The spotlight shines on people that are selflessly contributing to our community.

They walk amongst us with little or no recognition but the recent St.George Community Awards brought some of our local heroes into the spotlight.

The awards recognised and rewarded community heroes across six categories, with each winner receiving a $2,000 St.George Bank account, and the overall Community Organisation of the Year receiving a $10,000 grant to continue their great work.

Head of Retail Banking for Queensland, Ross Gillam said often in the branches, staff would hear inspiring stories of the great work being done by people and groups across Queensland.

“We wanted to recognise these quiet achievers. These awards pay tribute to this work, and we hope our community grants aid with financial assistance,” Gillam said.

The overall winners across six categories were:

Community Group of the Year – $10,000 community grant

Group 61

Group 61 is a voluntary, not for profit organisation devoted to mental health. The trained volunteer takes his/her friend for a morning or afternoon outing each week. It is a continuing relationship which builds friendship and allows for trust and healing.

Outstanding Community Achiever of the Year – $2000 Community Grant

Luise Manning, Springfield Lakes Butterfly Wings Parent Child Program

Luise was applauded for a community safety program to reduce the risk of vehicle accidents that has been rolled out to almost 200 child care centres, benefiting over 10,000 families in the wider Brisbane community.

Outstanding Youth Achiever of the Year – $2000 Community Grant

Maddison Houston

19-year old Maddison Houston from Warner is a youth ambassador campaigning to curb youth violence. Her school education program teaches teens how to stay safe in dangerous situations, how to avoid confrontation, the dangers of drinking at a young age and stress relief strategies.

2014 Environmental & Sustainable Champion – $2000 Community Grant

Sue Holmes, F.A.U.N.A (Fostercare of Australia’s Unique Native Animals) Association Inc

F.A.U.N.A is a group of dedicated volunteer wildlife carers who rescue and care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. Sue has carried on the wild-life rescue program in honor of her late husband’s ambition.

Regional Impact Award – $2000 Community Grant

Aussie Helpers

For over 10 years Aussie Helpers has been lifting the spirits of Queenslanders who are adversely affected by drought, floods and bushfires. During the past 12 months Aussie Helpers have assisted more than 700 farming families affected by drought.

Indigenous Care Award – $2000 Community Grant

Gundala Kindergarten

A non-profit community kindergarten that has been meeting the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pre-school children since 1974, the center provides children the best start to life and provides indoor space for at-risk children. They also help fund clinics for activities that families may otherwise be unable to experience.

Sport Engagement Award – $2000 Community Grant

Brisbane Paralympic Football Program

Established in 2006 by Head Coach Jay Larkins, the program is now one of Australia’s biggest. Over the past year the club has expanded with football programs in operation for 42 weeks of the year. Their mantra is that there are no minimum ability levels – ‘if you can get here, you can play’.

Do you know a local hero? Make sure you nominate them for next year’s St George Community Awards!