Two of Toowoomba Regional Council’s (TRC) key events recently gained added notoriety and praise by winning major awards.
The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, in conjunction with The Chronicle Home Garden competition, won the inaugural Rural Green Space Award at the Australian Institute of Horticulture’s (AIH) 2017 national awards at Windsor, New South Wales.
AIH fellow and immediate past president Annette Irish today presented the trophy to TRC Tourism and Events portfolio leader Cr Geoff McDonald and The Chronicle’s regional finance manager Patrick Wilson at the Queens Park Botanic Gardens.
Not to be outdone, the 2016 Hutchinson Builders Toowoomba International tennis tournament swept all before it to win the Most Outstanding Professional Tournament of the Year at the recent Queensland Tennis Awards in Brisbane.
The tennis title win extended the tournament’s stellar run of success in the category to a fifth successive year.
The title win could see the tournament listed as a finalist for the national award that will be announced at Tennis Australia’s Newcombe Medal presentation in Melbourne on November 27.
The Toowoomba tournament has good recent form at the Newcombe Medal, having been nominated every year since 2013 with national successes in 2013 and 2014.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said the successes were a tribute to the work of organisers and volunteers.
“Council takes great pride in playing its part in organising these major attractions with all supporters and sponsors,” Mayor Antonio said.
“Carnival has a long and proud history that has been built on the back of The Chronicle’s Home Garden competition while the Hutchinson Builders Toowoomba International continues to go from strength to strength each year with a wide selection of international and Australian tennis players heading to our region.”
Cr McDonald said Council placed significant time and energy into developing events and attractions across the region.
“The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is the reigning Tourism Australia Major Festival and Event gold winner and it is yet another feather in its cap to be honoured by the Australian Institute of Horticulture,” Cr McDonald said.
“This inaugural award recognises and honours the community involvement and focus of the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers and The Chronicle Home Garden competition in promoting the benefits of living with and enjoying green spaces.
“The private home gardens and exhibition gardens, along with our civic parks and gardens, are the colourful backdrop for not only horticultural tips, but the full program of Carnival activities.
“These events are built on community support and participation and Council is thankful that this commitment has been recognised by a peak national body.
“Council also thanks all its sponsors, supporters and volunteers who contribute to the success of all Carnival events and the Hutchinson Builders Toowoomba International tennis tournament.
“Organisers have refined the program of events at the tennis to offer world-class action on court and a range of activities for spectators to enjoy.
“Residents and visitors can look forward to enjoying these great attractions again in 2018.”
AIH fellow and immediate past president Annette Irish said any keen horticulturalist marked in an annual pilgrimage to Toowoomba to enjoy the garden displays.
“The award is a measure of how important parks and gardens are to the community,” she said.
“It is an amazing achievement for The Chronicle Home Garden competition and the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers to celebrate 68 years of promoting gardens to visitors. This level of support is unheard of in Australia.
“Green spaces offer important health benefits where people can enjoy fresh air.
“This is in addition to the tourism potential and the teaching opportunities that are available for all ages.
“People paying rates see a real return for their money in the parks and gardens. There is no loss in a park.”
Caption: Top: AIH fellow and immediate past president Annette Irish presents the inaugural AIH Rural Green Space Award to Cr Geoff McDonald and The Chronicle’s Patrick Wilson (right).
Toowoomba Tennis Association president Allen Smythe and tournament co-director (left), Welma Joubert and Des Hillberg from the Toowoomba Tennis Association, Emma Creighton (Tennis Queensland’s Participation Leader for the South Region) and TRC’s Sports Tourism officer Andrew Allpass accept the trophy for Most Outstanding Professional Tournament of the Year at Saturday’s Queensland Tennis Awards.