COMMUNITY ICON: Alison Coleman, who has worked with the council since the 1980s, has retired after 30 years.
COMMUNITY ICON: Alison Coleman, who has worked with the council since the 1980s, has retired after 30 years. Contributed

Farewell to a community icon as loved council worker retires

FOR 30 years Alison Coleman has kept the Heritage City's street clean while drawing interest with her iconic feather-adorned mesh hat.

Now the long-time Fraser Coast council worker will hang up her unique hat.

The 70-year-old council employee, marathon runner and community icon has retired this week, following her birthday earlier this month.

Ms Coleman started work with the former Maryborough City Council in April 1988.

Already well-known for her sporting prowess, she was appointed as a street cleaner with the words "turn up on Monday in your shorts, t-shirt and running shoes, and bring your lunch, and I'll sign you up then.”

"To know I had a permanent, secure job was wonderful,” Ms Coleman said.

But Maryborough residents shouldn't expect Ms Coleman to have a quiet retirement.

"I've been able to pay off my mortgage and I've recently bought my reward, my beautiful black mustang.

"I wanted a special car to retire with so when I saw a black mustang for sale I had to have it.”

As she hangs her iconic hat up, she reveals the story of how it all started.

"I'd not long got the mesh hat when some people at the Maryborough markets gave me a red-tail black cockatoo feather,” she said.

"I put it in my hat and then started adding more including pheasant, parrot, emu and guinea fowl feathers.

"People said they liked my hat and took photos, so over the years it gained a life of its own.”

Outside of her work with the council, Ms Coleman has become well-known for running in dozens of national and state marathons over the years.

In March, she was selected as a baton-bearer in the Queen's Baton Relay ahead of Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Not only has Ms Coleman kept the Heritage City spotless, she has also acted as a city ambassador helping residents and visitors with directions and information.