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QRL reveals 2024 Community Volunteer Awards shortlists

Queensland Rugby League has today announced the shortlists for the 2024 QRL Community Volunteer Awards following a record number of nominations from grassroots clubs, leagues and associations. 

The awards highlight the contributions of volunteers across eight categories, celebrating coaches, administrators, officials and those who champion the game in Indigenous communities, female rugby league and wellbeing initiatives.

Three nominees have been shortlisted in each category, with the winners to be announced during National Volunteer Week, May 20-26.

QRL general manager of community rugby league Adam Vanzanten today congratulated those shortlisted.

“This year we received a record number of nominations, and we thank everyone who took the time to nominate one of their very own shining lights,” Vanzanten said.

“The shortlist features some incredibly talented and dedicated people who make extraordinary sacrifices in their own lives to ensure others fall in love with the game.

“The other thing that stands out when you canvass the nominees is that we’ve got people and clubs represented across the entire state.

“This reflects the hard work of our three QRL regions – South East, Central and North – as well as the diversity within our great game.”

The Community Volunteer Awards form an important part of QRL’s commitment to upholding the national standards for volunteer recognition.

The winner of each category (nominees listed below), will be treated to an unforgettable State of Origin experience, including travel to Brisbane, accommodation and two tickets to Game III at Suncorp Stadium.

Shortlists - 2024 QRL Community Volunteer Awards

Shell V-Power Volunteer of The Year

Damian Smith – Mackay Magpies

An outstanding leader, Smith spends a significant number of hours each week supporting players, coaches and executives.

Patrice Brown – Dysart Bulls

As the treasurer of the progressive Dysart Bulls, Brown goes above and beyond for her club and the people involved.

Tim Ryall – Fassifern JRL

The current Bombers junior rugby league president is a tireless worker for the Bombers, serving the club with distinction over the past 12 years in a variety of roles.

XXXX Community Club of The Year

Bowen Seagulls

Over the past five years, the Seagulls have undergone a remarkable transformation, marked by increased growth, facility upgrades and their overall commitment to members and the wider community.

Walk With Me 4 Autism All Abilities Rugby League

Now in its third year, the program continues to make a significant impact in the community, boosting the health and well-being of children and young adults.

Fassifern Bombers JRL

Fassifern Junior Rugby League club prides itself on creating an enjoyable rugby league experience for its members.

Harvey Norman Contribution to the Female Game Award

Imogen Healy – Wanderers JRL Mackay

An impressive young coach, Healy dedicates many hours of her time to various teams at club and school level, where her players thrive under her professional approach.

Jay Edwards – Emerald Tigers

Edwards is immensely passionate about developing and growing female rugby league, with his non-stop work ethic delivering many positive outcomes in the Central Highlands.

Tori Wilkie – Gold Coast Rugby League Referees' Association

As an aspiring match official and the assistant secretary for the Gold Coast Rugby League Referees’ Association, Wilkie is an outstanding role model for female referees.

Westpac Wellbeing Ambassador of the Year

Kirsty Skaines – Western District JRL

Skaines is passionate about the wellbeing of all club members, who regularly see the proud Western Districts volunteer in her Support Squad shirt at training.

Shayne Ralph – Caloundra Sharks

Shayne Ralph is a familiar face around the grounds on the Sunshine Coast, striking up conversations with people from within the rugby league community.

Adam Flier – Burleigh Bears

As a member of the QRL’s Support Squad, Flier is committed to helping others and inspiring others by sharing his own personal journey.

McDonalds Community Coach of the Year

Robert Thompson – Central Tigers

The scoreboard is irrelevant to “Bob”, who prefers to focus on effort and sportsmanship, while ensuring every player is given the opportunity to improve.

Glen McMillan – Wattles JRL

McMillan is extremely committed to community rugby league in the country areas and is always looking to improve his own coaching skills for the betterment of players around him at the Clifton-based club.

Robin Gilloway – Fassifern Bombers JRL

Gilloway successfully brings players together from a diverse range of backgrounds through his ability to engage with all individuals and club members.

rebel Young Person of the Year

Jayden May – Brothers Bulldogs Mackay

By demonstrating a high level of respect for teammates, opposition players, coaches and officials, May is a positive role model for the club’s young players.

Thomas Ottaway – Maroochydore JRL

As a young player, referee and volunteer, Ottaway contributes to the game on many levels and is a positive mentor to his peers.

Lily Sumner – Easts Juniors & Brisbane Rugby League Referees' Association

Sumner always offers to volunteer when teams require a touch judge, while off the field the keen footballer is seen by many young participants as a friendly person who they can go to for support.

BMD Indigenous Community Award

Jasmine Bond – Northern Peninsula Area Regional Rugby League

The driving force behind the return of the Northern Peninsula Area, Bond devotes many hours as secretary and is always willing to lend an extra set of hands on game days.

Rothana Baira – Rugby League Townsville & District

As a current Foley Shield coach and RISE program manager, Baira diligently fulfils both roles and is a respected role model in the community.

Belinda Fleiter – Sunshine Coast Bunyas

As the secretary for the Bunyas, Fleiter plays a crucial role in supporting the club and enriching the community through various initiatives, particularly in providing opportunities for the Indigenous community.

PUMA Contribution to Officiating Award

Alan Bain – FNQ Officiating

As the head of the FNQ Officiating sub-committee, Bain is the backbone of match officials in the region.

Tim Steinhardt – Central Highlands and Central West Referees' Association

After finishing his playing career, Steinhardt transitioned brilliantly into the refereeing ranks, where he now supports the development of aspiring match officials throughout the region.

Nick Kalpakidis – Brisbane

Kalpakidis is a wonderful ambassador for match officials in Brisbane, through his great knowledge of the game and his unique ability to get the best out of all members.


Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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