LOGAN’S 2016 Citizen of the Year Heather Christensen has called on local people to become more involved in community work, saying it is the path to staying young.
Ms Christensen, president of the Beenleigh Quota club which is part of one of the oldest international service organizations for women, said getting into youth work was extremely satisfying.
But she was worried because many youth workers were of senior age and were looking for younger people to come through to share the load.
Long time St Vincent de Paul volunteer Fay O’Toole won the Mayor’s Spirit of Logan Award.
Announcing the awards at the Logan Entertainment Centre, Mayor Pam Parker said Logan was lucky to have unsung heroes like Ms Christensen and Ms O’Toole.
“Their tireless efforts are both inspiring and humbling and they have helped make Logan the thriving and diverse city it is,’’ she said.
Ms O’Toole said she had been at birthday celebrations for an 83-year-old St Vinnies worker many years ago and thought to herself “I hope when I’m 83 I’ll have something better to do than go to St Vinnies meetings’’.
“Well, I’m still here and I’m 84,’’ she said. “Obviously I never found anything better to do.’’
Ms Christensen, who has been involved in voluntary organisations virtually all her life, said she was shocked to win the award.
Helping out gave her great pleasure and the focus on youth through the Quota Club saw her get much more back than she had put in.
“Young people keep me motivated,’’ she said. “But we need more people to get involved. A lot of organisations’ members in the area are getting on and we need more people to become involved.
“People just don’t realise what they will get out of doing things like this.’’
Ms Christensen mentors young people through Junior Quota Clubs at Loganlea, Windaroo Valley and Beenleigh.
Ms O’Toole has been part of St Vincents for nearly 30 years and a member of St Patrick’s Parish for many years.
Neither woman has any plans to stop their good work.
Cr Parker said everyone could make a difference to the lives of people around them and often it was no more than small contributions that made all the difference.
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