Gladstone heroes to shine in state awards
A GLADSTONE surfing coach and a Boyne Island community group have been nominated in this year's Queensland Community Achievement Awards.
Reef2Beach surf shop owner and operator Wayne 'Grom' Mellick from Agnes Water is in the running for Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero of the Year and Friends of Bindaree is vouching for top spot in the Awards Australia Community Group of the Year.
Community Hero Award nominee Wayne Mellick, known to many as Grom, was proud to be acknowledged, but said it was important to stay humble.
"I'm blown away by the nomination for the being a hero, but I think everybody needs to be humble," he said.
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"Everyone is a hero going through every day with the battles that they have," he said.
"Obviously, I'm very proud to be nominated, but it's just a day's work in my life."
For Mr Mellick, a typical day can start at 6.45am, teaching students from beginners to advanced level in schools around the Gladstone region, then offering lessons to backpackers in the afternoon.
But the variety doesn't end there.
"I've actually taught people who are handicapped or blind, and I've also taught people who are short of limbs, with respect to their disability," Mr Mellick said.
Mr Mellick found out about the nomination after The Observer called for an interview.
In a submission to Community Achievement Awards judges, Mr Mellick has been described as "a fantastic supporter" of local events and businesses for at least 25 years.
In a statement to award organisers, his nominators and referees said "the impact of Grom is that he is extremely positive and constantly encouraging people in the area".
Friends of Bindaree president Andrew Bannerman received news of the group's nomination before heading overseas for a holiday.
In the past 20 years, Friends of Bindaree has grown to 45 volunteers who give two days a week to set up shop selling cheap clothing, furniture and other goods at Bindaree Lodge at Boyne Island.
Proceeds have reached more than $1 million over the two decades.
The group's donations have supported flood-ravaged towns in Central Queensland, as well as overseas communities previously affected by cyclones in Vanuatu and Fiji.
A self-sustaining organisation, Friends of Bindaree has helped many residents in the Boyne Island Tannum Sands area through the economic boom and bust , as well as those in the broader Gladstone community.
"It really didn't make much difference to us when the boom was on," Mr Bannerman said.
Mr Bannerman is thankful to the Boyne Island Tannum Sands community for their long-term support.
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"We wouldn't exist without them - and the volunteers to help out and keep the place running," Mr Bannerman said.
"Everyone down there does such a terrific job, it's good to put a nomination for them and if we can do well out of them, it's good."
The winners will be announced on November 18.