Our Community Events

I have great pleasure in announcing the Moorooka Ward Australia Day Local Hero Awards Recipients for 2020.  Thank you for your selfless contribution to our wider community.

Trevor Armstrong

Trevor works tirelessly within the Oxley Creek Catchment Association as Deputy President and volunteers weekly as a Creek Care Team Member. He also dedicates his time as a Brisbane City Council Habitat Brisbane Co-ordinator for the Pennywort Creek Bushcare Group and is a member of his local Men’s Shed. Trevor is an expert Weed Agronomist.

Trevor is ever present in his volunteer work with OCCA and Habitat Brisbane, and is more than happy to share his knowledge and expertise on restoring wetland habitat along the banks of our creek systems.  Trevor is instrumental in communicating concerns to the relevant levels of government to improve public facilities in the Oxley area.

Trevor we are grateful for your commitment to the environment and willingness to share your valuable knowledge. 


Larraine Bence

Larraine is currently the Co-Ordinator of the Griffith University Lions Club Crafter’s Group who meet at the Village Avenue Community Church at Coopers Plains twice a month. Larraine is a tireless worker for this group and whilst the group is small, their output is outstanding, due to Larraine’s commitment and encouragement to the members.

Many high-quality items such as beanies, teddies, mittens, scarves, small gifts and rugs have been either knitted or crocheted. This group actively supports Meals on Wheels Acacia Ridge and Sunnybank, Teddies Without Borders, Operation Christmas Child, The Seamen’s Mission, Cops Care, Police Christmas Project, Vulnerable Persons Unit of Qld Police, Rosie’s, Night Ninjas, Drug Arm, and various nursing homes to name a few.

Larraine was also previously the Director of the St. David’s Neighbourhood Centre at Coopers Plains until she retired, where she worked diligently to provide a safe, welcoming and fun place for senior members of the community to come to and have fun. She also organised wonderful outings for the attendees and at Christmas time there was always a bus trip to see the Christmas Lights. She now volunteers at the Thrift Shop at the Centre. Marvellous work Larraine.


Darren Clarke

Darren is a trained Medic and Clinical Responder of St John’s Ambulance Australia for over 30 years, having completed in excess of 3000 hours of public duties as Officer in-charge of the Moorooka Division. Darren’s lifelong passion is supporting, teaching and mentoring, others keen to enter the field of First Aid.

Darren helped establish the Brisbane South First Aid Volunteers – a volunteer group who provide first aid for a number of local sporting clubs, schools, AFL, council events and numerous other not-for-profit community organisations.

Darren recently formed a Facebook group in Pallara, bringing together local residents to help combat the increasing crime rates in Pallara. Information obtained from this page has been instrumental in assisting Police with their criminal investigations. Thank you Darren for your wonderful work within the Pallara community.


Maria Halwood

Maria is an active volunteer and teacher aide in Acacia Ridge, who regularly goes above and beyond her role in the school community. She is a powerful advocate for strong family values and morals, works tirelessly assisting children at risk and is always available to lend a helping hand when needed.

Maria is also an active and passionate community advocate. As a founding member and Chairperson of the Acacia Ridge Advocacy Group, she campaigns on behalf of residents, championing causes close to her heart through countless hours of at home meetings and liaison with various levels of government and businesses.

Maria is a wonderful role model - a generous and kind-hearted volunteer, mother, and keen gardener! 


Eliza Kent

Eliza has been the District Manager for Oxley Girl Guides since 2015, supporting a team of ten fantastic leaders and has grown the Oxley district to support over 85 youth members. Eliza has worked hard to foster a culture of support and growth within the district to encourage new leaders to become involved in order to open the Guiding experience to more youth members.

Eliza has dedicated over 15 years to leading with Girl Guides. She is passionate and supportive. She embodies the mission and vision of Girl Guides and works tirelessly to support young women in reaching their goals. She is a true community champion and a deserving recipient of the Australia
Day Local Heroes Service Award.


Brenda Lazarus

Brenda is credited to the restoration and ongoing maintenance of the Koala Park Community Garden in Moorooka. Since joining the group two years ago, Brenda has devoted countless hours each week, by transforming the original sad weed patch to a thriving community green space, showcasing a healthy abundance of native plants, vegetable and herb gardens, and composting hubs.

