POWER 30: Gympie's Most Influential 30-22

Carl Green from Green RV in Gympie has built his empire from a small car-yard to a multi-million dollar caravan and motorhome dynasty.
Carl Green from Green RV in Gympie has built his empire from a small car-yard to a multi-million dollar caravan and motorhome dynasty. Renee Albrecht

#30: CARL GREEN

WORTH more than $30m a year, Carl Green started from humble beginnings.

He was born in Gympie in 1965 and raised on farms in the Gympie area.

From the age of 18 he started selling cars for Gympie Carworld.

It was soon after this he met his wife Judy (also born in Gympie) and they had two children.

Soon after, the couple built a new child care centre at Jones Hill and then bought five acres on the northside of Gympie.

After building a number of commercial properties on the site, Mr Green started a motor vehicle retail yard in November of 1997.

He now has five Green RV Dealerships, worth more than $30m a year, which retail, repair and service caravans and motor homes.

In addition to Gympie he has dealerships in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Windsor and Melbourne.

In the near future Mr Green has plans to develop a 150-lot residential subdivision on Ranson Rd and is also in the process of getting approvals for a 20-acre industrial complex on Langton Rd.

In addition to all of his business dealings, Mr Green served as a Gympie Apexian for 15 years and was involved in running the Gympie Music Muster for several of those years.

 

Andrew Corbet is head of a growing empire involved in interstate trucking, landscaping supplies, cranes, excavators and so much more.
Andrew Corbet is head of a growing empire involved in interstate trucking, landscaping supplies, cranes, excavators and so much more. Craig Warhurst

#29 ANDREW "AUSSIE" CORBET

ANDREW "Aussie" Corbet is the head of Corbet's Group, a family owned company which has been operating in the region for over 40 years.

Originally focused on innovation in the sawmilling industry the drive to create innovative solutions has seen Corbet's Group evolve into one of the largest and most experienced companies in Australia.

Corbet's Group now operates in many industries including heavy haulage and bulk commodity transport, land clearing and grinding, water and fluid processing, storage and transfer, heavy plant and equipment, wet and dry hire and wholesale landscape supplies.

With three generations, a team of highly skilled, dependable and knowledgeable staff and the latest model fleet of plant and equipment, Corbet's Group pride themselves in providing consistently good customer service to all their customers.

Corbet's Group have strategically placed main depots for plant storage and maintenance throughout Queensland with the main service depots located at Gympie, Dalby and Goondiwindi. These locations are backed by mobile service units and smaller service and storage locations throughout Australia.

 

Ruth Modin has played an intergral part in building the tiny town of Rainbow Beach into a thriving tourist destination.
Ruth Modin has played an intergral part in building the tiny town of Rainbow Beach into a thriving tourist destination. Rowan Schindler

#28 RUTH MODIN

NO COUNTDOWN of movers and shakers in the Gympie region would be complete without the unofficial mayor of Rainbow Beach, Ruth Modin.

Mrs Modin has been in business in Rainbow Beach since the 80s with late husband Milton, who both moved to the area from Alberta, Canada.

In addition to Mrs Modin's business savvy she is a self-made community activist whose fearless championing of all things Rainbow has helped make the town what it is today.

One her greatest achievements to date helped transform the town in the 1980s, when she came up with the idea for the Rainbow Beach Fishing Classic.

Tired of seeing fishermen calling through on their way to the then big Fraser Island fishing competition, she thought Rainbow Beach should have its own.

Interviewed during last year's classic, she recalled the inspiration.

"I thought, why can't we do one of these? Only I'm going to include women and children and make it a family thing,"

A lot of people met Rainbow Beach thanks to that one idea, in the 1980s.

In October of last year, a fire, which appeared to start in the cafe section of the building, burnt down both the cafe and Mrs Modin's store.

But Mrs Modin fought through the hardships and after six months the cafe and her store were rebuilt.

That means the seaside town once again has its newsagent, early morning convenience store and a cafe next door.

"So I'm still here and in businesses, after 35 years," she said.

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Tony Goodman is a fierce advocator for shopping locally and member of the Mary Street Traders group.
Tony Goodman is a fierce advocator for shopping locally and member of the Mary Street Traders group. Patrick Woods

#27 TONY GOODMAN

TONY Goodman has a passion for promoting Gympie's Mary St.

The driving force behind the Mary St Trader's group, Mr Goodman has spent the last three years helping to make memorable events in main street and bring people back into the town's centre.

It started with an evening market just before Christmas with the local theatre association singing some carols, so street stalls, buskers and side-walk specials.

Roughly 2000 people attended that first evening and since then, there have been roughly three or four evenings every year.

"In the three years I've been organising the Mary St events, I've wanted to make Mary St a point of difference to the big shopping centres. I want to make it a destination were people come to relax and eat and say 'Let's go hang out in Mary St'," Mr Goodman said.

His hard work seems to be paying off with the most recent event, Winter Trees on Mary in July attracting more than 4000 people back to the main street.

When he isn't planning the next Mary event, he's owning and operating a successful homewares and gift store in Mary St called Bella Casa.

 

Dr Geoff Walden has been instrumental in helping the careers of many local country music performers.
Dr Geoff Walden has been instrumental in helping the careers of many local country music performers. Greg Miller

#26 GEOFF WALDEN

THE face of Gympie's music scene has been irreversibly changed due to the efforts of one man.

Dr "Rock" Geoff Walden has been teaching music for more than 50 years.

He started teaching at Gympie State High School in the late 1980s and one of the first things he did was to inspire his students interested in contemporary music, to check out country music.

Dr Walden recalls several of his contemporaries pooh-poohing the idea, saying that he'd never get kids interested in country music.

And so the Country Music School of Excellence was born.

