Community Congratulates Southside Heroes - Griffith Australia Day Awards 2020

26 January 2020


A number of locals were recognised by the community on Australia Day as the Southside’s unsung volunteer heroes, for their outstanding work to make our community a better place.

The 21st Griffith Australia Day Awards recipients have been commended by Member for Griffith Terri Butler for their extraordinary contributions through their voluntary work with the Southside community.

“These are the unsung heroes of the Southside who work hard for our community every day,” Ms Butler said.

“They ask for no recognition, and they work incredibly hard to make our community a better place.”

The Griffith Australia Day Awards recipients are:

  • Suzanne Bosanquet – The Gabba Business Association
    As the President of the Gabba Business Association since 2012, Suzanne encouraged the End of The Line Festival, established the Gabba Village Association, has held volunteer positions within Easts Rugby Union Club and Coorparoo Junior AFL Club – helped receive funding to establish the women’s AFL team. Suzanne is also a committee member of the Canon Garland Memorial Society and she delivered the Pin Wheel Poppy Project.


  • Kerry Shilling – Kerry’s Wildlife Rescue and Care
    Kerry established Kerry’s Wildlife Rescue and Care in Woolloongabba, she rescues and cares for animals and provides advice to others regarding injured wildlife.


  • The South Brisbane Men’s Shed Founding Executive
    The three men who were the founding executive of the South Brisbane Men’s shed started the shed to be a resource available to fathers and male relatives of younger people in the autism spectrum.


  • John Evans OAM – SCRUB Catchment Care Group and B4C
    John formed SCRUB and works with B4C – volunteering six days a week for them as nursery procurement officer and a key supporter of the Landcare Services Unit, which works on over 100 sites.


  • Greg Kerswell – Bulimba Book Club
    Greg volunteers for Bulimba Book Club and is the Convenor/Chair/Public Contact. He has now moved to New Farm. Greg has continued this club for 11 years, after he took it over from a Bulimba librarian. The Club discussed a diverse range of books and genres and Greg has always encouraged at least one Brisbane author per year. 


  • Constantine Drozdovskii – Russian Community
    Constantine is a highly respected elder of the Russian community in Queensland and Australia. He has served the community actively for fifty years plus. He has published Russian language magazines, Russian/English books, he was the President of the Russian Club Brisbane, he founded and was the Acting Chair of the St Vladimir Society, and gifted to Australia on behalf of the Russian community, a statute of St Vladmir. Constantine took on the role of Secretary of the Parish Council of St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral and was the founding member of the Canon Garland Memorial Society.


  • Brian and Margaret Besgrove – National Servicemen’s RSL Sub Branch
    Both Brian and Margaret have put in countless hours of work to the National Servicemen’s RSL Subbranch. They work behind the scenes for the community in Anzac Day, Vietnam Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies at Norman Park. They deal with the invitations, the rosters, the shade covers, seating arrangements, name tags, permits, wreaths, lunches, busses, printing. Margaret even hands out rosemary from her own garden. Margaret has made the morning teas for the meetings. Brian and Margaret organised the bus trips and lunches to get the branch together on a social basis.

  • Carolyn Robinson – Beyond DV
    Carolyn worked as a volunteer to establish Beyond DV, Time Out Workshops, Hope 4 Life and Bright Start helping women and children. She is hoping to expand to include tutoring for children. She is described as “a burst of light and hope”.


  • Jak McPhail – Greenslopes State School
    Jak is a crossing supervisor at Greenslopes State School, but she volunteers extensively in the school community. Jak implemented Containers for Change – encouraging families to recycle their containers and educating the students and their families on recycling. This scheme has fundraised $3000 for the school. Jak knows the names of most students and she has been a fill-in grandparent for students who need one on Grandparent’s Day. She interacts in any way that she can with parents from a diverse background who know little English and this makes them feel a part of the school community.


  • Alison and Robert Coombs, Wendy Tyson & Noela Billington - 4MBS Classic FM
    Allison and Robert have supported the community radio station 4MBS in various volunteer roles for over 15 years - subscribers, program guide packers, music library supervisors and Alison has been a receptionist. They have been involved in the 4MBS Shakespeare Productions in parks around Brisbane, with Robert helping out by transporting sets and Alison making the costumes. They also provide catering for the 4MBS Festival of Classic concerts in Coorparoo.

    Wendy has been a volunteer at 4MBS for over 25 years and has served on the board for all of this time, including the role of Honorary Secretary. Wendy oversees the accounts team and administration.

    Noela also volunteers at 4MBS and has done so for 20 years. Noela is a classical music announcer and prepares the programmes for the station’s library. Noela is also a music library supervisor and has been involved in training other volunteers


  • Barbara Clarke – Achilles Brisbane Inc.
    A Coorparoo local who has provided amazing leadership for Achilles Brisbane Inc. which assists people with disabilities to get involved in walking and running through the assistance of guides. Barbara has recently accepted the role of president. Barbara has lead by example and overcome her own challenges.


