It was a year to forget for so many reasons but through the hardship came incredible tales of people doing extraordinary things right here on the Sunshine Coast.

The region's Australia Day Awards highlighted just some of the outstanding ways our community came together like never before.

More than 250 dignitaries, nominees and their guests attended the special ceremony on Friday in Caloundra.

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Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the nominees were a very special group and this was a chance to say thank you.

"Their stories highlight just how fortunate we are to have so many everyday heroes among us," Cr Jamieson said.

"All of our award recipients and nominees are truly deserving of these accolades.

"Their passion and dedication to helping those in need and our broader community is inspiring and they make a difference to so many lives every day."

Cr Jamieson said there were 102 nominations in total across eight categories.

"These are people who really put their community above themselves very often," he said.

"They don't do it seeking recognition but it's really wonderful that they've been nominated."

Sunshine Coast Australia Day award winners for 2021.
Sunshine Coast Australia Day award winners for 2021.

Citizen of the Year Cheryl Harris was lost for words as she accepted her award.

The Volunteering Sunshine Coast CEO choked up on stage as she urged the crowd to show each other some kindness in 2021.

Something the mayor strongly agreed with.

"We've all become a bit too stressed, a bit too outraged," he said.

"We just need to settle a bit more I think and recognise that there are always people with much greater challenges than ourselves.

"When you think of where we live and what we have, we have a lot to be grateful for."

2021 Sunshine Coast Australia Day Award Recipients

  • Cheryl Harris - Citizen of the Year
  • Angelique Hallett - Young Citizen of the Year
  • Carmel Crouch - Senior Citizen of the Year
  • Lions Club Mooloolaba - Community Group or Organisation
  • Aleesah Darlison - Creative
  • Reef Check Australia - Environment and Sustainability
  • Stephen Ossedryver - Sport and Recreation
  • Kawana Waters Surf Life Saving Club - Outstanding Achievement COVID-19 Response Award

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