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TWO GROUPS AND ONE SENIOR AWARDED BAY ISLANDER OF THE YEAR 2022 HONOURS Two groups who do outstanding work in our island community, have shared the honours for the 2022 Bay Islander of the Year. The Coastal Scavangers and the Bay Islands Kindness Pandemic teams are joint winners of the award. The organisers of the annual event since its inception, The Friendly Bay Islander and Cr Mark Edwards, decided on a major change to the award this year, because of these stand-out performances. The Senior Bay Islander of the Year has been won by Community Champions ‘original’ and organiser, Marie Dalton. There was no winner of the Junior Bay Islander of the Year. As a result, seven medals were handed out at a special Australia Day Ceremony on Karragarra Island Beach. This was the outcome following the cancellation of the Australia Day event that was planned for the Russell Island Sports fields. Both the Coastal Scavangers and the Bay Islands Kindness Pandemic groups each contain three key members. Steven Cox, Brad Farrimond and Cody Hislop received Bay Islander of the Year medals for the Coastal Scavengers, and Natalie Lutter, Faye Benge and Wendy K Ford were the recipients for the Bay Islands Kindness Pandemic Group. The Coastal Scavengers were delighted with their win. The three are shipmates on the Sealink barges and the Coastal Scavengers came about from observing rubbish around the foreshore of our islands and foreshore. They formed themselves into an effective group and since starting more than 12 months ago, have cleared tonnes of rubbish from our foreshores. So successful have they been, they have visions of growing the organisation around Australia. The Bay Islands Kindness Pandemic started as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Natalie Lutter says their group got started out of observations of fear and loneliness for many on our islands, particularly the elderly. A major factor in their curriculum vitae is that whilst they use the internet for connection, they do not abide any nasty interaction on the internet. In fact they discourage and block negative and hurtful comment. It is something they feel should apply to all the internet social media platforms. The group have made lots of new friends and recognised the ‘beauty’ of our islands. They have an established a ‘Buddy Bear’ system that encourages teaming up and working together for many who were previously scared and lonely. They also provide Gift Packs in many circumstances to surprise and give many lonely islanders a ‘pick-me-up’. Natalie, Faye and Wendy have been staggered at the success and popularity of their group. Marie Dalton the Senior Bay Islander of the Year is the Champion of the Community Champions. In fact, it was Marie who first put the idea of a group such as the champions to Redland City Council Mayor Karen Williams. “She asked to meet with me and we had a great discussion. Out if it the Community Champions were formed,” Marie said. The group is one of the success stories of the Redlands Coast and the same format is being copied far and wide by other councils. They have also been recognised highly for their initiative. The event on Karragarra Beach was a huge success with Cr Mark Edwards handing out the awards to all those who were recognised. Cr Edwards thanked The Friendly Bay Islander for its involvement with him for supporting and sponsoring the island awards since their inception.

• The Bay Islander of the Year 2022 winners with their medallions.

Cody Hislop, Steven Cox, Brad Farrimond, Cr Mark Edwards, Marie Dalton, Wendy K Ford, Natalie Lutter, Faye Benge



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