Queanbeyan's triple treat for NAIDOC Awards

Queanbeyan Deadly Runners founder and trainer, Georgia Gleeson. Photo: Kim Pham.
Queanbeyan Deadly Runners founder and trainer, Georgia Gleeson. Photo: Kim Pham.

THREE Queanbeyan residents have been named winners in the National NAIDOC Awards.

Queanbeyan Deadly Runners founder and trainer Georgia Gleeson was named the ACT Person of the Year, Annette Christou received the Female Elder of the Year award and Brendan Oldfield was named the Sportsperson of the Year.

Miss Gleeson, 32, was nominated for same award in 2014 and said it was a "shock" to win it this year.

She was recognised for the work in the community encouraging others to get fit and healthy through her running group.

"To have three indigenous people from Queanbeyan win awards speaks volumes about where we're heading and the changes that are occurring and they're positive," she said.

"It's a really empowering thing as an indigenous person to have such positive recognition not just for myself but for my runners to be getting these awards.

"It's nice for people to notice the time and effort you put into something."

Of her runners, Miss Gleeson praised Mr Oldfield and Ms Christou for their dedication and commitment to the sport.

"Annette is dedicated to running and just a source of inspiration really," Miss Gleeson said.

"She was there at the start [of the Deadly Runners] learning to run five kilometres.

"Being 60-years-old, she's eliminating a lot of excuses people make for not doing anything."

Miss Gleeson was inspired to create the community group after her own positive experience with running.

She was chosen to be part of the Indigenous Marathon Project in 2013 - the squad learn how to run and train to complete a marathon.

She conquered the New York City Marathon, made the career change to become a personal trainer and the rest is history.

The accolade was the icing on the cake for Miss Gleeson who was able to accept the award at the NAIDOC Ball straight after competing in the Gold Coast Marathon.

She posted her personal best of 3 hours 26 minutes making her the fastest Indigenous Marathon Project female marathon finisher.

Later this month, she and four of her runners will be the first representatives from Queanbeyan to take part in the Deadly Fun Run Championships in Uluru.

It coincides with the 30 year anniversary of Uluru being handed back to the traditional owners."It's really significant for the traditional owners and for us," Miss Gleeson said.