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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Acting Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Jackie Trad

    Global child protector named Queensland’s 2019 Australian of the Year

    Acting Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Jackie Trad

    Friday, November 09, 2018

    Global child protector named Queensland’s 2019 Australian of the Year

    Detective Inspector Jon Rouse, who for the past 22 years has undertaken the heartbreaking but vital work of investigating crimes against children, has been named Queensland’s Australian of the Year.

    Acting Premier Jackie Trad tonight congratulated Detective Inspector Rouse on receiving the prestigious honour in recognition of his pioneering role in rescuing and protecting children in Australia and around the world by proactively targeting internet child sex offenders.

    “It is the hardest work imaginable, but without question the most important,” Mrs Trad said.

    “Jon established Australia’s first victim identification team, Task Force Argos, which has instigated multiple national and international investigations targeting child exploitation criminal networks.

    “His team of experts arrested 251 offenders on 2853 sex-offence charges in 14 months to March 2018, which highlights the profound importance and effectiveness of their investigative work.”

    The Acting Premier also congratulated leading agricultural biotechnology scientist, researcher and humanitarian, Distinguished Professor James Dale, on being named Queensland’s Senior Australian of the Year.

    The inaugural director of the Centre for Tropical Crops and Bio-commodities at QUT and founder of Australia’s first molecular farming company, Farmacule, has been leading ground-breaking research to improve the nutritional value and disease resistance of crops and develop edible, plant-based vaccines, benefitting millions of lives across the globe.

    “Within the next four years, the children of East Africa, highly prone to vitamin A deficiencies that cause blindness and death, will be eating locally grown, genetically modified bananas developed by Professor Dale and his team – a lifesaving advancement straight out of Queensland,” the Acting Premier said.

    Australia’s first fashion model with a disability to feature in a national television campaign, Angel Dixon, has been named Queensland’s Young Australian of the Year.

    An Advocacy Manager at Starting with Julius, Ms Dixon is a passionate activist, supporter and advocate for disability inclusion and human rights, as well as an inspirational public speaker, blogger, and the designer of a line of walking canes that will be marketed as a fashion accessory.

    “Angel is very much aware of the power of the media in forming perceptions and is using her public profile and experience in front of the camera to change attitudes towards disability,” Mrs Trad said.

    Australia’s Local Hero from Queensland is Elijah Buol, a former refugee from South Sudan who has completed a Masters in Law in Criminology and spends much of his time helping young and disadvantaged members of ethnic communities integrate successfully into Australia’s way of life.

    “As a father of four, as the Director of the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland, and as a motivational speaker and community champion, Elijah is inspiring our young people to find purpose, fulfil their potential and make a difference in their communities,” the Acting Premier said.

    “I commend these four outstanding Queenslanders on being named our Australians of the Year for 2019, and I wish them every success at the national awards in Canberra on Australia Day,” she said.

    The Australian of the Year Awards is a program of the National Australia Day Council, managed in Queensland by the Queensland Government.

    For more information on the Australian of the Year Awards, visit


    Media Contact:                Michelle Wellington 0437 323 834


    2019 Queensland Australian of the Year nominees

    Australian of the Year

    • Mrs Lorraine Hatton, Chair, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dedicated Memorial Queensland Incorporated (ATSIDMQI) (Paradise Point)
    • Detective Inspector Jon Rouse, Queensland Police Service (Brisbane) (recipient)
    • Mr Tony Sharp, Founder and Manager, Substation33 (Logan City)
    • Dr Harry Stalewski, Senior Visiting Paediatric Surgeon, Townsville Hospital (Townsville)

    Senior Australian of the Year

    • Aunty Lillian Burke (Gympie)
    • Distinguished Professor James Dale AO, QUT (Moggill) (recipient)
    • Professor John Grant-Thomson AM RFD, Consultant, BAC Technologies Pty Ltd (New Farm)
    • Mrs Sandra Richards (Townsville)

    Young Australian of the Year

    • Mrs Angel Dixon, Advocacy Manager, Starting With Julius (Gold Coast) (recipient)
    • Miss Kirsten Larsen, Queensland Regional Coordinator - Survivors Teaching Students, Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group (ANZGOG) (Brisbane)
    • Mr Chaz Prezident, Founder, Pty Ltd (Gold Coast)
    • Ms Mikhara Ramsing, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mikhara Ramsing (Brisbane)

