Australia Day honours for local legends

Australia Day honours for local legends

Main image: Delly Carr, Swimming Australia


By Kylie Knight and Ashleigh Howarth

Eleven community heroes with links to the Moreton Bay Region have been honoured in this year’s Australia Day honours list. We reveal who they are...

Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)

Kaylee Rochelle McKeown, formerly of Caboolture

Olympic gold medallist Kaylee McKeown, who was born in Redcliffe and went to school at St Paul’s Lutheran Primary in Caboolture, has been honoured for service to sport after stunning performances at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Kaylee McKeown’s formative swimming career was at Australian Crawl in Burpengary with junior development coach Jodie Morgan and head coach Chris Mooney.

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, she won gold in the women's 4x100m medley relay, women’s individual 100m and 200m backstroke and bronze in the mixed 4x100m medley relay.

It followed silver in the 400m medley relay at the 2019 World Swimming Championships and gold in 50m backstroke, silver in the 100m backstroke and 4x100m medley relay and bronze in the 200m backstroke at the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.

She also earned a silver medal at the 2017 World Swimming Championships in the mixed 400m medley relay.

McKeown was named Oceania Female Swimmer of the Year and Female Swimmer of the Year, Swammy Awards in 2020.

Wellsley Thomas Darby, Redcliffe

Wellsley Darby has been honoured for his service to the community after voluntary roles as a Justice of the Peace, ambassador at Brisbane Airport and with the Uniting Church.

He is presently the treasurer of the Azure Blue Retirement Village Independent Living Units Residents’ Committee, a Commissioner of Declarations at Redcliffe Hospital (since 2017) and Commissioner of Declarations at Redcliffe Library (since 2020).

Mr Darby was a volunteer ambassador at Brisbane Airport from 2008-2021 and a Justice of the Peace from 1969-1994.

In 2020, he received a Long Service Award for 50 years of community service from the Justices of the Peace Branch, Department of Justice and Attorney-General.

Mr Darby was also the treasurer of Chermside Kedron Community Church, Uniting Church in Australia from 2001-2007 and in the same role at Middle Ridge Uniting Church, Toowoomba, from 1993-2001.

Irma Howell, Clayfield

Irma Howell has been honoured for her service to youth through Scouts, including as Redcliffe District and Murrumba District Commissioner.

Mrs Howell was in the role at Murrumba from 1994-2003 and Redcliffe from 2016-2017.

She has also been an adult member Queensland Branch Heritage Team from 2020; Assistant District Commissioner, Youth Program, Redcliffe District, 2017-2019; State Branch Council Member, 2003-2016; Region Commissioner, Queensland Branch, 2008-2016; Region Commissioner, Near North Coast and Country Region, 2003-2008; Assistant Area Commissioner, Brisbane North Region, 1987-1994; Assistant District Commissioner, Charles S. Snow District, 1981-1987; and Group Leader, Kalinga Scout Group, 1976-1981.

Previous awards for her service include a Scouts Australia 50 Year Service Award in 2019; a Scouts Queensland Silver Kangaroo in 2007 and a Scouts Queensland Silver Emu in 2003.

Dr Simon Hooton, Narangba

Simon Hooton has been honoured for service to swimming and the community following roles with Swimming Queensland for the past 17 years and with local swim clubs in Central Queensland.

His service to the community relates to roles with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners as examiner and assessor, Fellow (1984) and member (1983-2016).

He was also an assessor of Medical Practitioners with the Medical Board of Queensland, an assessor of Veterans, Department of Veteran Affairs and General Medical Practitioner, Gladstone, Morayfield and North Lakes.

Dr Hooton was inducted in the Swimming Queensland Hall of Fame in 2015 and received the John Keppie OAM Queensland Technical Official of the Year Award from Swimming Queensland in 2015.

Dr Robert Leslie Edwards, Camp Mountain

Dr Robert Edwards has been honoured for his service to medicine as a thoracic physician.

Dr Edwards has been involved with a number of specialist committees, worked as a consultant thoracic and sleep physician at the Wesley Hospital, as a visiting respiratory physician at the Royal Darwin Hospital, and partner physician at GenesisCare and Queensland Respiratory Services.

He also co-founded the Lung Foundation of Australia in 1990 and served as President from 1993-2012.

Mr Donald Thomas Gore, Warner

Donald Gore has been honoured for his service to the community through social welfare organisations.

