North Queensland Toyota Cowboys retiring co-captain Johnathan Thurston arrived in Townsville for his first season in Cowboys colours in 2005 and 14 years later has been awarded for his positive contribution to the local tourism industry.
JT received the Richard Power Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual at the 2018 Townsville North Queensland Tourism and Events Awards, hosted by Townsville Enterprise last Friday evening,
The Richard Power Award is an honour that recognises extraordinary personal and professional achievements and long-term contributions to local tourism and events.
JT was unable to attend the event but conveyed his gratitude via a video which was aired on the night.
"I'd like to acknowledge Townsville Enterprise, fellow award recipients and those working hard to make a difference for our local tourism industry," JT said.
"I feel privileged to have been involved in projects to attract support for our region and I'm really looking forward to future opportunities for our great city."
Recently retired from playing with the Cowboys, JT will stay in Townsville with his wife Sam and their daughters Frankie, Charlie and Lillie.
"I'm proud to call Townsville home – throughout my professional career, I've travelled enough to know that our tourism offering and lifestyle is something to be celebrated."
The 2018 Townsville North Queensland Tourism and Events Awards was attended by over 120 local tourism industry, business and political representatives, with industry leaders receiving awards.
Townsville Enterprise CEO Patricia O'Callaghan described JT's contribution to the local tourism industry as 'instrumental'.
"At every opportunity Johnathan positively promotes our destination as an ideal place to visit, live and work, which is an incredibly valuable asset to our region and generating visitation," Ms O'Callaghan said.
"The national and international attention Johnathan has brought to our region over his 14 years in Townsville cannot go unnoticed.
"His advocacy for the new North Queensland Stadium and his family's role as ambassadors for the #morethanastadium campaign, lobbying to secure government funding towards a new stadium, was instrumental."