Dr Walden was at the head of this community organisation, which, after his retirement in the early 2000s, continued on to become permanent tenants in the Australian Institute of Country Music, something which Dr Walden also played a large role in establishing.

"I had hoped to make the CMSOE a tertiary course, (post school) but it didn't happen," he said.

It hasn't stopped young and up-coming musicians seeking his tutelage at the AICM and some of the most famous graduates include Caitlyn Shadbolt, Graham Rodgers and Alice Benfer.

Along with other members of the AICM, Dr Walden has helped students focus their talents to go on and perform at places like the Gympie Music Muster and the Tamworth Country Music festival.

Currently the Dennis Sisters, recent contestants on reality show, The X Factor, are learning from Dr Walden who said his passion at the moment is teach the girls how to master the guitar.

 

Country music star and Queenslander Caitlyn Shadbolt in the News Corp studio ahead of CMC Rocks.
Country music star and Queenslander Caitlyn Shadbolt in the News Corp studio ahead of CMC Rocks. Tara Croser

#25 CAITLYN SHADBOLT

IT WAS inevitable Gympie's most recent export, Caitlyn Shadbolt, would make the cut, sliding into position number 25.

Long before she came fifth on reality TV show The X- Factor in 2014, she was fronting the Gympie High School Band, and making a name for herself locally with her powerful country music vocals and guitar.

Since her national exposure, her career has gone from strength to strength starting with an exclusive record deal with ABC/Universal Music Australia in July 2015.

Two of her singles 'Maps Out The Window' and 'Shoot Out The Lights' hit number one on the Country iTunes chart, Airplay chart and CMC Video Charts.

Soon after her self-titled EP was the highest selling CD at the Gympie Music Muster in 2015, taking it into the Top 10 on the Aria Country Albums Chart.

Since then she's been nominated for several Golden Guitars, has performed with country music greats both in Australia and overseas in Nashville, Tennessee, won the CMC New Oz Artist of the Year in 2016 and has performed at two CMC Rocks events with international artists such as the Dixie Chicks, Little Big Town and Kip Moore.

Throughout her career to date, she has been proud to call Gympie home, and extols the virtues of her small town upbringing at every opportunity.

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Stacey Lowe makes the Power 30 because of strong sense of moral justice and her work to make the night time streets of Gympie's CBD safe for revelers.
Stacey Lowe makes the Power 30 because of strong sense of moral justice and her work to make the night time streets of Gympie's CBD safe for revelers. Renee Albrecht

#24 STACEY LOWE

HER no-nonsense stance on bullies, discrimination and alcohol fuelled violence have earned Stacey Lowe her position at number 24 on the Gympie Power 30 list.

Ms Lowe is part owner and manager of popular watering hole, The Royal Hotel.

In February of this year, she hit the headlines for calling out bullies at her establishment that were harassing some of her clients.

She expelled the perpetrators and then went on to post about the incident to warn other potential bullies to drink elsewhere.

After the post went viral, she defended her stance and stated:

"I was brought up to have a strong sense of social justice, and at the end of the day I don't want that here."

In April of last year the Liquor Industry Accord Group chairwoman helped to introduce a blanket ban system to stem drunken violence in the CBD.

An act, that along with the introduction of CCTV cameras, has been largely successful.

As chairwoman of LIAG she liaises with other publicans and establishment managers and the police to ensure the safety of not only her own clientele, but others wishing to have a fun but safe night out in Gympie.

 

Marlene Owen has been a selfless campaigner for Supporting Chemotherapy in Cooloola and was voted as Citizen of the Year in January at the Australia Day ceremony.
Marlene Owen has been a selfless campaigner for Supporting Chemotherapy in Cooloola and was voted as Citizen of the Year in January at the Australia Day ceremony. Renee Albrecht

#23 MARLENE OWEN

OUR Citizen of the Year, Marlene Owen, will be humbled by gaining a position in Gympie's Power 30, but it's one that is well deserved.

Mrs Owen even thought about refusing the nomination for Citizen of the Year because she feels the work she does is a team effort.

Working around the clock to provide assistance to families who are battling the horrors of cancer, Mrs Owen said the job she does is only possible through the assistance of her team at Supporting Chemotherapy in Cooloola.

"It's a community of us, not just one person, not just me," she said.

"In order for change to happen, it takes all of us to do something, this was never something I could do on my own."

Mrs Owen has been volunteering her time for decades, starting with the Red Cross at the age of 25.

During her speech at the Australia Day awards, Mrs Owen used her acceptance speech when she won the award for Citizen of the Year to thank the late mayor of Gympie, Ron Dyne.

"I was there constantly with Ron trying to get us a block of land to build units for cancer sufferers," she says.

"Ron and I had a very good relationship, he wasn't game to say no to me - I honour him for that, because he saw the need that I saw."

 

Darrin Edwards Principal of James Nash State High School has worked hard for the school for the past 12 years.
Darrin Edwards Principal of James Nash State High School has worked hard for the school for the past 12 years. Patrick Woods

#22 DARRIN EDWARDS

DARRIN Edwards will be the first to say he is proud to have been principal at James Nash State High School for the past 12 years.

James Nash became the largest school in the wider Gympie area while under his control with enrolments now capped at 1270 students.

Under his guidance, James Nash was recognised as a state leader with the school winning the 2016 Peter Doherty Awards for Excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathmatics and the North Coast Region's Showcasing Excellence in Education-Leadership Award.

Mr Edwards said at the time; "These acknowledgements, along with our status as an independent public school and our international school accreditation, certainly recognise that we are moving well towards our goal of being a hub of educational excellence for all learners."

Also under his guidance, the school has become one of the highest performing secondary schools in the region for Year 12 outcomes with all of the graduating seniors of 2016 awarded a QCE/OP or VET qualification.

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