LONG-TERM Blackwater resident Beth Baker received the award of Blackwater and Duaringa Area Citizen of the Year on Australia Day.
She shared the honour of a special ceremony with other winners including Randolph Powder, who received the Cultural Award.
Central Highlands Regional Council Community Development Officer, Annette Bush, said Ms Baker had lived in the area for around 40 years
and was committed to serving the Blackwater community.
“Beth is an active community member and she puts her heart and soul into what she commits to.
With strong social justice values, she truly believes in the ‘strength of community’ and her contributions vary across many sectors of the community,” said Ms Bush.
A Uniting Church elder, Ms Baker has been the chairperson and a volunteer for the Combined Churches and Community Christmas Appeal for over 15 years.
She volunteers for many groups including Red Cross, the Blackwater Salvation Army and is a trained Emergency Services volunteer.
She is the President of the Duaringa Shire Seniors’ Association, a member of the CHRC Community Support Group which complements the Blackwater Disaster Management Plan, and started linedancing and jewellery making groups in town to
assist people to make links in the local community and provide social interaction.
Her support of the Indigenous community includes being an active member of the NAIDOC Week Planning Committee for
over 10 years.
Cr Paul Bell said he was proud to present Beth with the award and that it was “about time she got it”.
Ms Baker addressed the ceremony with a simple “G’day” and a brief thank you. “Thank you, Blackwater, I just love you,” she said.