The late Butch Lenton, the former mayor of Winton, has been honoured as one of the State’s highest achievers, being honoured with the Queensland Greats Posthumous Award at tonight’s (Friday) glamourous ceremony at Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says he receives the Award for his unwavering commitment to Winton, and his legacy to the region.
“The region of Winton is a better place because of Butch. His vision and passion for his community will continue to inspire us all.”
The late Graham ‘Butch’ Lenton spent more than 20 years within local council pursuing his unique vision for the region in which he was born and raised.
Mr Lenton had a strategic vision for the Winton community including the rebuilding of the Waltzing Matilda Centre and the introduction of geothermal power to the region.
When the original Waltzing Matilda Centre was destroyed by a fire in 2015, Mr Lenton was determined to build a newer and better centre for the community. He worked tirelessly to secure funding for the rebuild of the iconic museum and to highlight its importance to the nation’s tourism industry.
The centre reopened on 20 April 2018 and will be powered by geothermal energy, another of Mr Lenton’s legacies to the state.
The late Mayor joins a prestigious list of the State’s ‘Greats’, named tonight.
In all, six extraordinary individuals and one institution have been honoured as people and organisations that have inspired through their exemplary work, and passion to go above and beyond.
The Other 2018 Queensland Greats (individual recipients) are: founder of Woodfordia, William (Bill) Hauritz AM; equality activist, Gail Ker OAM; education and heritage advocate, Associate Professor Henrietta Marrie AM; Queensland baseball legend, David Nilsson and pioneering parenting academic, Professor Matthew Sanders FASSA.
The Premier says all named are ‘great’ in every sense of the word.
“They have made a profound and sustained difference in their respective sector—differences that have reverberated across the state and will leave a lasting and positive impact on many Queenslanders.”
Ms Palaszczuk also announced the Institution Award which has gone this year to the St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland.
“The commitment, empathy and generosity of St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland brings critical support to the lives of so many Queenslanders.”
“We are thankful for the support they provide to our communities, and those who need it most.”
“On behalf of all Queenslanders, thank you to the 2018 Queensland Greats recipients for your role in shaping Queensland.”
Queensland Greats are honoured with commemorative plaques displayed proudly at Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane.
2018 Queensland Greats
Graham ‘Butch’ Lenton
The late Graham ‘Butch’ Lenton, former Mayor of Winton Shire Council, spent more than 20 years within local council pursuing his unique vision for the region in which he was born and raised. Mr Lenton had a strategic vision for the Winton community including the rebuilding of the Waltzing Matilda Centre and the introduction of geothermal power to the region. When the original Waltzing Matilda Centre was destroyed by a fire in 2015, Mr Lenton was determined to build a newer and better centre for the community. Mr Lenton worked tirelessly to secure funding for the rebuild of the iconic museum and to highlight its importance to the nation’s tourism industry. The centre reopened on 20 April 2018 and will be powered by geothermal energy, another of Mr Lenton’s legacies to the state.
William (Bill) Hauritz AM
William (Bill) Hauritz AM is the driving force behind Queensland’s internationally acclaimed Woodford Folk Festival. The festival is the biggest community-driven cultural event in Australia, injecting millions into the Queensland economy annually. It is acclaimed for its inclusivity, optimism and exploration of ideas, welcoming more than one million interstate and overseas visitors, and has received multiple national and state tourism awards.
Under Mr Hauritz’s leadership the festival has extended its reach to regional Queensland communities, engaged more than 47 000 volunteers, helped build arts sector capacity both locally and across Queensland, created opportunities for more than 30 000 artists while fostering new generations of talent, strengthened relations with Woodfordia’s Traditional Owners and is a model of environmental innovation in the festival sector.
Gail Ker OAM
Gail Ker OAM is the CEO of Access Community Services Ltd. For more than 20 years Ms Ker’s vast industry experience and expertise in the Australian multicultural, humanitarian and community sectors has seen her change countless lives for the better.
Under Ms Ker’s leadership, Access has grown from a one room youth employment service in Logan City into one of Australia’s leading organisations in the provision of settlement, employment, training, youth support, housing and social enterprise services for migrants, refugees and Australian born clients. Recently, Ms Ker launched her innovative 99 Steps to end Domestic Violence program. Since commencing in June 2017, the program has provided domestic and family violence counselling and legal support to more than 50 women from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Associate Professor Henrietta Marrie AM
Associate Professor Henrietta Marrie AM is a Gimuy Walubara Yidinji Elder. After first lecturing at Griffith University in Brisbane, Ms Marrie returned to Cairns in 1991 to help develop the Cairns College of Technical and Further Education’s Aboriginal ranger training program and in 1994 she became the Cairns Coordinator for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Participation, Research and Development Centre at James Cook University.
During this time Ms Marrie influenced thousands of Indigenous students to aspire and achieve great results through expanded educational opportunities. In 1997 Ms Marrie became the first Indigenous Australian to successfully gain a professional position with the United Nations. In 2003 she became the first Indigenous Australian to be employed within a U.S. based Philanthropy in Palo Alto California. Ms Marrie was also listed as one of the Westpac and Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence in 2014 for her work in public policy. In January 2018, Ms Marrie was named a Member of the Order of Australia General Division for her significant service to the community as an advocate for Indigenous cultural heritage and intellectual property rights, and education.
David Nilsson is a retired professional baseball player and one of the most successful and influential players in Australia’s baseball history. In 1999, Mr Nilsson purchased the first Australian Baseball League to keep the reality of professional baseball alive in Australia. Mr Nilsson represented Australia at the Olympics in 2000 and 2004, captaining the team to seventh place in Sydney before leading it to the historic silver medal in Athens.
Mr Nilsson has been the head coach of the Brisbane Bandits professional baseball team in the Australian Baseball League since 2014 and has led the team to three consecutive and historical championships. He is a great supporter of baseball in Australia, investing in the sport and serving as an administrator and role model for young players.
Professor Matthew Sanders FASSA
Professor Matthew Sanders FASSA is the founder of the iconic Positive Parenting Program, known as Triple P. The program is a world leader in its approaches to parenting and family interventions. Hundreds of thousands of families across Queensland and Australia have already benefited from the program that has been translated into 22 languages and used in 28 countries by more than 76 000 accredited practitioners.
Professor Sanders’ expertise is highly valued by policy makers all around the world and has advised many institutions including the Queensland Health Paediatric Advisory Panel, Education Queensland, National Suicide Prevention Council, US Ministry of Health, the Council of Europe, and the World Health Organisation. Professor Sanders continues to be one of the world’s most highly cited parenting researchers.
St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland
The St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland is a non-profit organisation serving and supporting the most disadvantaged and underprivileged within our community. The Society provides a wide range of support in 209 locations across the state including food and emergency assistance relief, housing and homelessness support, child and family support, aged, mental health and disability services, and the widely-known Vinnies shops.
With their good works supported by the 9900 members and volunteers located in all of Queensland including regional and remote areas, the Society enables communities to be supported, and their people to develop new skills and give back. Every day, including some of the darkest times in Queensland’s history such as recent natural disasters, the Society provides life-changing support to local communities. By giving a hand up, and not just a hand out, the Society provides hope to those who need it most.