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29 January, 2021

You bloomin' beauty

“G’day from Oz” was the cheerful message conveyed via social and main stream media to the rest of the world in October 2020.

By Peter McCullagh

The simple message of support and hope to the world came from Innisfail local identity Fred James.

This simple but highly successful message of joy was recognised at this week’s Cassowary Coast Regional Council’s Australia Day Awards. Fred’s Farm was shared the honours as the Joint-Winner of Cassowary Coast Community Event for 2020.

Fred planted over 45,000 sunflowers along with a message of hope and support for the world. Social media received millions of hits, shares and likes as photos and posts were shared.

The Cairns Local News story (October 16, 2020) was read throughout the world and also caught the eye of interstate media requesting contact details for Fred.

Fred was in attendance at the Innisfail Shire Hall for Australia Day celebrations.

 “A very rewarding, but very humbling experience being nominated to receive an Australian Day Award.

“My award was for “Community Event Of The Year” which related to my sunflower message that went viral all over the world, receiving literally millions of “HITS.” The message written in 45000 sunflower plants read out “G’DAY WORLD, FROM OZ”.

Fred was amazed at the amount of international support his message received.

“I received messages from all over the globe wishing Innisfail and the Cassowary Coast all the best, and thanking our community for a very cheerful and joyful message in these very stressful and dark times, experienced by all Nations.”

One message of thanks stood out amongst the thousands. A message from Lebanon dropped into his inbox.

“One particular message I received from overseas regarding our sunflower greetings remains with me to this day. It was sent from Lebanon.

“The simple, but touching message said “Thank you, people from Innisfail and the Cassowary Coast. In our Lebanon’s year of turmoil and the disastrous explosion.

“Your beautiful sunflower message made us feel that people were still thinking of us, and lifted the feeling of abandonment of our country from our hearts. Your sunflower greetings shone brightly in our hour of darkness, and gave us hope and a reason to smile.

“Thank you good people of Innisfail and the Cassowary Coast, and to all people in your happy and safe country.”


Cassowary Coast Australia Day Award Winners.

Award winners

Citizen of the Year - Truus Biddlecombe

Young citizen of the Year - Lori Edgerton

Lifetime Contribution Award - Alfred MacDonald

Lifetime Contribution Award - James Boyd

Lifetime Contribution Award - David Ryan

Lifetime Contribution Award - Connie Symons

Lifetime Contribution Award - John Beare

Lifetime Contribution Award - Leila Porter

Lifetime Contribution Award - Estelle Kopp

Lifetime Contribution Award - Noelene Byrne

Community Event of the Year - Sunflower G’day from Oz- Frederick James

Community Event of the Year - From War Horse to Plough Horse
(100th Anniversary of WW1 Settlement of El Arish) - El Arish Diggers
Museum Committee

Service to Sport Award - Michelle Lloyd

Young Sports Person Award - Michael Lindsay

Cultural Award - Marie Carman

Young Sustainable Environment Award - Tully State High School

Achievement Award – Melissa La Spina

Achievement Award – Sullivans Trail Volunteer Group

Excellence and Innovation Award - Shane Greenwood

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