Leather recognised for years of volunteering
THE message of Monto’s Australia Day awards was that there are simply too many people whose achievements are going unsung.
This was the sentiment of the Citizen of the Year award winner Vi Leather’s speech when she accepted the award for more than 70 years of volunteering services for the seniors of Monto.
“This award is not just for me,” Ms Leather said.
“There are so many other people in Monto that do so much that are not even recognised.
“I think that all those people have probably done more than what I have done and they all deserve the reward, so I share this reward with each and every one of you.”
Ms Leather thanked Lorna Dingle, who had helped her with Meals on Wheels over the last few months.
State MP for Callide Jeff Seeney, who presented the awards with Councillor Paul Lobegeier, said Ms Leather’s modesty was what Australia Day was all about.
“The lady is nearly 90 and still worries about helping older people,” Mr Seeney said.
“She’s made a great contribution to the community that could have easily been recognised many times many years ago, but it’s being recognised today,” she said.
Though Ms Leather’s award was intended to celebrate the hard work of a lifelong resident, there were plenty of nods to Monto’s fresh faces.
Junior Citizen of the Year Ryan Pickering was commended for his involvement in community and school fundraising over the past year, including Shave for a Cure, Jeans for a Genes and Relay for Life.
The Junior Cultural Award went to Luke Aisthorpe, for his dedication captaining Monto Cattle Club and winning Junior Stud and State Reserve champion at the 2016 RNA show.
Monto Magic Tourism Action Group won the senior cultural award for its efforts in promoting historical and cultural events in and around town.
The Senior Sport Award went to a relatively young achiever this year, Dylan Burgess, and the Junior Award went to Lizzie Younger, and the Sports Administrator Award went to Tara Harm.
HAPPY WINNERS: The gathering of the Australia Day award winners at Monto Community Hall. PHOTO: JACK LAWRIE