Australia Day award inspires teen and opens opportunities
CLERMONT’S Bailey Richardson was honoured when she was named 2019 Young Citizen of the Year.
The 18-year-old country girl, who is studying a bachelor of veterinarian science at James Cook University in Townsville, has been part of the Clermont community since she was three years old.
She said it was a surreal experience and she was extremely grateful.
“It was pretty amazing to receive the award,” she said.
“I have done a lot of work in the community, volunteering at numerous sporting clubs I was a part of.
“I was involved with the pony club, netball club and golf club.
“It was quite hard to do that this year, living away in Townsville, but I still tried to catch up with everyone and see how people were going when I could.”
Bailey grew up on a 20 acre property on the outskirts of Clermont. She said they mainly had horses on the property.
Since winning the title of 2019 Young Citizen of the Year, she said she had taken each day one step at a time.
“It has pushed me to get out of my comfort zone,” she said.
“That has really helped me in the long run. It has developed my skills with networking and meeting people I never thought I would get to meet, such as veterinary leaders and cattle reproduction specialists. They have really been inspiring.”
When Bailey is on breaks from university, you can find her working at Clermont Veterinary Surgery as a holiday nurse.
“I have worked there since 2016 and had an amazing time there building on my skills and learning as much as I can,” she said.
“I also try and fill in on the netball team and help out at the senior citizens market.”
Growing up surrounded by animals, including dogs, cats, birds and horses, and working at Clermont Veterinary Surgery, helped develop Bailey’s passion for veterinary science.
“I wanted to study veterinary science at university as the degree and career is very hands on dealing with and helping animals and people,” she said.
“Since working at the Clermont Veterinary Surgery, my goals of becoming a vet became cemented in my mind and I knew that it was what I wanted to do as it offers endless variety, from treating the smallest of animals in a clinic to working in the yards with horses and cattle.
“I also chose veterinary science because I like to learn.”
Bailey has a love for all creatures, great and small, and greatly admires the tiger because of its relatability in the ever-changing world and environment and it’s struggle for survival and understanding.
“I think it is a representation of many things worth saving and restoring,” she said.
Moving into 2020, she said she just wanted to have another great year studying at university.
“I have a lot of farm industry placements to do, so I am really hoping to extend my skills and try and get through this year,” she said.
She said once she had completed her degree, she planned to move back to rural Queensland and work at a practice.
“I have lived in a rural town all my life and the support and the sense of community is something that you can’t find anywhere else,” she said.
“Not only is working rurally something I want to do but I believe it is the best place to gain the widest skill set and be successful in my career.”
A record 121 nominations have been received for the 2020 Isaac region Australia Day Awards.
The impressive field of nominees for regional awards included 29 outstanding residents nominated for Citizen of the Year, 13 young achievers for Young Citizen of the Year and 17 Community Event of the Year nominees.
In an Isaac first, the new Corporate Community Contribution of the Year received nine nominations. On top of the regional award nominees a further 87 were nominated for award medallions in sport, culture and arts, achievement and community business.
In addition to regional and local awards, a Mayor’s Award is also presented in each community to recognise outstanding achievement.
Winners of the regional and local awards will be announced at Isaac Regional Council Australia Day community events on Sunday, January 26.