Awards recognise those rising above the call of duty
AS THE only police officer in the remote town of Bedourie, north of Birdsville, being more than just the person responsible for law and order was a given for Senior Constable Paul Jackson.
In 2015 Snr Const Jackson was recognised with a QBANK Everyday Heroes Working Together Award for demonstrating and encouraging outstanding teamwork, trust, fairness, respect and diversity in his local community as well as his work to establish the first community gym.
Snr Const Jackson, who is now stationed in Bundaberg, said he didn't expect to be recognised but was honoured to know the community was thankful for what he did.
"I spent a lot of years working in Millaa Millaa and Bedourie - one-man stations - where I implemented fitness programs, community gyms,” he said.
"I wasn't doing it for recognition but it felt good to actually know the community did appreciate me.
"(As a police officer) you definitely see the problems within a community ... and you can feel a bit hopeless at times, like trying to put out a bushfire with a teatowel.
"But doing the proactive stuff makes you feel like you can do a little bit more and you might be doing something that can effect change.”
Snr Const Jackson said the awards ceremony demonstrated just how many emergency service workers gave their own time to contribute to their communities.
"There was so many people there with similar stories across all the emergency services,” he said.
"Talking to the other nominees ... a lot of the people were doing charity work in their own time, dedicating their time to programs to help drink drivers or the war against drugs, well outside of what their job entails.
"It was really interesting to see the scope and how much these people do, outside of what's expected of them.”
Last year Snr Const Jackson was again nominated for an Everyday Hero award, this time for his work in Bundaberg, boosting overall morale and team culture through taking ownership of and driving affordable social club initiatives. The awards, now in their fifth year, honour Queensland's frontline and public service workers, as well as youth aged 17 years and under, who have gone above and beyond to help their community.
This year's nominations open today and close at midnight on Sunday, August 5. To nominate someone, or for more information, go to https://bit.ly/2LdnvSf.