A teenage swimming sensation, an internationally recognised academic achiever and two selfless community volunteers were the deserving recipients of the inaugural Recognise Redlands awards at a special presentation this morning.

Initiated this year by State Member for Redlands Matt McEachan, the awards recognise Redlanders who are excelling in sports, academia or community service.

A $250 bursary will help seventeen year-old swimmer Lauren Folster attend the Global Games in Ecuador, South America and the Pacific School Games in Adelaide. Lauren holds the Australian champion title for both the 50m and 100m backstroke.

It will also assist 12 year-old Leah Lever attend a Lyric Theatre Opera Workshop and the Conservatorium of Music’s State Honours Program during the year.

The youngest registered volunteer entertainer at Queensland Health’s metro south region, Leah regularly sings and entertains aged care residents and dementia patients. The rising star also volunteers her time to sing at charitable events all around the Redlands.

Tireless community volunteer Rob Spencer was also recognised for his dedication to the community. Mr Spencer was the inaugural committee member of the local National Seniors Branch, which has grown to over 120 members in 10 years. He was also pivotal to the growth of STAR Community Transport to an organisation with 16 vehicles, 40 volunteer vehicles, a client base of 3000 and 60000 trips a year.

Fourth year law student Madeleine Harling has been recognised for her outstanding academic results at university. The high achiever was honoured with selection in the Golden Key Society, a worldwide organisation dedicated to recognising academic excellence. 

“I congratulate all four outstanding Redlanders for their achievements,” Mr McEachan said.

“I am proud to have such a high calibre of individuals of all ages in my electorate, and wish them all the best in their respective areas.”

The final round of Recognise Redlands for 2015 will close on 15 September.

Applications can be submitted via www.mattmceachan.com

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