Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Anti-corruption champion named among new Queensland Greats

Seven outstanding Queenslanders and the Rural Fire Service have been added to the list of Queensland Greats.

Now in its 23rd year, the Awards are the highlight of Queensland Day celebrations, marking the day in 1859 when Queensland separated from NSW.

The Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk praised this year’s recipients for their inspirational leadership and achievement and their contributions to making Queensland the great state that it is.

“These inspirational Queenslanders have each left their mark,” the Premier said.

“They join people like Bruce and Denise Morcombe, Steve Irwin and Professor Ian Frazer  as true Greats of our State.

“Some are names you know and some are not, but each one has made an outstanding contribution to our community.

“The other thing they have in common is that they will tell you how humbled they are to be considered for the award.

“I thank all our 2023 Queensland Greats and encourage people to think about those  individuals or organisations in their lives who deserve to be nominated for next year’s awards,” she said.

The 2023 Queensland Greats are:

  • First Nations musician and composer William Barton
  • Creator of Bluey Joe Brumm
  • Champion of anti-corruption and accountability Gerald (Tony) Fitzgerald AC KC (pictured with the Premier, above)
  • ‘The Pearl’ of rugby league Steve Renouf
  • Educator and refugee advocate Adele Rice AM
  • Queensland’s Rural Fire Service
  • Queensland Elder and early childhood pioneer Dr Honor Dell Cleary OAM (posthumous)
  • Stem cell research pioneer Alan Mackay-Sim AM (posthumous)

Recipient, Adele Rice AM said she was thrilled and honoured to be included in “the esteemed ranks of the Queensland Greats, recognised for making a meaningful contribution to Queensland”.

“Education has the power to make a real difference in people’s lives. People who are able to access education, develop social competency and maintain positive mental health live longer, get better jobs and are more able to contribute their gifts and talents to society,” said Ms Rice.

“Everything I’ve achieved, both professionally and personally, has been to strengthen social cohesion by removing barriers that prevent people from achieving their full potential.”

The Premier said Tony Fitzgerald AC KC had a legacy of fighting systemic corruption and abuse of power in Queensland throughout his distinguished legal and judicial career.

In the late 1980s, Tony chaired the Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities, widely known as the Fitzgerald Inquiry, which transformed Queensland’s policing and political landscape.

A significant number of prosecutions followed the inquiry and led to three government ministers and the Commissioner of Police being jailed, along with numerous other convictions.

This watershed report also led to the establishment of the Criminal Justice Commission, now known as the Crime and Corruption Commission, which continues the Inquiry’s work to this day, the Premier said today.

“Tony is known for his fierce independence and moral authority. His achievements are recognised in Queensland and elsewhere as evidence by him being awarded as a Companion of the Order of Australia. This accolade was awarded in recognition of his service to law and the people of Queensland.”

Including this year’s recipients, 120 individuals, 19 institutions and 10 posthumous recipients have been recognised as Queensland Greats since the program began in 2001.

They will be honoured with bronze plaques to be installed at Roma Street Parkland alongside the plaques of previous Queensland Greats.

The announcement of the 2023 Queensland Greats coincides with the opening of nominations for the 2024 Queensland Great Awards.

Nominations can be made at www.qld.gov.au/qldgreats until Friday 16 February 2024.

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