70-year-old tourism advocate inspires Sarina to get active

An “effervescent, sprightly, inspirational and empowering 70-year-old” was acknowledged with the Mary Malone Perpetual Award last night in Sarina.

The presentation was made at the Sarina Women’s Week Awards dinner at the RSL which demonstrated how immensely proud the Sarina community are of their women.  

Some of the nominees look after the sick or elderly, others pulled the community together after Cyclone Debbie.

Many lent an ear to those battling dark times or simply gave their time to make their town a better place to live.

In all, 30 amazing women were nominated and received a Sarina Women’s Week Award.

Mayor Greg Williamson said Colleen Burt, 70, was selected as the major award recipient for both encouraging exercise and activity among residents and being an amazing advocate for the region.

“Colleen is often the first face many visitors see when they enter our region,” Cr Williamson said.

“She volunteers at the Sarina Tourist Arts and Craft Centre and talks about the community and the region with tremendous passion and positivity,’’ he said.

“She loves to give visitors all the information they need to stay and explore our region and you’d be hard pressed to find a better advocate.”

Founder of the Choir of Unheard Voices, Margaret Ross, nominated Ms Burt for the award and said she was an inspiration to many.

“She spends a lot of her time at Sarina Swimming Pool and is always helping people to know more, achieve more and encourages everyone to be active and enjoy the benefits of exercise, swimming and being in the water,” Ms Ross said.  

“She has taught so many people to improve themselves, not to give in or give up, and to keep going,” she said.

The awards are an initiative of the Sarina Neighbourhood Centre and council and are supported by the Queensland Government.  Queensland Women’s Week runs from March 3 to 11.  The theme this year, which Colleen Burt epitomises, is “Celebrate wellbeing. Everybody wins”.

The Mary Malone Perpetual Award was created in honour of the contributions made by Mary Malone to the Sarina community.