Cooloola Christian College School Captain Charlee Griffiths is the 2021 Gympie Young Citizen of the Year.
Cooloola Christian College School Captain Charlee Griffiths is the 2021 Gympie Young Citizen of the Year.

Star young citizen wants ‘to make a difference in the world’

There are a lot of unknowns in the future for Charlee Griffiths, but there’s one thing Gympie Young Citizen of the Year knows for sure right now – she wants to make a difference.

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The 17-year-old was awarded Young Citizen of the Year for 2021 at the Pavilion this afternoon for her passionate and ongoing work in the community she loves, which includes roles at the Mayoral Prayer breakfast and Destiny Rescue.

Deb Brown, winner of Gympie's Australia Day awards Citizen of the Year 2021.
Deb Brown, winner of Gympie's Australia Day awards Citizen of the Year 2021.

Deb Brown was named Citizen of the Year.

“It’s an honour. It’s kind of baffling, it hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Charlee said following the ceremony.

“It was an amazing ceremony, it was just such an incredible honour truly just to be here and then to win the award.

“I knew I was nominated but you never really think you’re going to win, I was a bit surprised.

“I really want to make a difference in the world. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life once I graduate, but I do know I want to make a difference.

“I think doing activities like the Mayoral Prayer Breakfast and helping serve wherever I can is a step in the right direction.”

11-year-old Gympie boy Flynn Hutchison raised $5000 for various charities in 2020.
11-year-old Gympie boy Flynn Hutchison raised $5000 for various charities in 2020.

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Charlee said she was looking forward to making more positive change in the year ahead, in her new role as school captain at Cooloola Christian College.

“My co-captain and I are very close friends, our whole leadership team is very close. We went on a camp recently and all discussed the plans we want for our school, and we’re all on the same page,” she said.

“We all know exactly how we want to help make our school a better place so we’re really excited.”

Star young Gympie citizen Florence Penny.
Star young Gympie citizen Florence Penny.

The future of the region looks in good hands, with young superstars Flynn Hutchison (11 years old) and Florence Penny (10) receiving Special Australia Day awards at the ceremony for their outstanding contributions to the communities they live in.

GYMPIE CITIZENS OF THE YEAR – FULL LIST

Citizen of the Year – Deb Brown

Young Citizen of the Year – Charlee Griffiths

Cultural Award – Emma Schneider

Sports Administration and Youth Sports Award – Emma Duffey

Community Event of the Year – Gympie Showgrounds Farmers Market, Gympie Show Society

Special Australia Day Awards – Florence Penny and Flynn Hutchison