Sunshine Coast residents recognised in Australia Day Honours awards
  • Wednesday 26 January 2022

Nine Sunshine Coast residents have been recognised in the Australia Day 2022 Honours list for their contributions to education, medicine, sport, media, community and international criminal investigations.

Mayor Mark Jamieson congratulated the recipients, saying their awards, announced by the Governor General, reflected outstanding service.

“Each of these Australia Day Award recipients has worked extremely hard in their respective professions to make a positive impact on our community and our Nation,” Mayor Jamieson said. 

“The wide array of fields in which our Sunshine Coast award recipients have been recognised also highlights the diversity of excellence that exists within our region, from education and performing arts, to forensic pathology, international criminal investigations with the United Nations, to winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and broadcast media and charity work.”  

Mr Robert Reid AM of Pelican Waters has been recognised for significant service to international criminal investigations.

“Mr Reid performed a number of high level roles with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia from the mid-1990s through to 2016 and more recently was the Chief of Operations for the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals,” Mayor Jamieson said.

He was also a Serving Member with NSW Police and the National Crime Authority during the mid-1980s.

Dr Peter Ellis OAM is recognised for service to medicine as a forensic pathologist in numerous capacities, including Queensland Health and the Queensland Medical Laboratory, and was Director, Forensic Medicine at the Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, Westmead Hospital.

Dr Ellis was a member of the Human Rights Abuse Investigations International Forensic Team with the United Nations in Kosovo and East Timor. He received Australia Day Achievement Awards in 2010 and 2012.

He has been a member of many disaster victim identification teams following the Thailand Tsunami, Bali bombing, aircraft crashes in Nepal and Papua New Guinea and the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Mrs Caroline Hutchinson OAM of Alexandra Headland is recognised for service to radio broadcast media.

“Caroline is the well-recognised voice at 92.7 Mix FM having hosted the breakfast program since 1998,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Caroline was recognised in 2010 as Best Talk Presenter at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards.

“Caroline’s wonderful service to our region has also included charity work as a board member of Wishlist for more than a decade and, together with her 92.7 Mix FM teams, has helped raise millions of dollars for Give Me Five For Kids which supports children’s health services.

"She is also Chair of the Sundale Community Foundation, a Patron of the Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge and Integrated Family and Youth Services.”

Ms Margaret Thorsborne OAM of Buderim is recognised for service to education. She is the Founding Director and current Chair for Restorative Practice International and current Managing Director of Transformative Justice Australia (Queensland). 

Ms Thorborne has also co-authored three restorative practice publications.

Mr Benjamin Hance OAM of Mountain Creek is recognised for service to sport as a gold medallist at the Tokyo Paralympic Games 2021.

“Benjamin achieved incredible success in Tokyo, winning gold in the men’s 100m backstroke S14. He was a silver medallist in the mixed 4x100m freestyle S14 relay and took home bronze in the 100m butterfly S14,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Benjamin is also a current member of the Spartans Swim Club at the University of the Sunshine Coast.”

Fellow swimming club member, Ms Kaylee McKeown OAM is also recognised for service to sport as a gold medallist at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2021.

Kaylee won gold medals in the 4x100m medley relay, the 100m backstroke and the 200m freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics. She also took a bronze medal in the mixed 4x100m medley relay. 

Dr Susan Elizabeth Davis OAM of Eumundi is recognised for service to education and to the performing and regional arts.

Dr Davis is a Founding Member and Life Member of the Sunshine Coast Creative Alliance and served as President from 2007-2019 and Secretary from 2009-2011. She is also a Life Member of Drama Queensland and is the current Director of Publications at Drama Australia

“A warm and generous member of our community, this recognition is very much deserved and acknowledges the difference she has made to our region in the areas of education and the arts,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Dr Davis provided detailed research and sector engagement advice as a consultant for the development of Council’s 20-year Arts Plan.

“Later, in her role as Chair of the Sunshine Coast Creative Alliance, Dr Davis was a member of the Sunshine Coast Art Advisory Board, its members providing strategic advice to council as it relates to delivering the arts plan.

“The region also knows Dr Davis as a talented artist with a strong interest in performance and audience engagement, as a mentor and supporter of emerging local artists, and as an author of a number of publications on drama and education.

“Dr Davis is now focussing on her ongoing project called Wild Flower Women – which has involved curation of six exhibitions which have explored the lives, work and living legacy of women who changed the world through art.”

Mrs Debra Knight OAM from Caloundra West has been recognised for service to community through charitable organisations.

The Gateway Care Managing Director was previously recognised as Citizen of the Year in the 2019 Sunshine Coast Council Australia Day Awards.

“Debra’s unwavering and selfless support for community members in need makes her a very worthy recipient,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Debra has grown the Gateway Care program and established a group of volunteers, making Gateway Care a safe-haven for individuals to come to share their story and receive comfort and encouragement.

James McClelland OAM of Ithaca Caloundra City Royal Life Saving Club is recognised for services to surf lifesaving.

Mr McClelland, a member of the Ithaca Caloundra City Royal Life Saving Club, has patrolled for 50 years. He has performed numerous rescues and received a Queensland Bravery Medal in 1974 for rescuing two girls off the Caloundra Bar.

Mr McClelland mentors and trains new members and serves on the committees of Royal Life Saving Australia and Royal Life Saving Queensland. 

“Each and every one of the Sunshine Coast Australia Day Award recipients has made a difference to our residents, our young people and visitors to our region through their skill, dedication and passion in their respective professions," Mayor Jamieson said.

“Our country is in a better place thanks to their contributions, as well as those of their fellow Australia Day Award recipients across the nation.

“As a strong community, we’ve faced up to the many and varied challenges presented by the global pandemic and I’m humbled by and grateful for the efforts of our high achievers who continue to deliver outstanding contributions to our community in the face of enormous challenges.  

“On behalf the Sunshine Coast,, I offer congratulations  and thanks to all Australia Day Honours award recipients."