2011 Winners

The Queensland Father of the Year for 2011 is:

DARREN LEWIS

The founder of ‘Fathering Adventures’ in Townsville, Mr Darren Lewis, was today named Queensland Father of the Year.

The Townsville resident and father of four boys aged between 17 and eight has helped hundred of fathers across the state with his widely recognised fatherhood program since 2008, as well as being a regular speaker at community groups, conferences and on the radio.

‘Fathering Adventures’ is an adventure-based social enterprise designed to reconnect and strengthen the bond between fathers and children.

Mr Lewis was surprised and thrilled to receive the award.

It’s surreal – I honestly didn’t expect to win with so many worthy dads here today,” he said.

Just being nominated for this meant the world to me, and I still can’t really believe this has happened.

Five other fathers were in the running for the award, including a long-serving paramedic and a former UN Peacekeeper.

Mr Clive Bird was among six others who nominated Mr Lewis for the award.

He is a wonderful father to his boys and a great leader and inspiration to fathers generally. I believe that I am a better father because of the influence of this man,” Mr Bird said.

Mr Lewis’s four sons Brandon, 17, Isaac, 14, Joseph, 11, and Theo, eight, all play a role in running the organisation.

Nominations for the Queensland Father of the Year Award were received across six different regions around the state.

The award recognises fathers who have made an outstanding contribution to their family and community.

The overall Queensland Father of the Year winner was announced at a special presentation luncheon in Brisbane this afternoon.

Darren and his family have won a five night holiday package with Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove.

The Queensland Father of the Year Award has been hosted by Scripture Union Queensland for the last three years, and was this year sponsored by Smith & Sons.

Tim Mander, CEO of SU Qld, said “The role of fathers in today’s society is often undervalued. SU Qld is thrilled to be able to help recognise such a great father, a man who has made a real difference in his family and his community.

Regional Winners

Brisbane Father of the Year

Steven Richardson is the 2011 Brisbane Father of the Year.

Long-serving paramedic with the Queensland Ambulance Service, Steven Richardson, was awarded ‘Brisbane Father of the Year’ at the Northgate Ambulance Station yesterday.

The Banyo resident and father of six children aged between 26 and two years old is a regular speaker at the local kindergarten and primary school.

During the January floods he left his family for days at a time to assist the struggling community of Condamine.

Mr Richardson was nominated for the award by his wife Caroline and daughter Faith (10) who believe they are the most fortunate family in Brisbane.

Central Queensland Father of the Year

Cheyenne Edwards is the 2011 Central Queensland Father of the Year.

Cheyenne Edwards, who lost everything during the January floods, was today awarded ‘Central Queensland Father of the Year’ at Theodore State School.

The Theodore resident and father of four children aged between 23 and nine has faced a series of family health issues and was one of the last to leave Theodore after the town was inundated, staying behind to help others save their homes even after his was lost.

Since then, Mr Edwards has been working several jobs to rebuild his home as well as caring for his mother whilst his father is dealing with cancer.

He was nominated for the award by his daughter Ilish.

North-West Queensland Father of the Year

The 2011 North-West Queensland Father of the Year is Darren Lewis

The founder of ‘Fathering Adventures’ in Townsville, Mr Darren Lewis, was last week named North-West Queensland Father of the Year.

The Townsville resident and father of four boys aged between 17 and eight has been helping fathers across the state with his widely recognised fatherhood program since 2008, as well as being a regular speaker at community groups, conferences and on the radio.

‘Fathering Adventures’ is an adventure-based social enterprise designed to reconnect and strengthen the bond between fathers and children.

Mr Lewis was surprised and very pleased to receive the award.

Although I’ve never been one to seek after rewards or awards, to receive acknowledgement and recognition for a role that I believe in more than any other has been such a thrill,” he said.

Mr Clive Bird was among six others who nominated Mr Lewis for the award.

Gold Coast & Logan Father of the Year

The Gold Coast & Logan Father of the Year is Stephen Pasfield.

Father of six children and two step-children and former Navy Communications Technician, Stephen Pasfield, was awarded Gold Coast & Logan Father of the Year at Alexander Clark Park in Logan yesterday.

The Logan resident served in the Navy on the HMAS Duchess for seven years, and twice escorted HMAS Sydney in and out of Vietnam.

During the time of Cyclone Tracey, he was stationed in Darwin.

Mr Pasfield was nominated by his daughter Stephanie, 17, who feels blessed to have such an amazing dad.

South West Queensland Father of the Year

The 2011 South West Queensland Father of the Year is Adam Kitching

Father of three girls and former UN Peacekeeper and army medic, Adam Kitching, was yesterday named the South-West Queensland Father of the Year.

The Esk resident served in the army for 23 years and was deployed in Malaysia, Rwanda, Bouganville and East Timor.

He witnessed the horrors of the Rwandan Genocide as a medic, treating the sick, wounded and tortured victims of the war, but also had the joy of helping deliver over a dozen babies in field hospitals.

He has three daughters, Susara (19), Tia (15) and Avalon (13) and it was Susara who nominated him for the award.

Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Father of the Year

The 2011 Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Father of the Year is Roger Lehmann.

Co-founder of the Lomani Au Children’s Home in Fiji, Roger Lehmann, was yesterday named Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Father of the Year.

Mr Lehmann and his wife Fiona started work on the Lomani Au Children’s Home after a visit to Fiji in 2004, and expect to begin accepting children from Social Welfare in September this year.

As well as his international work, Mr Lehmann’s company, Gainspare Developments, has sent more than 60 local young people on life-changing trips to serve other communities since 2007 through a local sponsorship program.

The Bargara resident is the father of four children aged between 17 and three, two of them adopted from the Philippines.

He and his wife are the Bundaberg Area Contacts for Inter-Country Adoption, and he believes every child deserves a loving family.