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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Outstanding Queenslander named Australian of the Year

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Wednesday, January 25, 2017

    Outstanding Queenslander named Australian of the Year

    Queensland Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim’s award as 2017 Australian of the Year would provide a national focus on the role of science to change, improve and save lives, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

    “On behalf of Queenslanders, I congratulate Professor Alan Mackay-Sim on this personal accolade. It is an important acknowledgement of the world first work he is leading,” the Premier said.

    “This is an outstanding honour for an outstanding Queenslander. It will again highlight importance of science in our everyday lives.”

    Professor Mackay-Sim is director of National Centre for Adult Stem Cell Research at Griffith University.

    Professor Alan Mackay-Sim is an international leader on the human sense of smell and the biology of nasal cells. He led the world’s first clinical trial using these cells in spinal cord injury. In 2014, Professor Mackay-Sim’s research helped play a central role in the world’s first successful restoration of mobility in a quadriplegic man.

    “Alan has laid the foundation for the next generation of researchers and demonstrated the value of inquiry, persistence and empathy,” she said.

    The Premier said the recognition for Professor Mackay-Sim, who was the 2003 Queenslander of the Year, would highlight the work Australian scientists are doing on a range of breakthroughs and provide encouragement for young Australians to study science.

    “It’s important will encourage students into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in our schools and support our researchers and entrepreneurs. That is why my Government has been committed to delivering our $405 million Advanced Queensland programs,” she said.

    Other Queensland representatives at the Australian of the Year awards were Queensland Senior Australian of the Year Professor Perry F Bartlett FAA, Queensland Young Australian of the Year Mr Taj Pabari and Queensland's Local Hero Ms Yasmin Khan.

    For more information about the awards visit

    Media contact: Kirby Anderson (Premier’s office) 0417 263 791