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Published June 14th 2020
Who has had a significant impact on Queensland
Queensland has been proud to produce some of Australia's and the world's greatest achievers who have left a major mark on the lifestyle and history of the Sunshine State. So we should celebrate their achievements every day, right? But how?
Each year, Queensland Greats Awards are presented by the Queensland Government to recognise the efforts and achievements of remarkable individuals and institutions for their invaluable contribution to the history and development of the state.
Since the introduction of the awards in 2001, 102 individuals, 16 institutions, 6 posthumous and 1 honorary recipient have now been honoured as Queensland Greats.
Recipients are announced on 6 June each year to coincide with the celebration of Queensland Day.
I decided to find out more about those people and organisations who have helped to form the fabric of our state, and take a visit to the Queensland Greats section of Brisbane's Roma Street Parklands. The parklands include a series of commemorative plaques (near the Celebration Stage) which bear the names of each recipient. The plaques are set against a maroon painted wall, of course!
Who are our Queensland Greats?
And it is certainly an impressive and worthy list of recipients. In 2001, the inaugural year, actor Diane Cilento (who was once married to Sean Connery, the original and debonaire James Bond 007) was one of the first recipients and led the way for those who followed including:
Rugby League legend, Wally Lewis (known as the King and the Emperor of Lang Park) who represented Queensland in thirty-one State of Origin games from 1980 to 1991, and was captain for thirty of them. He also represented Australia in thirty-three international matches from 1981 to 1991 and was national team captain from 1984 to 1989.
• Born in Mount Isa in Queensland, Deborah Mailman an indigenous Australian television and film actress, and singer who has starred in shows such as Offspring and The Secret Life of Us and won numerous industry awards for her work.
the longest serving Lord Mayor of Brisbane Clem Jones, who served from 1961 to 1975 and considered the father of modern Brisbane is featured on the wall. Through the 1960s, Jones successfully led the council to develop a town plan, seal roads, improve drainage and connect sewers to most of the city.
Tennis player Rod Laver, who won 200 singles titles and was the No. 1 ranked professional from 1964 to 1970, is another recipient. Winning a string of Grand Slam titles, Laver is widely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players in the history of the sport.
Child Safety advocates Denise and Bruce Morecombe, who established the Daniel Morecombe Foundation to educate children about personal safety and to raising awareness throughout Australia of the dangers of predatory criminals are the latest recipients in 2020.
The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin , a major contributor to the field of wildlife education and conservation, including running an organization to rescue and protect crocodiles and supporting numerous other animal charities. November 15 has been designated Steve Irwin Day, an international tribute held annually in recognition of his life and work and more.
Organisations which have provided significant work for the community, such as Meals on Wheels are also recognised.
Where is the Qld Greats Wall?
To explore the Qld Greats Wall for yourself, make your way to the magnificent Roma Street Parklands in the centre of the Brisbane CBD. The grassy and plant-filled parklands are set over 16 hectares in the centre of Brisbane and are situated in the heart of the city centre at 1 Parkland Boulevard, Brisbane.
Each plaque is circular and a simple design - with the name of the recipient, the year of the award and the Queensland Government logo on a sun backdrop,
So, get to know a little more about Queensland and its great leaders while also exploring the lush Roma Street Parkland this weekend. Entry to the parklands and viewing of the wall is free. Find out who are the people who have helped to make Queensland great.