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Welcome to The Leaders 2017

The Community Leader Awards acknowledges Catholics in the community whose service
and contributions have had the effect of making a significant difference to Australian life,
and more broadly, to humanity at large.
The Awards are hosted by The Catholic Leader, the award-winning newspaper for the Archdiocese of Brisbane.

About the Awards

The Leaders recognise outstanding achievements among professional practicing Catholics, young Catholics, Catholic schools, charity organisations and Religious Orders who persevere in faith amidst real-world social, economic and environmental issues through their everyday operations. It is a continuing effort to ensure The Community Leader Awards reflects how Catholics today seek to revitalise Australian culture. We look forward to celebrating our inaugural Awards Ceremony in Brisbane with you.

From the Archbishop

WE gathered recently for the presentation of The Catholic Leader Community Leader Awards in the Hanly Room of the Francis Rush Centre.

Fr James Hanly was the pioneer priest of Brisbane, which was a very different place in the mid-nineteenth century.  He provided a unique kind of leadership in planting the seed of the Catholic Church in Brisbane.

Times and places change, but the need for leadership remains, as does the profile of true leadership.  In the Church, it’s tempting to think that leadership is exercised only by people like popes, bishops, priests and religious.

But the Church depends on all kinds of leadership from all kinds of people.

The Community Leader Awards are an excellent initiative because they recognise leadership from people who can be easily overlooked.

The people who received the Awards weren’t necessarily the people who make the headlines, but they are the people who make the Church happen on the ground.

That’s why the Awards matter.

As we strive to shape a more synodal Church now and create the future that God wants, leadership is crucial, not just because of what leaders say and do but because of the climate they can create – a climate that enables new possibilities and makes new things happen.

From the Editor

“I’VE never won a thing in my life!”

With these words, Grant Richards captured the essence of The Catholic Leader 2015 Community Leader Awards.

Mr Richards was the winner of The Community Leader of the Year award at our ceremony held on November 12.

He and our other deserving winners were honoured for quietly and diligently building up God’s Kingdom, and society at large, in their own humble manner.

The Catholic Leader team is proud to have delivered another successful Community Leader Awards.

Every person nominated deserved an award, but that was not possible.

I congratulate all the nominees and thank them for their dedication and good work.

Reading through the nominations it was clear to see the humble service on show by the generous volunteers, teachers, youth workers, parish workers, professionals and many others across Brisbane archdiocese, Queensland and the rest of Australia.

It was our privilege to share some of the work of unsung heroes in our Catholic community.

St John Paul II often urged young people to be “the people of the beatitudes”; our nominees and winners were these people.

They are peacemakers; they are merciful; they are hungering and thirsting for justice, and they suffer persecution for justices’ sake.

They must be thanks for their efforts and service.

We look forward to sharing more of these stories and continuing The Community Leader Awards in 2017.

– Matt Emerick, Managing Editor of The Catholic Leader


Entry Deadline – 29 September

Judging Time – 2 October / 13 October

Finalists Announced – 16 October

Awards Celebration & Presentation – 15 November


The entry process has been deliberately designed to help you focus on key aspects of your life/organisation/business/school.

Professional Leader of the Year

This award is presented to an outstanding corporate or business professional who is an active member of the Catholic community. The award recognises an individual who has made a significant impact on the lives of colleagues, clients and/or customers. The nominee should/has exhibited exemplary leadership skills and set a benchmark of charity, integrity and professionalism in the workplace. The nominee does not need to be employed by a Catholic organisation, but must be able to demonstrate how the Catholic values are integrated into the/his-her professional life. Special consideration will be made to the individual who demonstrates active participation in the Catholic community or parish.

Young Leader of the Year

This award is presented to a young Catholic who has shown outstanding commitment to their Catholic faith. The young Leader demonstrates active effort to uphold a moral and virtuous life and is a positive role model in their community. Special consideration will be made to a young person who demonstrates active service or outreach in the community.

School Leader of the Year

This award is presented to a Catholic primary or secondary school leader in Australia. The award recognises a school leader that has made an outstanding contribution to the spiritual, personal, and academic life of its students. The school leader would be a benchmark in educating students on Catholic life, morals and ethics, and a personal relationship with Christ. Special consideration will be made to school principals who demonstrate charity in either seven categories of the corporal works of mercy (feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, bury the dead).

Volunteer of the Year

This award is presented to a volunteer of a Catholic charity or organisation who has shown outstanding commitment to their charism or mission. Volunteers nominated for this category can be lay or religious. The volunteer will demonstrate high fidelity to the universal Catholic Church and an exceptional commitment to the local Australian Church.

Community Leader of the Year

This award is presented to an active parishioner from Australia for their outstanding involvements in the parish. The nominee will demonstrate active laid leadership within their parish. Special consideration will be made to a parishioner who demonstrates active service in the community on behalf of their parish.


Entry is open to a professional man or woman who has more than five years experience in their field.

