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Logan locals receive Australia Day honours

Published: 27 January 2015

Logan locals receive Australia Day honours
Australia Day Award recipients Sam Escobar, Donna Thomassen and Heather Castledine.

Logan is a city known for its sense of community and three outstanding citizens have been honoured at an Australia Day Awards ceremony at the Logan Entertainment Centre.

Mayor Pam Parker said that while their backgrounds were diverse, each recipient exemplified the spirit of Logan.

Local resident Donna Thomassen was awarded Citizen of the Year for her work as a child witness support volunteer with Protect All Children Today.

Sam Escobar was named Young Citizen of the Year while Logan Elder, Aunty Heather Castledine received the Mayor's Spirit of Logan Award.

Mayor Pam Parker said the Australia Day Awards shine a light on those who give back to the community every day without seeking recognition.

"On Australia Day we take the opportunity to thank all those who make Logan such a great place to live and this year's award winners are true role models for our community," she said.

Citizen of the Year Donna Thomassen has helped many Logan families through her work providing emotional support and protection for children required to give evidence in court.

"Donna has personally helped 422 children, young people and their families since 2005 and she is always willing to make herself available for those in need," Mayor Parker said.

"As a mentor for other volunteers, Donna has passed on her valuable knowledge to others in the community and she is a truly worthy Citizen of the Year for 2015." 

Young Citizen of the Year Sam Escobar co-founded the Logan Metro Football Club (LMFC) and has made an outstanding contribution to Logan through his considerable work with the refugee community. 

LMFC was formed in 2012 and has grown to include two senior men's teams, one senior women's team and the under-18 Opportunities Academy team with players across the club representing more than 20 different cultural backgrounds.

"Through a shared love of sports, Sam helps refugees and others in the city find a social outlet where they can build links with the wider community," Mayor Parker said.

Aunty Heather Castledine was selected by the Mayor for the Spirit of Logan Award due to her wide ranging work in the community.

Aunty Heather has been a member of the Logan Elders for eight years and works very closely with women in the community through her role on the board of directors with DV Connect and YFS Ltd.

"Aunty Heather gives her time and energy to helping people from all walks of life from volunteering at the library for children's storytelling through to supporting those in need as a social worker," Mayor Parker said

"Donna, Aunty Heather and Sam are fantastic role models and do an outstanding job supporting social cohesion in our city.

"There is a place for everybody in Logan and all three winners demonstrate that we are a community that cares about one another.

"Each nominee this year was of a very high-calibre and it was certainly not an easy choice for the judging panel – each nominee is truly deserving of recognition for the wonderful things they do."