Former Mayor wins major Australia Day Award 2016

A former city Mayor and chairman of several local boards has been announced 2016 Gold Coast Citizen of the Year.

Gary Baildon was recognised for his outstanding community input and dedication to civic pursuits at the annual Australia Day Awards.

Mr Baildon served 14 years as a local Councillor, including three terms as Gold Coast Mayor. He has served as Chairman of the Gold Coast Waterways Authority, Chairman of the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation and President of the Gold Coast Show Society.

Mayor Tom Tate said Mr Baildon was an exemplary role model for the community and well-deserving of the accolade.

“The locals nominated for these awards are unsung heroes but we want them to know their time and efforts are appreciated,” said Cr Tate.

“All the nominees are an inspiration and should feel extremely proud of their achievements.”

Several other locals were recognised at the ceremony tonight at Q1 in Surfers Paradise.

Tanya Diessel took out Young Citizen of the Year for her legal work, which includes providing free legal advice to the city’s disadvantaged.

The Gold FM Community Service Award was won by the Animal Welfare League Queensland, founded more than 50 years ago by Gold Coast community members concerned about the city’s homeless animals. From humble beginnings, the organisation now cares for up to 15,000 animals each year.

For information about the winners of each of the six categories, visit

Citizen of the Year – Gary Baildon
Young Citizen of the Year – Tanya Diessel
Gold FM Community Service Award – Animal Welfare League
Sports Achievement Award – Luke Douglas
Environmental Achievement Award – Wal and Heather Mayr
Cultural Achievement Award – Polly Snowden

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