Volunteers and players from across North Queensland were recognised for their hard work and commitment as part of Australia Day celebrations this past week.
These people have not only contributed to the great game of rugby league, but have also had a definitive impact in their communities.
QRL North congratulates every award winner on their achievements.
Australia Day awards
Mackay City Council
Doug Knight (main image) received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his hard work and dedication to rugby league for more than 50 years.
An institution in North Queensland's rugby league community, Knight has spent the past 57 years fostering a love of the game in young people as a coach and administrator.
A hard-working volunteer, one of the main things Knight has brought to the game is providing a welcoming environment for young players to develop their skills.
Always humble, Knight has said his main reward for putting in this amount of work and dedication has been seeing the kids grow up and forming great friendships.
2022 Cloncurry Shire Council
- Community Achievement Award – Sophie Stewart. Local police officer Sophie Stewart, who is a member of the Cloncurry Eagles women's side and played for the Cloncurry / Mount Isa team at the Outback Junior Carnival, also played for the Queensland Country Police women's team last year in Townsville. Stewart received a Cloncurry Shire Council Community Achievement Award for her work with the local Cloncurry PCYC, which includes female fitness programs and mentoring the local PCYC youth management group.
- Young Citizen of the Year – Kasey Hudson. This young achiever comes from a great rugby league background and has many stories to tell as the baby sister of Corey and Kierran Moseley and the niece of David "Froggy" Hudson. Fans of the game cannot wait to see Kasey strap on the boots soon in the girls 17s and women's teams.
- Citizen of the Year – Chris Waters. A stalwart of rugby league in the outback, having been a volunteer in the game for more than 40 years. His time, effort and passion in ensuring kids and players in rural and remote outback regions still have access to rugby league is an absolute credit to him. Waters has been a delegate of the QRL Outback committee since 2011 and will continue in his role for the 2022 season to continue to see Outback Rugby League prosper.
- Community Event of The Year – Arthur Beetson Foundation Queensland Outback Junior Carnival
- Senior Sports Women of the Year – Samantha Bond (Queensland Outback Women’s representative)
- Dave Watt Memorial Junior Sports Person – Ruby King (Queensland Outback Under 14s Girls representative)
Flinders Shire Council
- Senior Sports Person award – Jamie-Lee Coward. Hailing from Hughenden, Coward was a member of the 2021 Queensland Outback Women's team and also assists the rugby league community as secretary of the Hughenden Bulls Rugby League Club.
Townsville City Council
- Senior Sports Award – Andrew Walters. This award is presented to individuals or teams who have made a noteworthy record of achievement in sport within the community. A noted sportsperson in his own right, Walters has also dedicated countless hours giving Townsville young people the same opportunities he had growing up. A Townsville local, Walters grew up playing football for Souths was a passionate footballer, having represented North Queensland and Queensland and also obtaining a scholarship from the Canberra Raiders. Walters has volunteered his time and coached both junior and senior level teams with many clubs throughout the city and has taken on the role of president of Souths Rugby League Club. A positive and strong role model to young sports men and women in the community, Walters helped revitalise one of Townsville’s oldest standing clubs, contributing to the growth and development of sport in the city for future generations. Walters has also recently been appointed as a director of the newly established Rugby League Townsville & Districts, a new entity in 2022 responsible for governing junior and senior rugby league.