Life-saving services and inspirational frontline workers who help Queenslanders through domestic violence, fires and floods, homelessness, trauma and soaring costs of living are being honoured at state awards this week.

Finalists at this year’s Queensland Community Impact Awards (QCIA) include:

  • A domestic and family violence service advocate who has helped clear $3.2 million in debt waivers for women burdened with relationship debt after leaving an abusive partner
  • Life-saving mental health support in regional Queensland
  • A Lockyer Valley advocate who has worked tirelessly to help residents through floods, manage electricity bills and put food on the table
  • A Neighbourhood Centre serving as a hub for free haircuts, medical help, food, and laundry, while linking to government services for people experiencing homelessness
  • An advocate, author, lawyer and international human rights leader who has made an inspirational difference for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
  • A man who has spent more than 30 years driving meals to people in Inala
  • Buses for people experiencing housing distress – some to sleep on and others to shower and do laundry in, and receive housing and wellbeing support
  • Services providing school lunches, domestic and family violence protection, mental health support, important human rights work with prisoners, disability, education and employment support, and housing, food and financial help.

QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh said each of the finalists were making an extraordinary difference in the lives of their clients and communities.

“It’s an honour to highlight and celebrate their life-changing work. Queensland is a better place thanks to their tireless efforts and dedication to their clients and communities,” McVeigh said. “They have come up with innovative solutions and overcome obstacles to help people get the support they need. And, like many in the community service sector, they do not give up. Their compassion, courage and commitment to deliver what is needed is inspirational.

“Community service workers are there, day-in, day-out to help put roofs over people’s heads, food on the table, and provide financial and wellbeing support. They are there on the frontline when life is really tough. Services are also currently experiencing unprecedented demand and are doing more with less, like many Queenslanders.

“The Queensland Community Impact Awards provide an important opportunity to thank and celebrate the hard work of people in our sector, which helps make Queensland a fairer, safer and healthier place for all.”

The QCIA finalists include:


  • Marian Brooks: Encircle Community Services
  • Lida Daliri: Multicultural Australia
  • Kylie Deen: Community Plus+
  • Daniela Henninger: Women’s Legal Service Queensland
  • William McMillan: Inala Meals on Wheels
  • Jacqueline Oswald: Footprints Community
  • Lynda Rendall: Laidley Community Centre


  • Conrad Townson: IFYS
  • MATE Bystander Program
  • Michelle Royes: DVConnect
  • Sandra Creamer: University of Queensland
  • Sisters Inside


  • North Burnett Community Service
  • Laidley Community Centre
  • Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre
  • Nambour Community Centre
  • Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre


  • Autism Queensland
  • Brisbane Youth Service
  • Eat Up
  • Footprints Community (Stand Up Step Out)
  • Jorgen Gullestrup: Mental Health Lived Experience Peak Queensland
  • North Queensland Women’s Legal Service
  • Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service
  • The Shelter Collective
  • Tivoli Social Enterprises
  • Youturn

The winners will be announced at the QCIA Celebration Dinner on Thursday night at Brisbane City Hall! Find out more about the Queensland Community Impact Awards.

30 October 2023