Winners of this year’s Ipswich Australia Day Awards have even more reason to celebrate, with each receiving a bespoke trophy reflective of Ipswich’s birdlife.
Ipswich ceramic artist Jane du Rand, whose exhibition Living in Ipswich is currently on show at Ipswich Art Gallery, was commissioned to create the trophies.
For each award, she has created a ceramic jar with a lid topped with a sculpture of an Australian native bird which can be found in and around Ipswich.
Mayor Teresa Harding said the trophies added an extra special touch to the ceremony.
“We have a vibrant creative sector here in Ipswich, and Ms du Rand’s sculptures are another wonderful celebration of local artwork,” Mayor Harding said.
Ms du Rand matched specific native birds that were relevant to each award. Here, she explains her creations:
Citizen of the Year Award
“I decided on a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo for this award as they are striking and proud birds and also seem to me to be birds capable of doing many very clever things. I imagine one would be proud to be awarded Citizen of the Year and would also have achieved something significant to receive this award.”
Senior Citizen of the Year Award
“This award has a Superb Fairy Wren. I see these striking little birds all over Ipswich. They are a favourite bird of my mother who is a senior citizen and who loves to watch these little wrens bathing in our garden birdbath.”
Young Citizen of the Year Award
“I chose a pair of Double Barred Finches for this award. I often see these finches in Ipswich, even though they are small, they are very smart, busy and always look as if they are doing something important. I thought this would complement a young citizen award.”
Sports and Recreation Award
“Here I have chosen a Kingfisher. I often see a Kingfisher fishing at the river at Colleges Crossing when I walk my dogs. I think they are perfect little “sports-birds” with their precision hovering over the water and their perfect dives to catch their prey.”
“This award has a Rainbow Lorrikeet. These are fabulous, bold birds with loads of character. I like to watch them in Limestone Park in the evenings when the sun is setting as they seem to gather together to perform to each other. I imagine they would be great actors and singers and poets, and the writers of many stories.”
Spirit of Ipswich Award
“I chose a Blue Faced Honey Eater for this award as the first place I came across one of these birds was just outside of my home in Ipswich in the bottlebrush tree on the neighbour’s verge. They are slightly cheeky spirited birds that often come to argue with the Rainbow Lorikeets about who should be in the bottlebrush anyway.”
Community Event of the Year Award
“I chose a Magpie for this award as I think that the Magpies are always very aware of what happening in their local community. The pair of Magpies who live on the verge in our street know everyone up and down the road and know who to visit at the best time to get a treat. I think Magpies are community minded birds.”