools Netball) competitors have gone on to perform at the highest levels too.
“At the opening ceremony of the 2019 carnival, the girls enjoyed listening to former St Luke’s student and now New Zealand Ferns Netball player Ameliaranne Ekenasia (nee Wells) speak about her very positive experiences of QISSN.”
Carnivals came home in 2019
Every year the carnivals are staged at different venues throughout Queensland but in 2019 they came “home” to Bundaberg from 1-5 July.
A Shalom Carnivals Committee organised all aspects of the running of both carnivals, including organising the draws, venues, referees and umpires, trophies and awards.
The committee also provided or coordinated accommodation for all visiting teams, catering, provision of first aid and sports medicine services for all players and staff and spectators.
They also organised social functions and entertainment and coordinated mass coverage on all forms of media, including live streaming to social media.
The carnivals ran like clockwork and were the culmination of two years of meticulous planning by a small but hard working committee.
About 1600 players attended, along with around 750 coaching and support staff, officials, guests and other dignitaries, as well as thousands of parents and other family members.
Massive benefit to the whole community
The carnivals massively benefited the whole community, showcasing our region and all of our people, wonderful facilities and climate to the many thousands of visitors, some from overseas.
The carnivals also promoted the benefits of health and fitness to not only participants but also residents and the broad media audience.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said it was a great event and the carnivals were worthy winners for Community Event of the Year.
“Dan McMahon from Shalom College couldn’t be more proud of representing Shalom College and the Confraternity that put on a great event and brought many people to the region,” he said.
“This great event showed Bundaberg as the best place to live, work and raise a family”.
Dan said it was a great honour for the College to win the Australia Day Award.
“We love contributing to this community,” he said.
“Most of our effort in this regard is doing our best to offer young people a great education and hope that they will, in turn, contribute to their local community, their state and their nation.
“We are so pleased that the QISSRL & QISSN carnivals were as successful as they were both for Shalom and the Bundaberg community.”