  • Mark Delbridge – Coorparoo Bowls Club
    Mark stepped into the role of chair of the Coorparoo Bowls Club at a time when it was struggling, and Bowls Queensland was looking to recoup the money it had spent and partner with developers. Mark has worked at least 30 hours a week at this club. He tends the bar, sells raffles, organises events, negotiates contract, does the budgets and attends countless meetings. Coorparoo Bowls Club is one of Bowls Queensland’s success stories now, with a large community presence.


  • Darren Godwell  -  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service and West End Community Association
    Darren was the president of the West End Community Association for 7 years, and supported events such as the Kurilpa Derby, the West End Block Party, West End Film Festival, and winning new parks and green space including Riverside Drive and Bunyapa Parks. He volunteered at Junction Park State School, the West End State School and Scott Street Kindy.


  • Nera Komaric – World Wellness Group
    Nera found World Wellness Group in Stones Corner and has dedicated her life in Queensland to establishing essential services, expertise and programs for culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD), particularly asylum seekers and refugees.


  • Leanne Cameron – Cannon Hill Kindergarten
    Leanne worked as an early learning teacher in the Cannon Hill community for years; she has assisted special needs children and children from all types of backgrounds. She is a much loved teacher by her students.


  • Aileen Patterson & Jenny Purnell - Cannon Hill 60 and Better Association Inc.  
    Aileen has worked tirelessly for the 60 and Better Association Inc. for the last 15 years. She has worked in the kitchen helping with senior’s lunches and found speakers and entertainers for each Monday seniors meeting, all while being the secretary. She also helps with clean up and removing rubbish as some of the members are getting old. She helps out on Tuesdays during the Tai Chi and gentle exercise sessions. Aileen is also on the committee for the Cannon Hill School of Arts.


  • Shirley Neander - Cannon Hill School of Arts Association Inc.
    Shirley has been a member of Cannon Hill Sixty and Better Association and the Cannon Hill School of Arts Association for at least 10 years, helping in any way she could – secretary, bookkeeper. She makes members feel at ease and welcomed, especially the new ones.   


  • Michael Spragg & Jessica Gregg – Carina JRLFC
    Michael introduced the first Sports Luncheon for Carina Juniors RLFC and this now runs annually raising much needed funds for the junior club. Michael has also ensured that Carina will host a BRL A Grade and BRL Reserve Grade teams for the first time ever, in 2020.

    Jessica has managed teams at Carina JRLFC for the past 8 years. Jessica was the Registrar and as of 2019 she is now the Secretary. Jessica has worked tirelessly with Brisbane Junior Rugby League and other external stakeholders to support and benefit the Carina Junior’s players; an example of this is organising to have the juniors participate in NRL Development Videos and in university studies.


  • Jill Lane – Belmont Services Ladies Bowling Club Inc.
    Jill has been the Honorary Treasurer for the Belmont Services Ladies Bowling Club Inc since 2016. Jill joined the club in 2001 and became the Assistant Treasurer in 2011. Jill has modernised their accounting system, prepared financial reports, she handles their cash flow and communicates with their auditor. Jill implemented the ‘One Touch’ payroll system to provide for employees. Jill is also a member of the club’s committee and assists with setting up tables, is an extra hand in the kitchen, and welcomes new members.


  • Mary Lehn – Carina Senior Citizens Club Inc.
    Mary has been the head of the catering department at Carina Senior Citizens Club for 15 years, up until three months ago. Mary has organised and purchased food and organised a team to work with her to serve the meals. She even washes up the dishes after a long day. Mary has been an inspiration to others ‘we should be serving Mary, not Mary serving us’. In the local community, she visits residents in the Salvin Park Aged Care Facility and helped with the hospitality within her local church at Carina.

The Griffith Australia Day Awards recognise volunteers who perform extraordinary or outstanding voluntary work in the Griffith electorate.

Categories for selection are:

  • Community, educational, or cultural
  • Sports and recreation
  • Arts
  • Young contributors, and;
  • Small business

The Griffith Australia Day Awards nominees were nominated by locals from our community who have noticed the work of these community trailblazers, and were selected by a committee of community leaders.

“I thank Committee Chair, Mr Craig Bowen OAM, and committee members Mr Pat Atkinson and Ms Jo Culshaw, who worked diligently in helping to select such highly deserving recipients this Australia Day,” Ms Butler said.

The recipients will be honoured with a special ceremony, to be held by Ms Butler on Saturday, 9 May 2020, to recognise the Southside’s hardworking volunteers.