Mayor Jack Dempsey has congratulated the 2022 Bundaberg Region Australia Day Award winners who were recognised in a special ceremony today.
The annual Bundaberg Regional Council awards ceremony recognises groups and individuals that have contributed to social connectivity and whose actions have enhanced the community.
Mayor Dempsey said each of the award winners were nothing short of inspirational.
“Each year the Australia Day Award winners help to confirm what I’ve always known – the Bundaberg Region is the most generous and giving in all of Australia, if not the world,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“We are living in the most challenging times in recent history and yet, despite the impacts of Covid, the citizens of Bundaberg have continued to donate, give and achieve.
“On behalf of the entire community, thank you to our award winners for the time and dedication you have shown to the Bundaberg Region.”
2022 Australia Day Award winners:
Citizen of the Year – Dale Rethamel
A successful local businessman, Dale has given as generously with his time as he has his financial support. A passion for the town which he has called home his entire life and for the benefits which sport can offer both individuals and communities has seen him sponsor a wide range of sporting and community groups. But he’s more than just a sponsor, he’s an emcee, a trophy presenter, advisor or anything a club may need. He also holds voluntary positions with the Bundaberg Race Club and LifeFlight.
Senior Citizen of the Year – Judi Giarola
For twenty years Judi Giarola has lived in Moore Park Beach and for just as long has dedicated countless hours to turtle research and conservation. A turn of fate shortly after her arrival in the region saw Judi trained in turtle monitoring by Mon Repos researchers and before long she had started the Moore Park Beach Turtle Monitoring Group which has since grown in membership. With a background in sport and a passion for keeping active, Judi also offers free stretch classes within the community.
Young Citizen of the Year – Isaac Cooper
At the age of 10, young-gun swimmer Isaac Cooper had a dream to compete in the Olympic Games and last year that dream turned into a reality. The Bundaberg sports star made the Australian Swim Team and took on the 100-metre backstroke at the Tokyo Olympics. While representing the region on this global stage, he made the semi-final and placed 12th in the world. From there, he was chosen to head the 4 x 100 mixed medley relay where the team took home bronze.
Community Event of the Year – Oceanfest
Rotary Club of Bundaberg Sunrise established Oceanfest in 2017. The concept was to bring something unique to the region, showcasing local seafood and marine establishments and businesses through a major, annual community event. Held at the Bundaberg Port Marina, Oceanfest has amassed a huge following and draws large crowds from the region and beyond each year. The event not only emphasises great, local seafood, it also features educational activities, has a large focus on the environment and is a fundraiser for numerous charities.