At a special ceremony attended by more than 400 dignitaries, nominees and their guests, Mark Forbes, the founder of endED, a Sunshine Coast service that now provides nationwide support to people with eating disorders and their families, was today (January 24) announced as the 2020 Sunshine Coast Citizen of the Year.
Mark and his wife Gayle started endED four years ago, after many years supporting two daughters battling the harrowing effects of an eating disorder, a heart-breaking experience for any parent.
From what began as a parent’s and carers support group each fortnight at their home, Mark now dedicates himself full-time on a voluntary basis to endED.
Recently, in partnership with the Butterfly Foundation, Mark has worked tirelessly to raise more than $2.8 million to develop endED Butterfly House, Australia’s first national residential treatment facility for eating disorder sufferers.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said the annual Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards had again highlighted the outstanding work of so many community-focussed Sunshine Coast citizens and organisations.
“Our nominees in the Australia Day Awards are a very special group of achievers and this is our chance to say thank you,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Their stories highlight just how fortunate we are to have so many everyday heroes amongst us.
“All of our award recipients 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.
“From creating sporting opportunities for all, improving our environment, championing the arts, caring for our animals and giving back to this wonderful community, these awards are a true reflection of our healthy, smart and creative community.”
2020 Sunshine Coast Australia Day Award Recipients
- Mark Forbes – Citizen of the Year
- Ella Woodborne – Young Citizen of the Year
- Mark Skinner – Senior Citizen of the Year
- Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge – Community Group or Organisation
- Jennifer Radbourne – Creative
- Ten Little Pieces – Environment and Sustainability
- Robert Angus / Brendan Powell and Scott Park (joint recipients) – Sport and Recreation
The 2020 Australia Day Award recipients were nominated by the community and selected by a panel of local leaders, including the 2017 Sunshine Coast Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year, Jak Hardy and Angela Lisle (TAFE Queensland), Caroline Campbell (Seven Network), John Williams (92.7 MixFM) and Louise OKeeffe (Sunshine Coast Daily).
The 2020 Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards are proudly supported by 7 News Sunshine Coast, MixFM, Maroochy RSL, Sunshine Coast Daily, TAFE Queensland, Living Smart Sunshine Coast and Sunshine Coast Sports Federation.
Mark Forbes – Citizen of the Year, sponsored by 7 News – Sunshine Coast
Living with the experience of having two daughters with an eating disorder is what led Mark and his wife Gayle to start endED four years ago. Mark and Gayle began holding a parent’s and carers support group each fortnight at their home. As the demand for support began to increase they recognised the need to expand endED’s services. It was at this point that they decided to devote themselves full-time on a voluntary basis to endED and to employ eating disorder recovery coaches to provide one-on-one and group support to eating disorder sufferers.
endED now provides nationwide support to sufferers and their families.
More recently, endED has partnered with the Butterfly Foundation to deliver endED Butterfly House. For construction of the residential, Mark has secured $2 million in funding from the federal government, support from 35 local companies to the value of $800,000 and has partnered with various community groups and allied health services to deliver a unique and innovative model of care for the treatment of ED’s.
Ella Woodborne – Young Citizen of the Year, sponsored by 92.7 MixFM
Through her constant, unwavering effort, determination and kindness, Ella has become an inspirational role model to her entire school and beyond. Ella founded the Grammar Green Team, and is the primary spokesperson and director of this rapidly expanding school organisation. Grammar Green Team teaches others about the planet, its animals, plants, its strengths and weaknesses. Each day, Ella aims to educate others about world issues, conduct research and explore new ways to help the Earth become a healthier planet. Ella is also a Youth Ambassador for EarthTech, a local start-up that focuses on encouraging and supporting young people to develop technologies that can be used to combat environmental issues such as climate change.
Mark Skinner – Senior Citizen of the Year, sponsored by Maroochy RSL
Mark has been chairman of The Board Meeting Surf Charity since its formation in 2004. He heads a small group of surfing businesspeople to raise funds to help local kids with disabilities and their families. Whilst Mark owns and heads a very successful national business, he still finds 15-20 hours a week to lead his charity team, coordinate events, seek sponsors, encourage supporters and interact with beneficiary families. The Board Meeting Surf Charity has raised more than $1.5 million over 15 years for families.
Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge – Community Group or Organisation, sponsored by the Sunshine Coast Daily
The Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge has been operating for 40 years and is managed by a volunteer committee and 250 volunteers. Volunteers care for cats and dogs, seven days a week. They also maintain the gardens, process donations, assist with fundraisers, operate a small nursery and provide administration and adoption support. SCARS also operates a pet ownership education program for school children, and provides support to people who are financially disadvantaged or homeless by caring for their pets.
Jennifer Radbourne – Creative, sponsored by TAFE Queensland
Emeritus Professor Jennifer Radbourne has extensive experience in performing arts and academia. She has been supporting, promoting, mentoring, planning and helping the Sunshine Coast arts and creative sector to grow. Jennifer is passionate about the Sunshine Coast arts sector and is always looking at how she can progress individual artists and their work, and develop audiences to ensure an ecology of sustainability. Jennifer is an inaugural member of the Sunshine Coast Arts Advisory Board and chair of the newly established Sunshine Coast Arts Foundation.
Ten Little Pieces – Environment and Sustainability, sponsored by Living Smart Sunshine Coast
Alison Foley founded Ten Little Pieces to encourage everybody to make a difference to their environment by collecting ten little pieces of rubbish whenever they can. Alison has been working tirelessly to reduce the amount of rubbish in our local communities and has inspired hundreds of families to take care of the places they visit. Last year Alison was the brain child behind a Cigarette Butt Voting Ballot Box at Alex Surf Club.
Robert Angus / Brendan Powell and Scott Park (joint recipients) – Sport and Recreation, sponsored by Sunshine Coast Sports Federation
Robert has been volunteering at Nambour Little Athletics Centre since 2008. As centre manager he led the process to secure government grants to purchase a full complement of equipment. Most recently, Robert obtained $35,000 in grants for the tartan long jump facility. He also mows and does line marking to maintain the pristine condition of the event facilities. He is the first to arrive and the last to leave. Robert also volunteers at the Sunshine Coast AFL Umpires Association and Nambour Blue Demons Hockey Club.
Brendan Powell and Scott Park – Queensland Oztag
Since commencing with Queensland Oztag in 2009, Brendan and Scott have worked tirelessly to build sport and recreation opportunities for all Sunshine Coast residents, with a passion to foster opportunity, encourage fun, inclusiveness and a sense of community through exceptional integrity and innovation. Over a 10-year period, their hard work has realised outstanding growth and success in Oztag and they have developed a highly professional sporting environment that is inclusive and empowers participants from diverse backgrounds.