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Hard-working Ilona takes home award

TOP SENIOR: Twin Towns U3A president Frances Garland with the group's Senior of the Year 2017, Ilona Tanner.
TOP SENIOR: Twin Towns U3A president Frances Garland with the group's Senior of the Year 2017, Ilona Tanner. Ruth Voss

THE dynamic Ilona Tanner is this year's U3A Twin Towns recipient of the Senior of the Year award.

While Ilona said she was surprised by the accolade, a look at the list of her contributions to U3A during her 10 years as a member makes it clear, this is a well-deserved award.

"When the award was announced I was compering the (annual) concert," Ilona said.

Among her list of other valuable skills are leadership with her holding the role of vice president of the local group, convenor and instructor of the laughter yoga group, photographer, caterer and co-convenor of the 2017 Network Queensland State Conference.

Ilona is a member of the all-important grant writing team, which she excitedly advised they had just found out the group will receive a Gambling Community Benefit Fund grant for $10,000 for new air-conditioners.

She also holds the title of expert user of technology.

"Ilona has coached individual members in the use of their electronic equipment, sourced and organised computer tutors and ensured that the office equipment was functional," promotions officer Ruth Voss said.

"I have learnt over the years a lot from my students; they come up with the questions and I come up with the answers," Ilona, 68, said.

"I decided to get into it (computers) in early 2000 because of my grandchildren.

"We have a long distance relationship so this was a good way of doing it.

"Turns out, I was in front of them, which makes a real change, but not for very long."

Ilona is passionate about U3A and what it does for her and others.

The friendship and camaraderie, the personal growth and knowledge development, drive Ilona to keep contributing.

"I have a sign on my head that says, ask Ilona," she jokes.

"If you were to see the expressions on the faces of the people when they do things, or learn new things, that is reward enough.

"When they say, I can't do it, I say, yes you can."

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