Mareeba rodeo stalwart Jim Blakeney has been formally recognised for his decades of service to the sport by being named the 2017 Mareeba Shire Council Citizen of the Year.
The grandfather of eight held the position of president of the Mareeba Rodeo Association for 32 years, and was inducted into the association’s hall of fame on his retirement in 2016.
Mr Blakeney said he was surprised to be nominated but honoured to receive the award.
“Voluntary work is not something you asked to be rewarded for,” Mr Blakeney.
“It’s good enough to get a thank you and shake your hand...that’s all we want.
“But this council awards night is a great way of everyboyd knowing what you’ve done and thanking you for it
“I share this award with all volunteers of all walks of life.”
Little split OP1 students Katelyn Dickinson (Mareeba High School) and Kate Wilcox (St Stephen’s Catholic College) who shared the Young Citizen of the Year award.
Katelyn was recognised for her leadership roles including school captain, dux and Caltex All-Rounder. She was also the recipient of the Order of Australia Association Secondary Citizen Award in 2016.
Kate was St Stephen’s senior dux in 2016 and also won the Rotary All-Rounder and public speaking awards. She won the Lions Youth of the Year competition locally, and received the prestigious Pierre de Coubertin award.
Other award winners:
- Environmental Excellence – Kuranda Envirocare
- Arts and Cultural Award – Kiara Cabassi
- Junior Community Service Award – Mareeba State High School 2016 Student Council
- Senior Community Service Award – (joint) Grant Bell and St Thomas’ Catholic Church Debutante Ball Committee
- Junior Sports Award – Tyler Isu; highly commended Callum McCarthy and Neil Prince
- Senior Sports Award – Jennifer McCarthy