POWER 30: Sneak peek at Gympie region's most influential #28
THIS is a sneak peek into the Gympie region's most influential people of 2019 - the men and women who make the list of movers and shakers, decision makers and shot callers.
Over the next week, The Gympie Times will count down the 30 most powerful people - online and in print. The lists will also look at our Famous Faces, our Young Guns, and our powerful Families.
POWER 30 2019: Sneak peek at Gympie region's most influential #30
POWER 30 2019: Sneak peek at Gympie region's most influential #29
The full list of The Gympie Region's Most Influential People of 2019 will be revealed in a special publication inside The Gympie Times this Saturday.
Here we introduce someone who's strong drive to keep Gympie culture alive has brought them to Number 28 on the Power 30 list.
# 28 THELMA REISENLEITER
PASSION to volunteer at an event that her children were competing in soon turned into a life-long commitment for Gympie and District Eisteddfod president Thelma Reisenleiter, who has come in as the 28th most influential person in the Gympie region for 2019.
Mrs Reisenleiter has been at the helm of the Gympie eisteddfod for decades, chairing the organisation for 21 years and steering the direction of the annual week-long event that showcases hundreds of young performers.
She oversees a team of volunteers who are responsible for staging hundreds of performers in piano, instrumental, speech and drama, vocal/choral and dance at the city's Civic Centre. This year people from as far as Mackay, Brisbane, Hervey Bay and Maryborough travelled to compete.
Mrs Reisenleiter, who ran a catering business for 35 years, leads the committee through numerous decisions including adjudication selection, programing, entry co-ordination and scheduling. Her tenacity has ensured the platform has moved with the times, drawing large crowds year after year, while keeping to the tradition and quality the region's eisteddfod, the first ever in Queensland, is known for.
Despite her strong influence and direction over the past decades and major sway in one of Gympie's most significant cultural events, the eisteddfod president insists it's the volunteers who bring the event to life.
"The eisteddfod family is a large family, but the committee is small. It's like a business. I've been very fortunate to be surrounded by such wonderful people who are dedicated to the youth of the community,” she said.
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"Being a volunteer is giving back. I think you just have to have a love of helping children to showcase their particular interests in their particular art form. There's no diploma to be a volunteer - just select an area you can be part of in the community. It takes time.
This list is a subjective talking point, not a scientific guide. We welcome feedback from the public. It is about the 30 most powerful and /or influential men, women and children living in the Gympie region. How strong and broad is their influence? A special committee of four community leaders from various walks of life have voted on who should be on this 2019 list and where they rank.
Is there somebody you think should be on the list? Email your contenders to editor@gympietimes or comment below and tell us why.