Melinda Jones, President of Monto Magic Tourism Action Group and Carly Baker-Burnham, Managing Director of The Rex.
Melinda Jones, President of Monto Magic Tourism Action Group and Carly Baker-Burnham, Managing Director of The Rex.

Monto town makeover project claims Australia Day award

Two town-makeover projects overseen by Rural Aid have been recognised in Australia Day Awards, to the delight of the leading rural charity.

Monto in Queensland’s North Burnett and Alpha in Central Queensland were both awarded the Community Event of the Year award, by their respective councils.

Both regional centres are part of Rural Aid’s Our Towns initiative, which provides communities with $100,000 worth of projects, support and tools to renew their town over the next five years.

This started with a strategic planning session guided by Peter Kenyon from the Bank of I.D.E.A.S.

CEO of Rural Aid, John Warlters, said the awards are a credit to the local committees and hardworking volunteers who devoted time and effort to the projects.

“Months of planning and thousands of hours of hard yakka went into each Our Towns event last year. It’s wonderful to see everyday Aussies recognised for their tireless efforts,” Mr Warlters said.

Cr Melinda Jones, Carly Baker Burnham, and Rural Aid CEO John Warlters in Monto. Picture: Sam Turner
Cr Melinda Jones, Carly Baker Burnham, and Rural Aid CEO John Warlters in Monto. Picture: Sam Turner

Carly Baker-Burnham is an integral part of the Monto makeover and was “thrilled” to hear of the award.

“The impact [of the Our Towns] has been really positive, it’s really lifted the town’s morale,” she said.

“It helped community groups beautify the place they gather, as well as our main street. Monto was really buzzing during that time, and it’s helped improve our sense of community and identity.”

John Warlters said the volunteers who spent a week tackling renewal projects in the towns, and the two major sponsorship partners Evolution Mining and Energy Queensland, should also consider the award their own.

“The amazing town transformations couldn’t have been completed without those on the ground and behind the scenes. Congratulations to all involved – what a wonderful achievement to be recognised on Australia Day.”


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