Special awards a welcome surprise for Douglas residents


Victoria Stone-Meadows


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STOKED: Jason Heffernan won the 2018 Douglas Chamber of Commerce Young Achievers Award. IMAGE: Clinton Barter

The 2018 Douglas Business and Tourism Awards saw groups and individuals receive special awards for their contribution to the shire.

The awards recognised the outstanding contributions across a number of categories including business, environment, food, and just plain making the Douglas Shire a better place for all.



- GALLERY | Award Winners and Runners-Up

- GALLERY | Douglas Awards Best Dressed

Douglas chamber of commerce young achievers award recipient Jason Heffernan said he was completely shocked to receive the award.

“I did not expect the award at all, I was in the bit of shock on the night,” he said.

The owner of Back Country Bliss said he was over the moon his work in bringing businesses in the shire together.

He headed a group of business representatives from the Douglas Shire who stood up in the face of rising costs of business promotion in the region. 

“I explained we should look at our own board and help our town save some money,” he said.

“I headed a steering committee with other tourism operators and had lots of meetings with the towns operators and hotels to find a happy solution.

“I was so impressed with everyone in the town for working together and side by side.”

Mr Heffernan said he was also surprised to win the award in light of his age.

“I’m 33 and I was joking to the guys earlier in the night that I wish I was still young enough to get young achievers award,” he said.

“To be honest I’m still kind of in shock but it was a huge honour to receive it in front of the community – I am very appreciative of it.” 

Mr Heffernan hopes more young people get involved in the community and take a stand for what they believe in.

“We need to keep bringing more youth into the town and encouraging that,” he said.

Other special award winners include:

- The Douglas Arts Base received the Diane Cilento Excellence in Art Award.
- GBR Legacy received the Outstanding Contribution to Environmental Sustainability Award
- Tony and Di Sassi received Lifetime Contribution by an Individual(s) to Douglas Business & Tourism Award
- Tony’s Tropical Tours (Tony and Maf Bourke) were inducted into Douglas Business & Tourism Hall of Fame




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