    Local Hero

    • Mrs Joan Beacroft, Justice Coordinator, Wujal Wujal Justice Group Indigenous Corporation (Cook Shire)
    • Mr Elijah Buol, Advanced Practitioner, Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT) (Regents Park) (recipient)
    • Mrs Elisabeth Ewen, Education Interpreter for the Deaf, Education Queensland (Brisbane)
    • Mrs Barbara Kienast, Senior Project Manager, Clinical Network Services (Samford)

    Detective Inspector Jon Rouse

    Detective Inspector and children’s champion

    Detective Inspector Rouse has 34 years’ service with Queensland Police. In 1996 Jon commenced investigating crimes against children and in 2001 commenced at Task Force Argos where he implemented Australia’s first operation proactively targeting internet child sex offenders. Jon gained national support for the development of the ANVIL project (Australian National Victim Image Library) to assist police officers to identify the child victims depicted in images seized from sex offenders. Jon has dedicated significant time to global awareness, delivering training and presentations on online child exploitation investigations to law enforcement officers across Australian and internationally. Currently Sub Group Chair of the INTERPOL Covert Internet Investigators Group and a Director with The Society for the Policing of Cyberspace (POLCYB), Jon is recipient of four Commissioners Certificates for operational leadership, two Excellence awards for Child Protection Prevention, the Queensland Police Medal, the National Service Medal, the Exemplary Conduct medal, the National Police Medal and in May 2018 the ‘Champion for Children Award’ in New York from the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.


    Distinguished Professor James Dale AO


    Scientist, researcher and humanitarian Professor James Dale has led significant research programs in agricultural biotechnology. He was the inaugural Director of the Centre for Tropical Crops and Bio-commodities (CTCB) at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and founded Australia’s first molecular farming company, Farmacule Bioindustries. His ground-breaking work includes seeking a solution to Vitamin A deficiency, which leads to death of an estimated 670,000 children in developing countries, and blindness in another 400,000. James led a project to genetically modify bananas – the staple diet in many poor countries – to boost their pro-vitamin A levels. The release of these lifesaving bananas is planned for East Africa in four years. James also placed disease-resistant genes into local Cavendish bananas, to protect them from a virus and fungi that destroy crops and cause significant economic damage in Queensland. He has also led developments including medical technology that enables rapid testing for genetic diseases, and molecular farming technology that aims to produce edible, plant-based vaccines.


    Angel Dixon

    Model and activist

    The first agency signed model with a physical impairment to feature in a national television campaign Angel Dixon’s mission is to challenge societies perception of disability. The two-time Mercedes Benz Fashion Week model is a passionate activist for disability inclusion and human rights. Aware of the power that the media has in forming perceptions, Angel is advocacy manager for not-for-profit organisation, Starting With Julius, and CEO of the Attitude Foundation. Both organisations seek to accelerate the inclusion of people with disability through the creation of authentic media and education on inclusive principals. Angel is also a member of the steering committee for NOW Australia, a not-for-profit that provides support for people who have experienced workplace sexual harassment. A remarkable public speaker and blogger, Angel’s other passion is design. She’s currently working on a line of walking canes that will be marketed as a fashion accessory – making buying a mobility tool a more positive experience and helping change attitudes towards disability.


    Elijah Buol


    Since arriving as an unaccompanied minor from South Sudan, Elijah Buol – a Criminologist, former refugee, father of four and Director of Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland – spends much of his time helping young and disadvantaged community members integrate successfully into Australian society. With qualifications including a Master of Law, Master of Justice in Intelligence, a Bachelor of Human Services and currently studying Juris Doctor at the Australian National University, Elijah has held senior and volunteer positions in community and not-for-profit sectors. Elijah’s advocacy work was instrumental in helping remove children under 18 from adult prisons in Queensland. He has held numerous volunteer positions and is recipient of multiple awards for advocacy and community services. Through motivational speaking and leadership training, Elijah has inspired many disadvantaged Indigenous, refugee and migrant young people. He established the African Australian Women’s Network now the African Australian Women’s Association to improve the wellbeing of African women living in Australia. He has mentored through the prestigious Young African Australian Star Awards, celebrating high performing young African Australian Queenslanders, as President of Queensland African Communities Council.