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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 675

Mr EVANS (Brisbane) (10:59): The Order of Australia awards: let us pause for a moment to reflect on some of the people who make our country so great. No doubt most of the 30,000 people who have received the awards since 1975 would have performed their community endeavours without seeking this recognition or any celebration of their efforts. But when the times seem so focused on the challenges and the many issues that confront us around the world, it is important that the rest of Australia know of their extraordinary work. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some examples, some of the recipients who live and work in Brisbane.

Queensland University of Technology Professor Raymond Leslie Frost was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to science and higher education, particularly in the field of vibrational spectroscopy. Professor Frost has also been recognised for mentoring young scientists in the field. For those like me who had no clue what vibrational spectroscopy is, I looked it up: it describes some techniques for analysing molecular composition. As best as I can understand it, Professor Frost shoots strong lasers at things and by measuring the results, he derives clues as to the compounds and the molecules contained in those things—which actually is an incredibly promising field of research when you start reading about it—and Professor Frost's contribution to this important field is very significant.

Another to be awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia was Professor Peter Gray. Professor Gray was recognised for his distinguished service to science in the field of bioengineering and nanotechnology. Professor Peter Gray is an Australian pioneer of biotechnology research and development. In 2003, he became the director of the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, and has since overseen the institute going from strength to strength. Professor Gray has been a leading figure in the development of antibodies. He has helped to manufacture an antibody, for instance, against Hendra virus—which I am sorry to say is, unfortunately, named after an otherwise beautiful suburb in Brisbane.

Associate Professor William Brett Emmerson was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his significant service to medicine, particularly to psychiatry, medical administration and through his contribution to mental health groups. Associate Professor Emmerson is a psychiatrist and executive director of Metro North Mental Health in Brisbane, one of the largest mental health services in Queensland. He has been managing mental health services now for over 30 years for our community.

Dr John Michael Quinn was also made a Member of the Order of Australia for his significant service to medicine in the fields of general and vascular surgery and for his contributions to his professional organisations. Dr Quinn is currently a director of vascular surgery at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. He has also been heavily involved in the training of vascular surgeons through RACS, where he has been chairman of the training board in vascular surgery and, of course, an examiner.

Mr Alan Pidgeon, someone I have known for very many years, has been made a Member of the Order of Australia for his significant service to the community. Amongst many other community organisations and contributions, Mr Pidgeon chairs the Australian Flag Association, which is a voluntary community organisation formed to increase appreciation of the history and the significance of a chief national symbol, the Australian flag. Good on you, Pidg.

Mr Kristian Wale received a Medal for the Order of Australia for his service to youth and the community. Mr Wale is the founder and chief executive officer of Arethusa College, which provides specialist assistance education and vocational courses for disengaged youth, including agricultural and technical training. I have been there to celebrate one of their graduations and they do remarkable and commendable work.

For her service to child safety awareness programs, Kay McGrath has also received a Medal of the Order of Australia. Kay McGrath has been working in the area of child protection for more than four decades, championing for protections in times when the discussion of child abuse and sexual assault was largely taboo.

Bronte Campbell, whom I have previously mentioned in this chamber, also received a Medal of the Order of Australia for her outstanding contribution to swimming and sport, including, of course, her recent Olympic gold. Also in the Australian Olympic spirit, John Ferguson received a Medal of the Order of Australia for his significant contribution to the sport of sailing in our local community. He originally competed in the 1968 Mexico City Games.

And last but not least, Kevin Yearbury, who I have also met around the Brisbane electorate, has received the Australian Public Service Medal for his many years of distinguished service to public life and administration in Queensland. If you ever attend an event in a Queensland stadium, you will appreciate his work. I wish to add my congratulations, and on behalf of the people of Brisbane, to these very, very worthy recipients and to all of the recipients of the Australia Day Honours List.