Seniors Week

From coast to country, seniors make a huge contribution to the Gympie region. Through employment, caring, volunteering, grand parenting, cultural and sporting pursuits, preserving our history and guiding our future, seniors are vital to our community. Each August, Council celebrates these contributions during Seniors Week through a range of activities and events. 

Senior Citizen of the Year Awards 2019

This awards ceremony recognises a male and female, aged 60 and over who have made a significant contribution in the past year to our community.  The 2019 award recipients were Barry Grainger and Lee Hodgson. 

Nominees were Joan Adcock, Moya Beck, Betty Cartmill, Dudley Fisher, Yvonne Manger, Lynette Milnes, Valerie Neal, Dorothy Pascoe, Ann Rigbye & Ilpo Ripatti.

Senior Citizens of the Year Interviews

Barry is the President of the Mary Valley Show Society which is celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year and has been a volunteer for the organisation since 1969.


Tell us about yourself and your background as a volunteer?

I was born and raised in Imbil and I attended Imbil primary and  schools. I began working as a volunteer in December 1969, when I was asked to attend my first Mary Valley Show Society meeting. After that initial meeting I have been associated with the organisation for the last 50 years.  In 1989 I became very involved with the show which included being the secretary in 1993 and 1994 and I have been chief steward of the Rodeo section of the show since 1989. In 2011 I became President of the show society, a role I am still proud to hold today.


Tell us about the importance of volunteers especially Senior Citizens?

It is very important as Seniors of any community carry the history of the region with them and bestow it onto the younger generation. It is important to highlight their contributions and how vital they are to their local community.


What would winning the Gympie Senior Citizen of Year mean to you?

It would be recognition of what I have done for my whole life's work as a volunteer. It is more than any one person that makes an organisation run, but I am the lucky one in this instance that was nominated for this award.


Lee volunteers for a wide variety of community organisations which include; Cooinda Nursing Home Ladies Auxiliary, Senior Citizens Hall Committee, The View Club, Community Association Curra, and Older Women’s Network.


Tell us about yourself and your background as a volunteer?

I began working as volunteer when I was 67 years old when I had a real desire to give something back to the community. I moved from Brisbane to Gympie in 2001 where I joined the Library and then moved into a role in the Older Women’s Network a role I still hold today. I then decided to join Meals on Wheels. I then got involved with the Curra Community which is where I live where I was asked to take over running the Curra Country Club which I did for eight years. Part of my role was to help local kids with their tennis and squash and I played these sports for many years.


Tell us about the importance of volunteers especially Senior Citizens?

If the Gympie region didn't have volunteers, important community services like taking books and meals to house bound residents wouldn't take place. These volunteer services are an essential part of those people's lives.


What would winning the Gympie Senior Citizen of Year Award mean to you?

It means a lot to me and it is such an honour to be recognised but I think there are a lot of other volunteers in the community that deserve it as well. It is validation for my hard work, however I don’t volunteer to receive awards, the pleasure I get from seeing someone enjoying a visit or receiving something I have brought them is why I do it. 


5th Annual Duckpond Dash 2019

This event was held on Sunday 18 August 2019 at the Duckponds, Lake Alford, Gympie. This is an all abilities novelty walk for seniors. All are welcome – you can walk, waddle (!), dash or skip your way around the duckponds.

See the Photo Gallery on Facebook

Annual Seniors Concert and Morning Tea 2019

This event was held on Tuesday 20 August at the Gympie Civic Centre and included a delicious morning tea, entertainment and the announcement of the 2019 Senior Citizen of the Year Awards. 

See the Photo Gallery on Facebook

Are you planning a Seniors Week event for 2020?

  • Is your organisation planning to host a Seniors Week event? Please get in touch with our Community Partnerships Team to find out how Council can assist with promoting your event on 5481 0779 or
  • COTA coordinates Queensland Seniors Week on behalf of the Queensland Government and receives funding to collaboratively plan, run and subsidise Seniors Week events and activities. Click here for more information on how COTA can support your event and get ready to plan for 2020.

Further information

Phone Council’s Community Partnerships Team on 1300 307 800.

For more information about Seniors Week, visit

For general information about support and services for older Queenslanders, visit