In a celebration of the region’s premier tourism operators, Southern Queensland Country Tourism held its inaugural Chairman’s Awards on Tuesday October 15. An array of high calibre nominees ensured tough competition, but ultimately top honours went to Kerrin Cridland of Stanthorpe’s Dimondvale B & B Cottages. Consisting of $1200 in Southern Queensland Country Tourism sponsorship, the prize was awarded to Cridland from a pool of eight peer-nominated finalists at the annual Southern Queensland Tourism Industry Conference.
Other winners of the day included runners up Bev Ruskey of Spring Creek Mountain Café & Cottages and Bestbrook Mountain Resort, while Marion Carrick of Alure Stanthorpe and Felton Food Festival received Highly Commended accolades. Furthermore, Toowomba Carnival of Flowers, R on the Downs at Yangan and Sue Unwin of Bunya Mountains Accomodation Centre were among the remaining finalists.
Praising Cridland’s achievement, Chairman Dr Jane Summers described the recipient as a “role model for other operators”, who “provides a brilliant experience for her guests”. Additionally, she applauded the efforts of the remaining finalists in enhancing regional tourism, citing their “unreserved commitment and willingness to go the extra mile”.
Cridland herself, who attended the awards with her husband Tony, was overwhelmed by the experience, stating, “I am extremely humbled to have been nominated by my peers and recognised for my contribution to tourism”. Upon expressing gratitude towards fellow tourism operators and Southern Queensland Country Tourism, she credited the award to further motivating regional tourism, “not just at our door, but wherever I go”.
Words by Arabella Creagh