Queen’s Honours 2021

17 Jun | '2021


It gives me great pleasure to pay special tribute to Moncrieff constituents and fellow Gold Coasters who were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours List just this last Monday. Dr Charles Steadman was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his significant service to tertiary medical education and to gastroenterology. Tony Cochrane was also appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his significant service to sports administration and to entertainment production. Gary Edwin, Robyn Porter, Dr David Rowlands, Kobe Steele and Alan Thomas were all awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.

Gary Edwin was awarded for his service to golf. Gary has been teaching golf since 1961 and is recognised as one of Australia’s most influential golf coaches. Robyn Porter was celebrated for her service to science and the community, Dr David Rowlands for his service to medicine in general practice and Kobe Steele for her service to conservation and the environment. Kobe is the founder and president of the Orangutan Foundation International Australia. Following a visit to Borneo in 2008, Kobe decided to start up her own not-for-profit Borneo orangutan ecotours so that she could help fund the OFI care centre and support the work of its founder, Dr Birute Mary Galdikas. Under Kobe’s leadership, OFI Australia has raised funds to purchase and protect further tracts of land in Borneo, extending what is now known as the Orangutan Legacy Forest.

I’ll move on to Alan Thomas, who was awarded for his service to horse racing. Alan’s broadcasting career started on the Gold Coast in 1971. He has called 22 Magic Millions, 34 Stradbroke Handicaps and countless other feature races. Alan retired from race calling in 2015 but he continues to run the academy for young racing commentators which he founded during his time behind the binoculars and the microphone.

I’d like to highlight three other Gold Coasters, well known to me, who have contributed to the Moncrieff electorate through their good work in our community. Cornelia Babbage OAM, from Multicultural Families Organisation in Southport, was highlighted for her services to the multicultural community and to domestic violence prevention. Soheil Abedian AM, founder of Sunland Group, is a Gold Coaster who has shaped the modern Gold Coast skyline, including the iconic Q1 in Surfers Paradise, through his contribution to property development. His support, passion and philanthropy for youth and education—together with that of his wife, Anne—was indeed honoured. Finally, well done to Sandra Doumany OAM and her husband, Sam, who must be very proud. Sandra is known to me as a great northern Gold Coaster, celebrated for her services to Rotary International over very many years.

Congratulations, recipients, your spouses and your families for your contributions to our community in Moncrieff and across the Gold Coast more broadly. I commend you for your efforts and for your well-deserved recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.


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