POWER 40: The 12 people who slipped off the list this year
THESE are the people who are doing good things and exerting their power and influence still, but who for one reason or another did not make the Power 40 list of Gympie Region’s Most Influential and Powerful for 2020, a year unlike any other.
#30 in 2019 JASON MCPHERSON
SOME people know “Macca” as the charismatic, energetic and enthusiastic boss of Gympie engineering company CPM Engineering.
In sporting circles, he is the face of the Gympie Hammers Rugby Union Club, winning the 2019 Queensland Reds Volunteer of the Year, and becoming a finalist in the Wallabies Volunteer of the Year.
As president of the Hammers, he has been the driving force in growing junior player numbers in boys and girls.
With sport shut down for a while and then brought back for a shortened season, it was only natural a few of our influential people in sport would been and heard less in 2020, giving them less time and less people on whom to exert their power and influence.
#29 in 2019 JULIE WORTH
SHE has been a successful businesswoman for more than three decades, enhancing tourism in the Gympie region and providing a quality charter bus service for Gympie and Mary Valley students.
Mrs Worth is a mother, wife, businesswoman, volunteer, chairwoman and a proud advocate for the Gympie region and tourism in what she describes as the “great part of the world”.
Julie and her husband Jeff established a seafood market, Octopus’s Garden in Gympie in 1992.
The Worths helped 100 Gympie students finish their traineeships.
From 1994 onwards, the pair ran two businesses - as this was the year Karrabee Bus + Coach was established.
Tourism is probably the industry to suffer the most from Australia’s coronavirus restrictions, and many businesses have either gone under or struggled to hang on this year. Thankfully, there’s been a silver lining for Gympie region tourism operations with plenty of activity going on within the state.
#28 in 2019 THELMA REISENLEITER
PASSION to volunteer at an event that her children were competing in soon turned into a life-long commitment for Gympie and District Eisteddfod president Thelma Reisenleiter, who has slipped of the list of Gympie’s most influential this year.
Mrs Reisenleiter has been at the helm of the Gympie eisteddfod for decades, chairing the organisation for 21 years and steering the direction of the annual week-long event that showcases hundreds of young performers.
COVID meant the event did not go ahead this year.
#27 in 2019 COLLEEN MILLER
COLLEEN Miller is not only the face of Gympie Netball, she has been a powerful force in growing the sport in this region.
Mrs Miller slipped off the lits of Most Influential this year after a courageous tilt at council election and successfully getting a netball competition of sorts back up and running after coronavirus restructions eased in Queensland.
We have no doubt Mrs Miller will continue to be a leader in the community.
#26 in 2019 SHEREENE MOY
IF YOU have passed through the Gympie region school sport system in the past 25 years, chances are you’ve been lucky enough to know Shereene Moy.
The highly respected Gympie South State School teacher has dedicated herself to coaching for more than 30 years, spending most of that time within the region after transferring here early in her career.
What perhaps says the most about Moy’s passion for nurturing and encouraging up-and-coming sporting talent is her role as district secretary of all school sports, in which she co-ordinates between 140 and 160 children in an array of codes.
Obviously, with the restrictions of coronavirus this year and its impact on sport and competition, Ms Moy had a lot less to do. But we know she is still there and ready to get back in to it.
#25 in 2019 DARREN BURNS
DARREN Burns is not only the face of Gympie rugby league, he is its driving force.
After a career in the national rugby league that saw him play for the Brisbane Broncos, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Western Suburbs Magpies and the Sydney Roosters, Darren has provided a stable platform of motivation and inspiration to Gympie’s aspiring rugby league players in a time where the game, at a regional level is struggling.
He has mandated the consistent presence of rugby league at a school level in the Gympie, which has seen a resurgence of young players in the local junior ranks.
He has worked in conjunction with the Brisbane Broncos to provide education to Gympie region students in everything from domestic violence to healthy eating.
Darren has continued to provide front line leadership as the junior league coaching director to ensure the coaches identify the priorities that need to be focused on, such as making sure the children are having fun, that they are developing as a player and a person, and teaching them the ability and attitude to compete.
#24 in 2019 CINDY VOGELS
FOR two years in a row the Devoted Milliner, Cindy Vogels, held a spot in Gympie’s Power 30, last year at number 24.
The dynamic single mum of four hit the headlines when one of her unique hat designs was worn by fashionista Lady Gaga in 2014.
Ms Vogels’ influence comes from her connections in the fashion, music and art world and she held a position in Gympie Regional Council as Arts and Cultural Ambassador from March 2015 to July last year.
Like so many industries and activities, the world of fashion, music and art has been hit hard by COVID-19, but will no doubt bounce back into creative activity when the world gets more back to normal, and Ms Vogels will be back as well.
#23 in 2019 INDIANA HEHIR
SHE was only 17 last year, but the hard-working and fearlessly passionate Gympie student Indiana Hehir had a leading role in helping young Australians find a voice in the national social and political conversation.
The James Nash State High School graduate accepted the role of a lifetime last year when she was chosen out of more than 450 applicants as one of eight UNICEF Australia Young Ambassadors.
#22 in 2019 GARRY DAVISON
GARRY Davison is Gympie born and bred (on both sides of his family) and he married a Gympie girl, Jenny.
“We came back in 1982 and bought the general store which then existed in Mellor St.
“I ran for council in ‘85 and ‘88 and was successful both times.”
“In 1991, I ran for mayor against Mick Venardos and Joan Dodt. If it had been a horse race the result would have been fine. You don’t mind coming third in a horse race.”
He started at Jobmatch and was its original manager when it first opened its doors here in 1992.
Mr Davison is also the Mary Valley Rattler vice-chairman of the board and Rotary president.
#10 in 2019 JULIE WILLIAMS
AGRIBUSINESS champion Julie Williams is chief executive of her family business AgSolutions Australia.
With more than 40 employees, Mrs Williams has endeavoured to continue AgSolutions as one of the country’s leading animal and soil supplement companies alongside husband Andrew as chief executive, brother Jason Zerner as production manager and cousin Gary Zerner as sales manager.
Perhaps the biggest milestone for Mrs Williams in 2019 was her involvement as a committee member for the Federal Government’s Regional Development Australia network, in the Wide Bay Burnett, where she worked with all levels of government, business and community groups to support the economic development of the region.
She was also one of just eight industry representatives on the advisory board of the State Government’s Manufacturing Ministerial Committee chaired by MP Cameron Dick. Mrs Williams also served as the Cooloola Christian College board chair and sat on the board at Hope Reins. We are certain to see her back on this list of the region’s most influential people.
#6 in 2019 BERNARD SMITH
AS THE chief executive officer of the Gympie Regional Council, Bernard Smith held the purse strings to a $100 million budget generated by 50,000 potential ratepayers.
But following the local government election in March of 2020, mayor Mick Curran and several councillors were not returned, and Mr Smith resigned soon after the new council was sworn in.
#2 in 2019 MICK CURRAN
FORMER Gympie mayor Mick Curran spent four years at the head of the Gympie Regional Council before being voted out at the local government election in March this year.
His council delivered, among other things, the controversial resurrection of the Valley Rattler, the popular River to Rail Trail, the youth precinct in Nelson Reserve and a partially completed Kilkivan Equestrian Centre.
This list is a subjective talking point, not a scientific guide. We welcome feedback from the public. It is about the 40 most powerful and/or influential people in the Gympie region. How strong and broad is their influence? A special committee of community leaders from various walks of life have voted on who should be on this list and in what order.
Is there someone you think should be on the list? Email your contenders to email@example.com or comment below and tell us why.