Brenda shares her love and passion for the garden with visitors young and old, providing free advice and helpful hints for their own gardens. She actively recruits new members and implemented a formal structure to the group. Anyone that is lucky enough to come into contact with Brenda, can’t help but be inspired by her enthusiasm for the Community Garden and its future potential. Brenda is a shining
example as to what is achievable with focus, determination and hard work.


Rev Maile Molitika

Rev Maile Molitika has been making a difference in the lives of those living in the Tongan Community over many years. During this time, he has given selflessly to his community via an extensive network of community organisations.

Rev Molitika’s vast list of attributes include President, leader, mentor, volunteer and top fundraiser to name just a few. Rev Molitika is widely acknowledged to be an extremely dedicated and active volunteer in the Tongan Community. Rev Molitika has aided the Brisbane Tongan Community financially and established a community network which allows other programs and initiatives to reach members in the local community who need the most help.

Despite the overwhelming amount of work that volunteers undertake in community organisations, Rev Molitika continually finds ways to assist his co-workers and consistently does this with a smile. 


Mele Ngauamo

Mrs Mele Ngauamo is a long-term resident who has also invested countless hours,
assisting the local Tongan Community.  Through her work as a volunteer broadcaster for the Ethnic Broadcasting Association of Qld (Radio 4EB FM), communication, orientation, networking, employment and settlement barriers have been overcome for countless migrants. Mele has been a volunteer broadcaster on Radio 4EB, including several stints on the Tongan Group board since 1988. Mele has championed the Queensland Tongan Respite Program through the Uniting Church of Australia and continues this work along with a range of volunteer community service roles through projects of the Brisbane Tongan Community.

Mele is an extraordinary community volunteer, who works quietly and diligently, and is a much deserving recipient.


Amanda Nichols

Amanda is a young woman who has dedicated her life to her local community through Girl Guides Queensland. In her roles as Unit Leader, Region Arts Coordinator, Region Events Coordinator, Board Member and most recently Assistant State Commissioner, Amanda has effected change at a local, regional and state level ensuring young women have the best possible opportunities.

Through her role as the coordinator for Free Being Me, Amanda trained leaders to empower young women to think body positive. As one of the facilitators in the pilot program of Voices Against Violence, she taught young women aged 6+ what strong relationships looked like and what to do if they bear witness to or experience a negative relationship. Through these programs she has inspired, empowered and supported countless youth members across the John Oxley Region (Oxley,
Sherwood, Jindalee, The Gap, Bardon, Kenmore, St Lucia and Middle Park).

Congratulations Amanda, you are a most deserving recipient.


Greg Tasney

Greg is the coordinator and founding member of the Rocky Waterholes Bushcare Group in Salisbury. It is through his ongoing dedication (amounting to thousands of hours of volunteering) that the group has been able to expand its efforts to protect the health and integrity of the local ecosystem and raise community awareness of the value of plants and animals in the area. Greg has coordinated the planting of over 5,000 trees, shrubs and native grasses since the Group’s establishment in 2016 and
the successful maintenance of these, despite the ongoing threats of invasive weed species and difficult drought conditions.

Greg is a prolific wildlife photographer and regularly shares his photos of the flourishing flora and fauna on the Group’s Facebook page. He also writes submissions for additional resources, attends countless information sessions and meetings with local partners and members of government. Greg has connected with so many people in the Salisbury community with his good natured and friendly

I thank Greg for his commitment, drive and passion to the Salisbury bush care community. 


Tanya Vlasoff

Tanya is a fundraiser extraordinaire having extensively coordinated and participated in a variety of roles. Utilising her efficient administration and networking skills, Tanya has generously supported the Sunnybank Community Preschool and Kindergarten, Coopers Plains Girl Guides and Coopers Plains State School, who have all benefitted financially through her efforts.

Tania also contributes her time to the role of Newsletter Editor, Book Club Coordinator and frequently attends days at the Sunnybank Community Kindergarten to assist with a variety of tasks. And if that’s not enough, Tanya assists in selling merchandise for Sunnybank RSL Sub Branch and kindly donates to several local establishments; sets of handmade beeswax wraps for lunchboxes from her business, Frog in a Teacup.

Tania is a loving and caring mother to her three daughters, who are following in her helpful footsteps by supporting fundraising events when able. Tania is a fabulous example of a selfless community volunteer and we thank her for her significant contribution to our local community.