‘It is the people around me that made all the difference’: Former mayor Bob Abbot OAM on his latest recognition.
‘It is the people around me that made all the difference’: Former mayor Bob Abbot OAM on his latest recognition.

‘A great honour’: Former mayor humbled by prestigious award

AFTER an emotional 12 months, former Sunshine Coast and Noosa mayor has something to smile about.

Former mayor Bob Abbot has been recognised for his service to local government and the community with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

"It is a great honour, it's something you often think about but never think it is going to happen to you," he said.

‘It’s something you often think about but never think it is going to happen to you.’ Abbot on his OAM. Picture: Robyne Cuerel
‘It’s something you often think about but never think it is going to happen to you.’ Abbot on his OAM. Picture: Robyne Cuerel

Mr Abbot was involved in local politics from 1982 and enjoyed a shining career spanning 30 years.

He was Mayor of Noosa from 1997 to 2008 and Mayor of Sunshine Coast Council from 2008 to 2012.

He led a 10,000-strong protest march in Brisbane in 2007 against the merging of Noosa, Caloundra and Maroochydore shire councils.

He was undefeated in every election he contested.

After an emotionally fuelled Australia Day, Mr Abbot had a moment to contemplate his award and give thanks to those who have supported him, notably his late partner of 18 years Sue Coburn.

"I know she was involved in the application that eventually bought this honour to me," he said.

 

Abbot with late partner Sue Coburn. Pic Megan Slade.
Abbot with late partner Sue Coburn. Pic Megan Slade.

"It is the people around me that made all the difference.

"People like me can't do it without them."

Looking back on such a long and prestigious career, the passionate leader said there was nothing he would have done any differently.

"I think there were things I certainly could have done better, but I have no regrets," Mr Abbot said.

"Along the way we managed to do some pretty great stuff.

"I think there is a destiny in all of us."

Mr Abbot believed he served in council during an ideal era.

"I was lucky to be in politics when I was" he said.

"It was a time of change.

"We went from fax machines to wearing a wristwatch that has more power than what they used to put man on the moon," he said.

"I'd never go back into politics now."

If he had his time over again, the former mayor had this advice for his younger self.

"Hang on, you are in for a big ride," he said.


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