The entry form must accompany a typed description detailing how the nominee has fulfils the following criteria:

  • Level of influence
  • Excellence in leadership
  • Setting a benchmark in charity, integrity and professionalism
  • Integration of Catholic values in their professional life

The entry form needs to be completed online.

A panel of judges present at the event will deliver the awards to the selected winners.

We want to celebrate young people in our community, who represent our future, and are integral part of the Church.

The award is open to young people aged 13 – 30. The nominees will be judged on the following acts of service and charity:

  • caring for the ill or disabled;
  • helping run a youth group or other ministry;
  • looking after abandoned or neglected animals;
  • making communities safer through initiatives or behaviour;
  • raising money for charity or other charitable causes;
  • showing positive spirit in adversity, presenting him/herself as an example to others.
  • supporting or mentoring someone through a difficult time;
  • taking action to improve the environment;
  • volunteering for projects at home or abroad;
  • working with disabled, ill or elderly people;

The entry form must accompany a typed description detailing how the nominee has demonstrated the above criteria.

Entry is open to School principals, administrators, staff, teachers and other individuals working in a school.

The entry form must accompany a typed description of how the nominated or self-nominated school leader has implemented innovation in ONE of the six award categories.

  • An innovative project in marketing your Catholic school community
  • An innovative project in restructuring or merging schools
  • An innovative project in promoting Catholic identity
  • An innovative project in curriculum and instruction
  • An innovative project facilitated by technology
  • An innovative project in total community involvement (including fundraising)
  • An innovative project in environmental sustainability and awareness


You may enclose three samples of student work, reports, or other supporting documents that will help our judges make an informed decision. (Note: submitted material cannot be returned)

The entry form needs to be completed online.

A panel of judges present at the event will deliver the awards to the selected winners.

Submission for this category must include the following:

  • Summary of your organisation and what it does. Include when your organisation or Order was founded, its charisma, and how it is lived out.
  • Outline your mission, outreach, or charity objective. This information will be used to judge the clarity of the organisation’s or Order’s objectives. It should include the time period over which these elements have been created and deployed.
  • Evidence of how these missions, outreaches, or objectives have been met, and what impact the achieved objectives has had. This should contain quantitative data to demonstrate the success in meeting these objectives.
  • Answer the following question:
    • Why do you think you should win the award?

Please detail the overall impact volunteering has had on you and the    community.  In this section evidence may be quantitative or qualitative, or a mixture of both.

You may enclose three samples of charity work, reports, or other supporting documents that will help our judges make an informed decision. (Note: submitted material cannot be returned)

Open to any Catholic parishioner in Australia.

The entry form must accompany a typed description of no more than 600 words of how the nominated parishioner has addressed the following criteria:

  • Increase in the number of new Catholics
  • Sacramental life flourishing (regular Eucharist, Confessions, and Sacramental initiations)
  • Strong community formation for children, young adults, and adults
  • Evidence of parish outreach/projects that serve the community
  • Strong encouragement from parish priest to strengthen the parish community with social activities and events
  • Supportive of parishioner’s personal prayer life and faith commitments

The entry form needs to be completed online.

A panel of judges present at the event will deliver the awards to the selected winners.

Judging and Scoring

The following criteria apply to the Award categories.

  • Planning & Content (30%) – Judges will consider whether research was done and whether objectives and strategies were thoughtfully considered and clearly stated. They will also determine if the medium was a proper vehicle for attaining the stated objectives. Special consideration is given to strategy and originality of approach. Include budget, timeline, and any applicable research.
  • Creativity & Quality (30%) – Judges will consider whether the messages were directly tied to the objectives and if the content was substantive, understandable, consistent and appropriate for the target audience. Level of uniqueness and creativity also will be assessed.
  • Technical Excellence (15%) – Judges will examine graphic or communication elements that set the entry apart and the quality of production, with consideration for the scope of the project and its budget.
  • Evaluation/Results (25%) – Judges will consider whether efforts, quantitative or qualitative, were made to assess the degree to which the entry met its stated objectives.

Submit your entry

Entry submissions for the 2017 program are now open


Professional Leader of the Year


Young Leader of the Year


School Leader of the Year


Volunteer of the Year


Community Leader of the Year


Coming soon

Awards Night & Presentation

You are invited to celebrate a memorable year for The Catholic Leader at our annual Awards cocktail party in 2017.

Every two years The Catholic Leader holds a celebration to honor our loyal readers, sponsors, advertisers and share our work with the entire Brisbane Archdiocese. Our annual event will host The Community Leader Awards for 2017.

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge will be our guest of honor, as well as representatives from our partner St Vincent’s Care Services.

So mark Wednesday, November 15 in your calendar!

5:30pm – Private Sponsors gathering
6:30pm – Official party opening with entertainment, food & drinks
7:30pm – The Community Leader Awards Ceremony followed by dessert & more
Venue: St Rita’s College, 41 Enderley Rd, Clayfield, 4011.
Cost: Adults $30 | Seniors and students $25.

Purchase your tickets for the Awards Cocktail Party

Our Sponsors

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