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    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Steve Irwin honoured with posthumous Queensland Greats Award

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Saturday, May 30, 2015

    Steve Irwin honoured with posthumous Queensland Greats Award

    Steve Irwin, popularly known as the Crocodile Hunter, has been awarded the first posthumous Queensland Greats Award for his lifetime achievement in wildlife conservation.

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said this year’s Queensland Greats Awards included the special posthumous category to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the awards program which honours extraordinary individuals and organisations who have made a significant contribution to Queensland.

    “I am honoured to announce conservationist and business entrepreneur Steve Irwin as the first posthumous Queensland Great,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “Steve was a highly respected television personality who also founded one of Queensland’s most iconic tourist destinations. It was a great loss to our state and country when Steve unexpectedly passed away in 2006, so it is only deserving Steve is recognised for his exceptional impact on Queensland.

    “Steve joins an incredible list honoured since the awards began, demonstrating exceptional talent across the state.

    “Our other acclaimed 2015 recipients are scientist Professor James Dale AO FTSE, philanthropist and entrepreneur Andrew Brice AM, artist and benefactor Robert MacPherson, equality advocate Pat Fennell, broadcasting pioneer John Gleeson AM KSG and military family supporter RSL (Queensland Branch).

    “I congratulate all the 2015 recipients on achieving this honour,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    Since 2001, 75 individuals, 10 institutions and 1 posthumous recipient have been honoured as Queensland Greats and have their names displayed on commemorative plaques at Brisbane’s Roma Street Parkland.

    The Queensland Greats Awards are held as part of Queensland Week celebrations, 30 May – 7 June 2015.

    Visit for more information on the Queensland Greats and other Queensland Week events held across the state.

    Media contact: Premier’s office (07) 3719 7000 or 0428 098 437

    2015 Queensland Great biographies

    Distinguished Professor James Dale AO FTSE is an entrepreneur, humanitarian and scientist who specialises in plant and medical biotechnology research. James’ work on genetic modification for disease resistance and biofortification helps protect Queensland’s crops, as well as benefiting people in developing countries. His genetically modified super banana has the potential to reduce infant mortality and blindness in children across Africa, while his research attracts world-class scientists and international funding to Queensland.


    Andrew Brice AM is co-founder and non-executive director of online tourism company, which has provided hundreds of jobs and helped build the Queensland tourism industry. Andrew is considered one of Queensland’s most generous philanthropists and is passionate about providing opportunities to disadvantaged young people. He has donated more than 10 per cent of his net wealth, funding the University of Queensland (UQ) Endowment and UQ’s Young Achievers Program to invest in young people who, without support, would struggle to attend university.

    Robert MacPherson is a critically acclaimed artist of international repute, having collections across all state galleries, the National Gallery and many regional and private collections. Robert has had a pervasive influence on successive generations of Australian artists and has celebrated his career over the last four decades in Queensland. As a highly regarded artist, Robert has been a generous benefactor to art museums through his own key works, the works of his artist peers and through his correspondence with other artists.


    Pat Fennell is a staunch advocate for rural Queensland and a pioneering bush woman. Raised in Charleville, Pat became involved in countless community organisations and committees including the Cattle Council of Australia and the Women’s Council for Rural and Regional Communities. Pat is also an integral advocate for education in rural areas of Queensland, educating her own four children and the Aboriginal children of her station workers. Pat has lobbied to have Aboriginal officers appointed to the local hospital in Mount Isa and campaigned for Rural Women’s GP Health Clinics to create sustainability in the remote health system.


    John (Jack) Gleeson AM KSG is considered a pioneer in the broadcasting industry. He was responsible for bringing commercial television to Townsville and, in the 1980s, launched satellite television across 18 major towns and many smaller populated areas across North Queensland. Jack received an Order of Australia in 1985 for his extraordinary service to the radio and television broadcasting industry and, in 2006, was appointed a Papal Knight in the Order of Pope St Gregory the Great. Jack has also made notable contributions across other community sectors including fundraising for aged care facilities and the development of tertiary scholarship programs to assist rural and regional students across Queensland.


    RSL (Queensland Branch) was established in 1916 to support current and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force and their families. RSL’s services include free compensation advice for those who have suffered illness or injury; low cost and emergency housing; home and hospital visits to the ill and infirm; and assistance to those suffering financial hardship. RSL also supports significant initiatives for the Australian Defence Force and broader community including physical and psychological rehabilitation through Mates4Mates, medical research and community sponsorships.


    The late Steve Irwin, popularly known as the Crocodile Hunter, was a highly respected conservationist and world-renowned television personality who founded one of Queensland’s most iconic tourist destinations. Steve fostered his passion for wildlife conservation growing up at his parents’ Beerwah Reptile and Fauna Park. Steve took over the park with wife Terri in 1992 and rebranded it Australia Zoo, with a commitment to becoming the best conservation facility in the world. His popular wildlife documentary series, The Crocodile Hunter, allowed Steve to spread his conservation message to audiences around the world.