Highly respected musician Mirusia Louwerse has been named Citizen of the Year at the 2024 Redlands Coast Australia Day Awards.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Mirusia was a worthy recipient of the award given her extensive volunteer work and contributions to music on Redlands Coast.
“Mirusia has achieved great success in her professional life as a soprano and is well-known in the community for supporting organisations such as Silver Memories and the Redland Foundation,” Cr Williams said.
“She has performed alongside and collaborated with some of the world’s finest entertainers – including The Seekers and André Rieu – and has multiple major awards and accolades to her name.
“One of her most significant achievements as a recording artist came in 2008 when she won the Platinum Album sales award for ‘André Rieu & Mirusia: Waltzing Matilda’.
“She has made numerous contributions to Redlands Coast as an entertainer during her decorated career, including performing at local events and nurturing young creatives.
“Her voluntary live performances at Redlands Coast aged care facilities have brought joy to elderly residents for decades and have left an enduring legacy on the city.
“We are very fortunate to have people like Mirusia enriching the Redlands Coast community.”
Senior Citizen of the Year was awarded to Redland Bay resident Linda Grieve for her work over several years assisting residents experiencing hardship and disadvantage.
“Linda has devoted countless hours to the community since establishing The Cage Youth Foundation and C3 Church Redland Bay with her husband Peter in 2001,” Cr Williams said.
“Both of these groups have had a profound impact on the Redlands Coast community, connecting those experiencing hardship with practical, innovative and person-centred services.
“Linda has also held volunteer roles with the Board of Eagle House Ministries, Redlands Coast Chamber of Commerce and Redlands Women in Business.
“She utilises her leadership skills effectively to collaborate with local businesses and coordinate events for the benefit of young people and families across Redlands Coast.”
Marie Dalton of Russell Island received a Highly Commended award in the Senior Citizen category for her contributions to the Community Champions Program.
“This is a vital service for our Southern Moreton Bay Island communities and plays a pivotal role in ensuring residents are prepared for bushfires and extreme weather,” Cr Williams said.
“Marie also went above and beyond to support the victims of last year’s tragic house fires on Russell Island, helping connect the survivor and her neighbours with support services.”
Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Cody Schaeffer of Cleveland, whose foundation Borderline Australia has helped teenagers on Redlands Coast and beyond improve their mental resilience.
“Cody is an inspirational young man committed to breaking the stigma associated with mental health,” Cr Williams said.
“He regularly gives up his time to make a difference in the community through assisting local charities and participating in community discussions with other organisations.
“Cody’s leadership skills have inspired others on Redlands Coast to get involved in community service at a time when it is most needed.”
Winners of 2024 Redlands Coast Australia Day Awards:
- Citizen of the Year – Mirusia Louwerse, of Cleveland, for her achievements spanning community service, music and business on Redlands Coast.
- Senior Citizen of the Year – Linda Grieve, of Redland Bay, who provides support for disadvantaged residents through The Cage Youth Foundation.
- Senior Citizen of the Year, Highly Commended – Marie Dalton, of Russell Island, who assisted victims of last year’s tragic Russell Island house fires.
- Young Citizen of the Year – Cody Schaeffer, of Cleveland, for his commitment and leadership in helping youths improve their mental health.
- Local Hero Award – Gavin Kugler, of Victoria Point, who has made numerous contributions to Point Lookout Surf Life Saving Club since joining as a Nipper in 1985.
- Local Hero Award, Highly Commended – Paul Suess and Julie Bennell, for assisting thousands of Redlands Coast youths in their role as Cub Scout Leaders.
- Reconciliation Award – Michael Hume, who has helped hundreds of Alexandra Hills State High School Students connect with their culture through dance.
- Community Organisation Award – STAR Community Services, which is dedicated to caring for vulnerable community members and ensuring they can lead independent lives.
- Cultural Award – Jonathon Welch AM, of Thornlands, who has developed inclusive choir programs and held events to support local organisations.
- Sports Award – Scott Wintle, of Wellington Point, who won a gold medal and set a new world record at the 2023 World Disabled Waterski Championships in California.
- Environment and Sustainability Award – Kevin Hughes BM, of Macleay Island, for his efforts to protect Australia’s ecosystem and promote environmental sustainability.
Cr Williams thanked all nominees for their contributions to the Redlands Coast community.
“All finalists are deserving of recognition and I thank them for giving their time to help make Redlands Coast such a great place to live,” she said.
Photos will be available in the days following the ceremony. Follow Council’s Facebook page for a link to the photos.