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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier & Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie


    Premier & Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Thursday, June 16, 2005


    New York: Premier Peter Beattie today announced the creation of a new award for people who have fostered Queensland's business and cultural interests in the United States and presented the first three of the awards.

    "Queenslanders living and working in the United States have formed a wonderful network which tells American businesses how good the Smart State is to do business with," said Mr Beattie.

    "This word-of-mouth advocacy is worth more to Queensland than millions of dollars' worth of advertising.

    "And the bottom line is that it means new export orders and more jobs for Queenslanders.

    "It proves that you can take Queenslanders out of Queensland but you can't take the Queensland out of Queenslanders - they'll tell the world about how wonderful the Smart State is.

    "I'm announcing today the "Premier's Advance Queensland Expatriate Awards" and I congratulate Elissa Burke, Cameron McCarthy and Christine Zorzi on being the first recipients of the award.

    "In June 2003, I launched the Queensland chapter of the Advance Network, with the Queensland Government sponsoring it through the Queensland Government Trade and Investment Office Americas.

    "Advance has helped with a number of Queensland promotional events in the USA, including the "Out of Country" indigenous art exhibition in Washington DC, promoting it widely.

    "I congratulate Advance on expanding to 4,400 members and I thank Queensland expatriates across the US for promoting the Smart State to American business, institutions and the American public.

    "Elissa Burke has been a tireless advocate for dozens of Queensland-based projects, institutions and endeavours.

    "As the Chair of the Advance Queensland Network and a member of the Queensland North American Biotechnology Advisory Council she has opened countless doors, helped develop products and proposals and encouraged other Queenslanders to get behind Smart State ventures. "Elissa is now Director of the Advance University Project, National Co-Chair of Advance Life Sciences Network and actively promoting Queensland Artwork in New York.

    "She was formerly Director in Global Organisation and Information for Bayer Healthcare.

    "Cameron McCarthy is from the Yalanji people in Cooktown and has been a great ambassador for his people's culture and ceremonial practice while he has been in New York.

    "He plays the didgeridoo, dances and is an artist.

    "Cameron has brought solemnity and ritual to important Australian events in New York including a benefit held for the Bali Bombing, at an anniversary memorial service for the victims of the World Trade Centre attack and at the Tsunami Benefit held in Manhattan to raise money for World Vision.

    "Cameron shares his passion for his people's culture and ritual with the wider New York community and is a great Ambassador of Queensland's rich cultural fabric.

    "Christine Zorzi is an associate with a New York law firm in its media law practice after having been admitted to the New York bar.

    "She is chair of the Advance Public Interest network and supports many Queensland activities with universities, Aboriginal arts projects and literary endeavours.

    "Christine is on the board of the Metamorphosen Orchestra and is collaborating on an opera."

    Contact: +61 7 3224 4500