BRISBANE celebrated the best in Catholic leadership at The Catholic Leader’s first national awards ceremony, The Community Leader Awards 2014.
More than 200 people including Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, archdiocesan priests, parishioners and corporate leaders attended the inaugural event in the St Stephen’s Cathedral precinct on November 19.
Nominees for the 2014 School Leader of the Year, Young Leader of the Year, Professional Leader of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and the night’s top prize the Community Leader of the Year came from across Australia.
Kingaroy parishioner and St Mary’s Catholic College staff member Pam Radcliffe was chosen as the award’s first Community Leader of the Year recipient.
Mrs Radcliffe has selflessly given 18 years to Kingaroy’s parish and school communities.
Following St Mary of the Cross’ proactive example of responding to all visible needs, Mrs Radcliffe has been a constant support for her parish priests.
She has also held various positions at St Mary’s College to be “the human face” of Christ.
Mrs Radcliffe said she was “quite chuffed” about being nominated for the award’s top category.
“I thought ‘I don’t do that much – I just do what others would do’,” Mrs Radcliffe said.
St Mary’s College principal Michael Nayler, who nominated Mrs Radcliffe, was named School Leader of the Year.
Mr Nayler has worked in Catholic education for more 25 years, but has been principal at St Mary’s College for the last three years.
He was nominated for being “a truly inspirational Catholic leader” modelling “authentic Gospel values”.
Brisbane-based ministry Real Talk Australia managing director Paul Ninnes received the award for Professional Leader of the Year.
Mr Ninnes quit his day job as a physiotherapist to work on a voluntary basis for Real Talk Australia, a ministry that delivers presentations about sex, relationship and personal identity to young students.
Under Mr Ninnes’ direction, Real Talk Australia has now become a national business that has reached over 15,000 Australian students.
Young St Vincent de Paul Society volunteer Anabelle Hamer was named Volunteer of the Year for her work with Brisbane’s most isolated and lonely.
Since 2010, Ms Hamer regularly visits residents living in St Vincent de Paul Society housing complexes on Brisbane’s northside.
Redcliffe parish’s youth leader Nat Chipa received the award for Young Leader of the Year.
The 15-year-old Sandgate District high school student has been a major support and leader for the Redcliffe parish’s new youth group, Connect Youth.
Nominator seminarian Dominik Orih said Mr Chipa was a reliable young man who was committed to his faith.
Archbishop Coleridge said The Catholic Leader awards were an excellent initiative because they recognised leadership from people that could be easily overlooked.
The Catholic Leader managing editor Matt Emerick said the Community Leader Awards were an overwhelming success and he congratulated all the winners, finalists and nominees for their dedication and service to the community.
Read more about The Community Leader Awards winners and finalists in the signature edition, available in every copy of The Catholic Leader on Sunday December 7.
Want to see more photos of The Community Leader Awards 2014 cocktail party? Visit The Catholic Leader Facebook page and click ‘Like’ to receive a notification about the official Community Leader Awards photo album.