Finalists announced for 2022 Ipswich Australia Day Awards

14 January 2022

Nineteen of Ipswich’s most selfless residents, unifying local events, cultural and sporting leaders, and everyday citizens making a contribution have been selected as finalists for the 2022 Ipswich Australia Day Awards.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the finalists are an inspiring selection of residents, volunteers and professionals across Cultural, Sport and Recreation, Citizen of the Year, Senior Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year awards.

“The annual Ipswich Australia Day Awards are an important platform to publicly honour our local heroes, the quiet achievers doing big things, and those inspiring individuals that better enrich our community,” Mayor Harding said.

“This year’s crop of finalists has given so much to the City of Ipswich; from doctors and artists to advocates for the homeless, as well as invaluable volunteers who are the lifeblood of their local communities.

“Each and every one of them have made substantial contributions to improve our city – we are better off as a community for their efforts and thank them for their continued dedication and service.”

Winners for each category will be announced at the official 2022 Ipswich Australia Day Award Ceremony on Wednesday 19 January 2022.

Finalists and winners in each category are selected by an independent judging panel comprised of community members, volunteers and previous Ipswich Australia Day Award winners.

Trophies for the 2022 Ipswich Australia Day Awards have been crafted by internationally renowned local artist Terry Martin.

Mr Martin creates his masterpieces in his home workshop in Newtown and has been in the wood carving industry for many decades.

Much of the wood used by Terry is locally sourced, some of his pieces even coming from his own or neighbours’ yards.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Wednesday, 19 January 2022.

For more information about the 2022 Awards, visit

Finalists for the 2022 Ipswich Australia Day Awards

Sport and Recreation Award

  • Jordan Harton – an incredibly dedicated basketball referee and helps develop referees of all ages by running courses at the Ipswich Basketball Association Inc.
  • Sara Rogers - an extremely dedicated member, player and coach with the Hancocks Brothers Hockey Club.
  • Scott Morrison – a tireless working volunteer for the Dinmore Bushrats Soccer Club.

Cultural Award

  • Jennifer Kent - she helps spark conversation of the significance of the Aboriginal culture with her art and volunteer work.
  • Kylie Hill – a passionate and inspirational Indigenous artist and mother to a large family who produces art to share her culture as well as help the greater community.
  • Neetu Singh Suhag - as founder of the Haryanvi Welfare Association, she is an inspiration nationally and internationally for her work promoting the Indian community and culture.

Young Citizen of the Year Award

  • Alexandria Walker - creates opportunities for young people to develop connections with organisations and charities to assist them in demonstrating their skills to gain employment.
  • Tamara Whiting – developed not-for-profit service Cunnara Paiabun Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation that works to relieve suffering, distress and helplessness of individuals through culturally sensitive services.

Senior Citizen of the Year Award

  • Gregory Broad - holds several significant volunteer roles in groups such as the Dinmore Bushrats Soccer Club, Ipswich District Neighbourhood Watch, Riverview Neighbourhood Watch, Scouts Australia, Riverview Dinmore Community Renewal Committee and Ipswich Trades Hall.
  • Peter Davis - founded a group of volunteers to assist courier pathology results for medical providers, providing significant financial savings to health services.
  • Rosemaree Thomasson – a member of the Rosewood District Protection Organisation, Bremer Catchment Association and many more across the Ipswich region.

Community Event of the Year

  • Ipswich Hospital Foundation Park2Park – the charity fun-run encourages individual and team participation in order to promote physical activity and community involvement while raising money for West Moreton Health.
  • Muscle in Maculata 2021 – the annual event provided an opportunity for people to have a safe venue to showcase their special vehicles and small businesses, as well as hobbyists a chance to gain income from their exposure at the event.
  • Our Stories - ArtsConnect Ipswich hosted an art exhibition titled “Our Stories” that celebrated the rich history, diverse cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, showcasing local Ipswich Indigenous artists. The exhibition was timed perfectly in tune with NAIDOC week and the opening of Ipswich’s newest festival SPARK.

Citizen of the Year Award

  • Dr Conny Turni – leads an international reference laboratory for respiratory bacterial pathogens, working with the poultry, pig and cattle industries as well as major veterinary pharmaceutical companies around the world.
  • Debbie Wadwell - she instigated the construction of the Memorial Wall and worked tirelessly on the "Adopt a Soldier Project", and her involvement and contribution to the Ipswich Sub-Branch RSL is vital to the betterment of the local Veteran Community.
  • Donna Cavanagh - she improves the lives of many in the Ipswich community, from feeding and housing the homeless to her work with various community groups including RADF, Fresh Futures Market, the Ipswich Art Society, Helping Support Minds, Relay for Life, the various Chamber of Commerce organisations and the Ipswich Foodbarn.
  • Rita Anwari - CEO of the Women Empowerment and Leadership Association, an organisation that supports young girls, professional women and students across cultural groups.
  • Dr Zoe Knorre - Chief Executive and founder of Grace Homestead, the only long-term residential recovery centre in Queensland for mothers affected by addiction and domestic violence.