Whitsunday Regional Council southern region Australia Day Awards Citizen of the Year Merewyn Wright.
Whitsunday Regional Council southern region Australia Day Awards Citizen of the Year Merewyn Wright. Monique Preston

Merewyn crowned as our Citizen of the Year

ROTARIAN Merewyn Wright was named Whitsunday Regional Council's Citizen of the Year for the southern region at this year's Australia Day awards in Cannonvale.

Mrs Wright joined the Rotary Club of Airlie Beach in 2008 and plays a major role in most of the club's activities, including being the committee of the Airlie Beach Reef Festival and is the street parade co-ordinator.

Her Rotary history dates back to her involvement in the Kingaroy and Walkerston clubs, before she moved to Airlie Beach, where she was deputy principal of Cannonvale State School from 2008 until her retirement in 2014.

Mrs Wright has contributed her time to the local Rotary's youth exchange program and coordinated the club's Young Endeavour project from 2009 to 2012.

She is also on the carols by the Beach committee, the selection panel for the National Youth Science Forum, Rotary youth leadership awards and Rotary Adventure in Citizenship.

She is also a member of the club's phone book strategy committee and organises club meetings and guest speakers, combined services club dinners. Flickerfest short film festival events and the World's Greatest Meal to End Polio dinners.

Mrs Wright also arranges the club's participation in Anzac Day marches, Hat Day For Mental illness events, polio movie nights, the Cannonvale library project, and is a member of the Rotary Heritage Walk committee and a major contributor to the club's Rotary Business Networking meetings.

She is the Rotary District 9550 district governor nominee.

Outside Rotary, Mrs Wright is also a member of Whitsunday Aero Club and is an avid photographer.

When accepting her award, Mrs Wright was a humble winner.

"I certainly appreciate what's behind the award and appreciate being chosen,” she said.

"I'm certainly honoured and proud to be part of this community and honoured to receive this award.”

Mrs Wright said her involvement in Rotary stemmed from growing up in a family where her father was in Apex.

"Our family has always been involved in doing things in the community. It's just natural to be participating.”

As well as giving her a chance to be involved in the community and to give something back, Mrs Wright said involvement in groups such as Rotary gave her a chance to become part of the community.

"Friendship and belonging make it all worthwhile,” she said.