Mr Gore has been heavily involved with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Queensland, since becoming a member in 2011. He served as Chair of the Housing and Homelessness Committee, President of the Albany Creek Conference, and Vice President of the Brisbane Diocese.

James Robert McClelland BM, Wooloowin

James McClelland has been honoured for his service to the Royal Life Saving Society.

He became a life member of the Royal Life Saving Society Queensland in 2002, after many years helping the organisation grow. In addition to being named as Treasurer and Chair of various committees, Mr McClelland was also a member of the Biennial Queensland Royal Life Saving State Team and state magazine editor. He has also been the chair of various committees.

Mr McClelland also received a bravery medal in 2019.

He is a principal/director at Accountants United (formerly McClelland and Associates) in Kallangur.

Stephen Karl Wilson, Kurwongbah

Stephen Wilson has been honoured for his service to herpetology.

He has been a herpetologist and interpretation office at the Discovery Centre at the Queensland Museum since 1986 and is a current member of the Australian Herpetological Society.

Mr Wilson is also an Australian Geographic contributor and is the author and co-author of multiple books and more than 60 journal articles.

He was also named Photographer of the Year by Australian Geographic in 2000.

Mr Robert Ian Millar, Samford

Bob Millar has been honoured his service to the community through a range of organisations.

He has been involved in the Rotary Club of Samford Valley, Samford Rural Fire Brigade, as well as the Brendale and Samford Community Bank (Bendigo Bank).

Other community groups he supports include Samford Riding for the Disabled, Samford Rangers Football Club, a local bushcare group, Samford State School P&C, Moreton Bay Region Life Education Committee and the Samford and Districts Progress and Protection Association.

Mr Millar also served as a Councillor in the former Pine Rivers Shire Council from 2000-2008 and the Moreton Bay Regional Council from 2008-2016.

Ambulance service medal

Crad Richard Smith, Scarborough

Crad Smith has had a long and distinguished career over several decades, as a member of the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) across a variety of roles.

His passion for the ambulance service began when he joined in December 1985 as an Honorary Ambulance Officer in Caboolture, until his appointment as an Ambulance Officer in March 1987.

As a serving ambulance officer, Mr Smith has performed a broad range of ambulance duties with distinction. He is a committed paramedic, who has attended multiple complex and often traumatic cases in the community and he has sought to care for the sick and injured at all times.

Mr Smith undertook training in coronary care and intensive care, which he effectively completed to become an Intensive Care Paramedic. He went on to successfully gain a position as a Clinical Support Officer for the Metro North Region, where his continued dedication and commitment for more than three decades is highly valued by the Queensland community, his peers and the QAS.

His length of service and experience in this complex and extremely challenging environment enable Mr Smith to provide authoritative advice which is highly respected, to more junior staff, patients and carers, his peers and higher management.

“For me it became about helping other paramedics achieve their dreams and goals - we have a responsibility not only to the Service and to treat the public, but certainly to pass on our experiences, good or bad, and provide that opportunity for learning,” Mr Smith said.

“It wasn’t all about just saving lives, there was other things, I was helping people with and helping people get their lives back on track.”

Mr Smith is known for his depth of knowledge of ambulance operations and management of large-scale events and incidents. During Cyclone Yasi in 2011, he co-ordinated the evacuation of 250 patients from Cairns Hospital in a safe and orderly manner to various other hospitals.

He was humbled and honoured just to be nominated for an ASM award, let alone receive one.

“I never saw being a paramedic as a job, for me it felt probably more like an adventure, it was never hard to come to work that’s for sure,” Mr Smith said.

Australian Police Medal (APM)

Sen-Sgt Heather Wallace, Caboolture

Senior Sergeant Heather Wallace has been a member of the QPS for 24 years and was recently appointed to the role of Senior Sergeant, Officer in Charge of the Caboolture Watchhouse.

Initially serving as a general duties officer, she commenced her investigative career in 2002 at the Petrie Juvenile Aid Bureau.

She achieved her Detective Appointment in 2007 and went on to serve for 15 years as an investigator in the field of child protection. During this time, she also worked in the Child Protection Offender Registry and the Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect, Youth Justice and Child Abuse Team.

In 2017, she commenced service at Normanton as a Sergeant, General Duties Shift Supervisor, where she made significant contributions to her community. She was instrumental in creating and fostering a range of programs to enhance law enforcement, community engagement, acceptance of diversity and inclusiveness of all members of the Gulf community.

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