The Bay Islander of the Year Australia Day awards were a huge success.
Three significant islanders, who could be labelled ‘quite achievers’, were recognised specifically for their island involvement and efforts.
A big crowd turned up at the RICARTS site at Kennedy Farm on Russell Island for this year’s award celebrations.
There were also significant Australia Day events right across the islands.
Aided by perfect weather, there were big numbers out enjoying the fine conditions and the surrounding waters of Moreton Bay.
The island Australia Day awards were the culmination of the event at the Kennedy Farm RICARTS markets along with sports and entertainment.
The overall Bay Islander of the Year is long-time Russell Island volunteer Joan Moser.
The senior Bay Islander of the Year is Noel Walker from Lamb Island.
The junior Bay Islander of the Year is young Queensland lawn bowls representative, Zayah Morgan.
All three were overjoyed at the awards.
The unassuming Joan Moser was particularly delighted.
“It is such an honour and what a surprise. I certainly never expected anything like this,” she told The Friendly Bay Islander.
Joan was recognised for he long history of volunteering for many island groups including the St Peter's thrift shop, the island singers and meals on wheels.
She is known as a modest, selfless and tireless worker with a cheery word of encouragement for everyone.
Senior Bay Islander of the year Noel Walker is First Officer of the Lamb Island Fire Brigade and active member of the Lamb Island Residents Association.
He has brought the island brigade into the 21st century through his administration with his team of volunteers, including the building of the new fire station on Lamb.
He co-ordinated the RCC and SES response to the bushfires on Straddie on Lamb; co-ordinated water supplies to elderly island residents (and the community at large) during the water crisis; he also undertook with his team to carry ongoing watering of 85 new street trees for the length of Lucas Drive. Plus he has helped Santa Claus deliver treats to island children in their homes.
Junior Bay Islander of the Year is young Queensland representative bowler Zayah Morgan, who is an inspiration to the youth on our islands, proving sport is a great way to better your life directions.
At just 14 years of age, Zayah has already won her first national title. She also helps out at the island school teaching lawn bowls to youngsters at the Russell Island Bowls Club.
Also on her holiday she helps deliver Meal on Wheels.
All three winners exemplify what means to be hard working, contributing Australians to their local community.
An additional award, called The Friendly Bay Islander of the Year, was also made to Eleesa Zlatic, known for the Organic Markets on Macleay Island. This award recognises the cheerful outlook and efforts made on behalf of the community at various levels.
The awards were presented by Cr Mark Edwards and the day was sponsored by The Friendly Bay Islander, Redland City Council and Cr Mark Edwards.
It would not have been the success it was were it not for the the RICARTS and BIMSARA groups organising the markets and the sporting events held.
Member for Redlands Kim Richards also attended and presented medals to participants in the sporting events.
Steve Morgan again maintained his long association with the island Australia Day event as the host of the day.
• Australia Day winners Noel Walker, Joan Moser and Zayah Morgan.