The Winners 2023
Outdoors Queensland is proud to announce the winners of the 2023 Outdoors Queensland Awards. The awards judging panel would like to acknowledge all the winners, all the finalists, all the nominees and all those who put forward a nomination, for all they have done for the outdoors in Queensland.
Check out the Finalist Videos that were played on the night and understand why the judges had such a hard time choosing the winners.
Congratulations to all!
The Queensland Government Individual Achievement Award
This award is for individuals who have demonstrated professionalism, high achievement in a particular field and exemplary role modelling.
Finalists: Peta Jay, Darren Osmond, Renae Kunda
Winner: Andrea Newton
The K2 Base Camp Emerging Achiever Award
This award recognises the efforts and achievements of an individual new to the outdoor sector; a student, a young person, or anyone making a change into the sector.
Finalists: Dylan Carter, Chelsea Lineham, Willow Bonett
Winner: Shontay Henry-Hegerty
The Equipped Outdoors Outdoor Education Award
This award is for school, early childhood, out of school care, camp or outdoor education providers that deliver outdoor education programs in outdoor adventurous settings, and significantly influence a participant’s physical ability, mental health and ability to thrive
Finalists: Seaforth Pines Outdoor Education Centre, Konomie Island Environmental Education Centre
Winner: Autism & Beyond Australia
The AQIA Workforce Development Award
This award is open to any organisation that supports workforce development by taking on trainee employees/volunteers, provides in-house training or supports workers to undertake external training.
Finalists: Scouts Queensland – Adventurous Activities Training Team, Sport and Recreation Venues – DTIS
Winner: QCCC CAMPFIRE Internship
The Queensland Government Outdoor Recreation Award
This award is for an outdoor recreation peak body, club, provider, event or product that stands out from all others; has raised awareness about the benefits of outdoor recreation and being outdoors; has increased participation in outdoor recreation; and has made a significant impact on the outdoor recreation sector.
Finalists: Girl Guides Qld, Blue Sky Trails, Scout Association of Australia Queensland Branch
Winner: 2 Bent Rods
The Bec Fox Unleash Your Power Adventure Therapy Award
The recipient of this award is an individual, organisation or program that has significantly improved the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders through the use of nature and/or adventure by delivering innovative programs, interventions, training, advocacy and/or research.
Finalists: HYPAR Wild, Cairns Adventure Therapy
Winner: Youth Flourish Outdoors
The Queensland Government Adventure Tourism Award
This award is for a tourism operator, event or product that delivers outdoor activity adventure products for either local or inbound participants.
Finalists: Aquascene Magnetic Island, Big Red Tours
Winner: Run Queensland
The Queensland Government Outdoor Play Award
This award is for organisations (eg. play groups, nature play providers, community groups, councils) that have increased opportunities for Queensland children to spend time in unstructured play outdoors and in nature.
Finalists: Walloon State School – Outdoor Education, Seedlings & Co Calamvale
Winner: Curious Me
The Outdoors Queensland Government Achievement Award
The Government Achievement Award recognises the achievements of local or state government department, agency, person or program and/or agency that has produced positive outcomes for the outdoor sector.
Finalists: The Northern Outlook – Dept of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training, Ipswich City Council – Experience Nature
Winner: City of Gold Coast – Our Natural City Strategy 2032
This award recognises and acknowledges the achievements of the winners of 3 or more Outdoors Queensland Awards (and formerly the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Awards) since their inception in 2002.
In 2023 this award was presented to Youth Flourish Outdoors
Gillian was made an honorary life member of Outdoors Queensland in March 2023 for her amazing work for over 20 years advocating for and supporting outdoor activities, particularly mountain biking. Outdoors Queensland is sad to announce that Gillian Duncan passed away on Tuesday 16th May 2023.
Outdoors Queensland Awards Dinner
The winners were announced at the Outdoors Queensland Awards Dinner on Friday October 27th, 2023, at Rydges South Bank Brisbane
The Outdoors Queensland Awards Dinner is a popular networking opportunity for members of the outdoor community to get together to celebrate the Award winners – the individuals and organisations who have made a positive and lasting difference to the outdoors and outdoor recreation in Queensland, in all its various guises.
Guest speaker for the evening was Bonnie Hancock, a Gold Coast paddler who, in 2022, set a record for the fastest time to paddle around Australia on a surf ski.
DATE: Friday 27th October
TIME: 6.00 pm arrival for 7.00 pm start (end approx 11.00 pm)
VENUE: Rydges South Bank Brisbane (Find on Google Maps)
DRESS CODE: Smart Casual – a chance to get dressed up!
Check out the PHOTOS (use code qld2023) taken on the night!
All photos courtesy of Element Photo & Video Production
Guest Speaker - Bonnie Hancock
Bonnie Hancock grew up in the small NSW town of Sawtell and was primarily a board paddler and swimmer and a late bloomer on the ski, not picking up a paddle until the age of 17. After a move to the Gold Coast, Bonnie managed to grab a spot in the Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series and would complete 7 years on the professional circuit.
In 2020, Bonnie read a book about a previous circumnavigation of Australia by paddle. Two years later, she set off from Mermaid Beach on her surf ski and, after 254 days paddling for 12,700kms, finished a clockwise loop around the country. Bonnie broke the previous Guinness World Record by over 2 months.
She also holds the record for the furthest distance paddled in 24 hours (open ocean) by a female, completing 235 kms on her surf ski at Airlie Beach, just two weeks after returning from her paddle around Australia.
New Award Sponsors
We are very pleased to announce two NEW award sponsors for 2023 and beyond!
Equipped Outdoors is the new sponsor of The Equipped Outdoors Outdoor Education Award
Bec Fox – Unleash your Power is the new sponsor of The Bec Fox Unleash Your Power Adventure Therapy Award
About the Awards
The Outdoors Queensland Awards recognise and reward excellence in the outdoors community. The Awards celebrate individuals, organisations, programs, events and activities that have been successful in significantly improving outcomes for participants, clients and communities.
The Outdoors Queensland Awards are for the ‘outdoors community in Queensland’ – outdoor enthusiasts, adventure tourism operators, outdoor education providers, activity clubs, land managers, retailers … and more.
The Outdoors Queensland Awards are an important means of recognising the size and diversity of the outdoors community and industry and provide an opportunity for outdoor individuals and organisations to be rewarded and recognised for their contribution. They are also a means of recognising how important the outdoors, outdoor activity and the environment are to the lifestyle of Queenslanders.