Councillor Puddy Chandler with Injune residents.
Councillor Puddy Chandler with Injune residents. Mandy McKeesick

Local legends from across region recognised on Aust Day

Team player honoured for special contribution

GIVING BACK: Injune's 2019 Citizen of the Year Brigid Price.
GIVING BACK: Injune's 2019 Citizen of the Year Brigid Price. Mandy McKeesick

A TEAM player, Brigid Price knows the importance of being involved in her local community.

Still a city girl at heart, Brigid credits her career in finance, as well as spending her youth in Bundaberg, Cairns, Brisbane and overseas prior to her move to the bush, to her unique skillset, which had her recognised as Citizen of the Year in Injune.

Among her achievements, she is a member of the Community Advisory Network for Injune Health Services, co-ordinates the Injune Naturally Resourceful Women Group, is developing the Rural Resources Online website to give farming families tools and resources to grow their businesses, and she is starting a Facebook-based community billboard.

She was last year selected as one of 10 women to receive sponsorship by the National Farmers' Federation's diversity in agricultural leadership mentoring program.

Brigid credits her success to the thriving community around her and said she was lucky to live in a place where everyone did so much for the betterment of the town and its surrounds.

"When you look at the breadth of people in our community, and Injune is a special, really active community who contribute so much personally themselves, it is nice to be recognised, but I am just one of many people that put their hands up to help.

It's no hassle to help people out.”

Mitchell's Elder "Aunty” celebrated for tireless work

Citizen of the Year Aunty Lynette Nixon
Citizen of the Year Aunty Lynette Nixon Contributed

THE founding member of 15indigenous organisations across southwest Queensland has been honoured, accepting Citizen of the Year for Mitchell on Australia Day.

Aunty Lynette Nixon has demonstrated her involvement in the local, regional, state and national indigenous community across decades and was last year awarded the National NAIDOC Female Elder of the Year Award.

Described by her community as an unsung hero, Lynette has worked tirelessly to benefit her community.

Among her achievements, she is the founding director of Andanoo Kindergarten, the Mitchell Housing Company and the Nalingu Aboriginal Corporation, an integral part of the Mitchell community.

Among her extensive publications, including those used widely by universities and to establish Aboriginal health centres, she was a co-researcher for the Gunggari Oral History from 1995-97, which was used as the backbone of the Gunggari tribe's native title claims, used to form the core of Aboriginal studies and Gunggari language programs.

Her work has toured the country after she researched the fate of the Stolen Generation, resulting in the pictorial display And Then They Were Gone, which featured at events for two years.

Aboriginal teach aid positions were established following her research in Mitchell and Dalby into The Experience of Aboriginal Children at Primary and High Schools.

She has published six Gunggari language books and although supposedly retired, Lynette still volunteers for Nalingu Aboriginal Corporation.

Her spirit and activism is felt throughout the community, especially at the local schools, both Mitchell State School and St Patrick's School, where Aboriginal studies and Gunggari language programs continue.

Volunteer makes Yuleba proud

CONGRATULATIONS: Merle Murphy   with councillor Geoff McMullen and Mayor Tyson Golder.
CONGRATULATIONS: Merle Murphy with councillor Geoff McMullen and Mayor Tyson Golder. Contributed

ENJOYING life is what inspires Merle Murphy to do good within her community and beyond, but she never expected to be recognised as she was on Saturday with her Wallumbilla Citizen of the Year Award.

Having lived in Yuleba for 82 years, Merle is well- known throughout the community for her time spent volunteering.

Merle's greatest and proudest contribution, however, is the 1100 teddy bears she has knitted, stuffed and stitched across 10 years for Queensland Children's Hospital, as well as Wallumbilla Hospital.

"I make those teddy bears because I may as well do something useful with my crafts, because I enjoy life and I love doing things for other people,” Merle said.

"If you're good at something, like craft, what do you do with it all?

"How can you give back?

"I have been knitting for years. I know these bears cost me money but it doesn't worry me because I can give pleasure to other people.”


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