Artistic creator and designer Cindy Vogels jumps straight into the Power 30 at number 10.
Artistic creator and designer Cindy Vogels jumps straight into the Power 30 at number 10. DONNA JONES

POWER 30: Who's new on the list this year, and why?

THERE were familiar faces all over this year's Power 30 list of the Gympie region's most influential people, but a host of new names made for a few big surprises.

Check out the list below for a look at each new addition and why they made the list, and be sure to browse the full 2018 list if you haven't already.

It was a fresh new committee of four that decided in good faith the final 30 names and what order they should appear this year, representing Gympie region civic leaders and business.

As we have strived to reinforce at every turn, we know that putting together such a list is not science and we welcome any and all feedback. Tell us who you think should have been included, or maybe someone you think should not be on the list at all.

However you feel about it, we hope there is plenty of discussion.

- 2017 POWER 30

- 2018 POWER 30

Power 30 Shane Handy.
Power 30 Shane Handy. Renee Albrecht


THE leading force in local netball, Colleen Miller's influence on the sport's growth in the region as president of the Gympie and Districts Netball Club is unquestionable.

On top of seeing player numbers grow to 380 members at most recent count, Mrs Miller has worked to solidify Gympie's relationship with the Sunshine Coast Lightning, helping to organise the Lightning's Samsung Ambassador Program in 2017.

Gympie ambassador Steph Wood has visited several times this year.



A FIGUREHEAD of the Queensland agricultural industry, this Neusa Vale grazier - who runs a 142ha (350 acre) farm and breeds stud cattle - has been a key member at AgForce Queensland for over a decade.

Mr Naggs is one of four south east Queensland elected executives for the organisation, acting as a voice for change in the rural industry on behalf of 5900 members.

He has been involved in a number of "wins” for the industry, such as relaxing stamp duties on succession ownership of farms, the harmonisation of chemical labels and establishing cluster fencing in the wool industry.



THE landscape of surf lifesaving in the region would look completely different without Shane Handy.

Now serving as president of the Rainbow Beach Surf Lifesaving Club in addition to eight years as club captain and more than 30 years of involvement overall, Mr Handy has played a key role in the current setup, which includes around 85 active senior members and 70 nippers.

He was crucial in making significant recent upgrades to the club building a reality, helping to put Rainbow Beach on par with clubs on the Sunshine Coast and boosting membership.

He is also the Sunshine Coast branch district supervisor, which incorporates Rainbow Beach, Noosa (1817 members), Sunshine Beach (564), Coolum Beach (775) and Marcoola (413).



AN ARIA-nominated music and singing teacher with undeniable influence on the region's rising stars, Kerri Eaton will be involved in running the upcoming Gympie Rush Festival this year.

Also a guest lecturer for the University of Queensland, secretary of the Australian Instititute of Country Music and artistic director for the Little Kids Day Out, Kerri received the ARIA recognition for her mentoring roles on artists such as The Dennis Sisters, Sista Lee, Ethan Roberts/Aspy Jones and Darren Hanlon.


Power 30 Sharlene Makin.
Power 30 Sharlene Makin. Renee Albrecht


Roadcraft CEO Sharlene Makin's passion for educating young drivers on the importance of safety behind the wheel has made her a prominent and important voice in the Gympie region.

In addition to her tireless efforts to "chip away” in the battle to receive government recognition of the Roadcraft model, Ms Makin also serves as secretary and treasurer of the Gympie Chamber of Commerce.



Gympie Times reporter Scott Kovacevic examines several serious potholes across local roads.
Gympie Times reporter Scott Kovacevic examines several serious potholes across local roads. Jacob Carson

EQUALLY talented and hard-working, Scott Kovacevic has been a key contributor to The Gympie Times' continued industry successes since coming on board in 2016.

With three university degrees including a Masters in Journalism and Communication under his belt, Scott's constant dedication to holding politicians and community leaders accountable has landed him a spot on the Power 30 list for the first time.



SERVING as president of the Gympie Chamber of Commerce for over two years now, Ben Riches upholds one of the most important positions in the Gympie business sector.

Additionally the principal of his Enriches Business firm, Mr Riches has dedicated himself to working with other Gympie business people to help them optimise their online presence.


Ben Riches headshot
Ben Riches headshot Arthur Gorrie


A SENIOR officer in Gympie since 2015, top cop Inspector Stephen Donnelly has a huge weight to carry in the region.

After growing up in Hervey Bay, Insp Donnelly served as an Ambulance paramedic in Rockhampton before joining the force.



AN ICONIC name in Gympie real estate, rural supplies and business in general, Tom Grady has been recognised on this year's list after more than four decades of work in the community.

With his wife Lyn, Tom has sponsored the Gympie show for the last 12 years, and as recently as last week he showed his passion for the community by extending a hand to those affected by the devastating Woolooga fires in the forms of a hay drive.


Tom Grady at his office on Mary Street.
Tom Grady at his office on Mary Street. Philippe Coquerand


NEW Gympie magistrate Chris Callaghan also serves as president of the Magistrates Association.

Along with holding the power when it comes to sitting in judgement on wrong doers in the region, Mr Callaghan bears the responsibility of keeping the wheels of the law turning over a huge regional area.

He presides over matters from Hervey Bay and Maryborough to Caloundra and west to Kingaroy, administering a system that handles 3500 total matters a year, or about 70 cases a week.


Chris Callaghan the new magitrate in Gympie.
Chris Callaghan the new magitrate in Gympie. Renee Albrecht


SINGLE mum-of-four Cindy Vogels went global when one of her unique hat designs was picked up by none other than Lady Gaga.

Her business, The Devoted Milliner, has evolved into Racy and Lucky, a designer clothing label that tailors to emerging female artists in the music industry.

As a result, Cindy's designs have featured in a whopping 17 nationally and internationally published magazines.


Bob Fredman Gympie Power 30.
Bob Fredman Gympie Power 30. Renee Albrecht

A PRESENCE in the Gympie region for over four decades now, Division 8 Councillor Bob Fredman's connections with councils reaches right back to work experience at Widgee in 1974.

He worked as head of engineering in Widgee before retiring after 40 years, juggling various roles with the National Trust - including a run as chairman - in that time.

Cr Fredman stood for the seat of Division 8 when it was vacated by James Cochrane early this year and took it in a landslide.