QBANK Celebrates Ownership of Everyday Heroes
Ahead of the 2023 QBANK Everyday Heroes Awards on Friday 27 October 2023, we celebrate our 22 finalists across 6 categories. Today, we look at the three finalists in the 'Ownership' category. This category looks at individuals who have demonstrated empowerment & integrity.
Michael Watson - Queensland Department of Education
GOLD COAST TEACHER AN EVERYDAY HERO FINALIST
An Elanora teacher improving the lives of his students with exciting initiatives to help them skate into life outside of school and boost their wellbeing, has been recognised for his efforts as a finalist in the QBANK Everyday Heroes Awards. Michael Watson is one of many Queensland teachers who have been nominated for a QBANK Everyday Hero Award in 2023 for their unwavering spirit and dedication to their communities. He is a finalist in the Ownership category.
Mr Watson, a Guidance Officer at Elanora State High School, supports and advises students, staff and caregivers across a range of issues, from mental health to university and life after school, and has established engaging initiatives for his community.
Mr Watson started the Soul Sk8 program, where a student and an adult in their lives unite to build a skateboard together, which 60 families have already taken part in, founded his school’s community garden and runs a Men’s Health Connection initiative.
“In my opinion, there are far too many people these days disconnected from community, and this can lead to isolation and poor mental health,” he said. “It makes me feel good when I get to bring people together and do something rewarding or help out someone who is struggling.”
He said he was honoured to be named a finalist in the QBANK Everyday Hero Awards. “A kind colleague of mine has nominated me due to the extra programs and duties I get involved in and make happen,” he said. “It is incredible, that someone has taken the time to nominate me, and it just solidifies that what I am doing is being appreciated,” he said.
Mr Watson said building positive relationships with people and working with his community was the most rewarding part of his job. “In this role I get to help and support families when they are making important life decisions,” he said.
“It is creating opportunities for people to build meaningful relationships and make positive memories.”
Kenneth Robinson - Queensland Police Service
DAYBORO POLICE OFFICER AN EVERYDAY HERO FINALIST
A Police Officer who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to volunteer and support his community for more than 20 years has been recognised for his efforts as a finalist in the QBANK Everyday Heroes Awards. Sergeant Kenneth Robinson is one of 22 finalists selected from across the state for the awards which celebrate the exceptional achievements of people within Queensland Police, Fire, Health, Ambulance, Corrections, Justice, Public Service, Education and volunteers.
Now Officer in Charge of Dayboro Station, Kenneth joined the QPS in 1988 after leaving school and has worked in the Moreton Bay region at the two person station for the last 20 years.
“I thought it would be an interesting and rewarding job with plenty of variety and the opportunity for a long-term career,” he said. “I have enjoyed working in smaller communities where there is an opportunity to get to know people. The personal connection does have a downside when dealing with the less pleasant policing jobs.”
Outside of policing, Kenneth is heavily involved with his community, including volunteer therapy dog work with two of his dogs in local schools. “I particularly enjoy interacting with students at the two local primary schools,” he said. “This is a great way to be involved with the local kids as they are growing up and also make a connection with their families.
“I have bene in Dayboro long enough now that some of the original primary school students I worked with now have their own kids at school.” He said he was honoured to be nominated for a QBANK Everyday Hero Award. “It is nice that someone has appreciated the work I do and has taken the time to nominate me,” he said. “I know how much so many other police officers do every day.”
Margaret Langdon - Volunteer
SEWING PASSION EARNS IPSWICH VOLUNTEER HERO STATUS
A dedicated volunteer and sewing enthusiast who is helping community service participants learn new skills while completing their hours in a safe and engaging space has been recognised for her efforts as a finalist in the QBANK Everyday Heroes Awards. Volunteer Margaret Langdon is one of 22 finalists selected from across the state for the awards which celebrate the exceptional achievements of people within Queensland Police, Fire, Health, Ambulance, Corrections, Justice, Public Service, Education and volunteers. She is one of three finalists in the Ownership category.
Margaret runs the Brisbane North Community Corrections Quest for Quilts group which repurposes QCS uniforms into quality quilts for those in need. While performing community service the participants, who may be unable to participate in external projects, repurpose old corrective services uniforms, but it was Margaret’s idea to teach quilting.
“I worked with a group of people who mostly had never seen a sewing machine and it soon became obvious to me that making clothing was a hard place to start,” she said. “I then conceived the idea of Quest for Quilts, which was perfect as new workers could start on simpler tasks and as they gained more confident and experience, I would teach them new sewing skills. “Together we made patchwork quilts that we could be proud of.”
Margaret said the initiative provided a welcoming place for people from all backgrounds to come together and support each other. “Not only does it let people complete their community service hours, it provides a safe place for people together, learn new skills, feel a sense of pride and confidence knowing they are doing something worthwhile to give back to the community,” she said.
“I love seeing the individuals gain confidence and new skills each week. It is a wonderful feeling when we finish a quilt and to see the pride and accomplishment from the workers.
“It has really surprised me the amount of males, some of whom have done time in prison, who are thriving in the group and demonstrate amazing determination, learning all the skills involved to create the quilts and provide lots of fun banter to keep the group alive.” Margaret said she was overwhelmed and surprised to be named a finalist in the QBANK Everyday Heroes awards, and hoped to continue their important work in partnership with local organisations.
“The team at Brisbane North have collaborated with Beddown and will be donating quilts and bags to the organisation made by the community service workers,” Margaret said. “Beddown are currently in the process of turning an under-utilised space in Ipswich into a sanctuary that changes and saves lives by providing a safe, secure place to sleep, and offer access to essential services.”