2019 QLD Australian of the Year Awards Announced

Posted 9 November 2018 12:18pm




2019 Queensland Australian of the Year – Jon Rouse

2019 Queensland Senior Australian of the Year – James Dale AO

2019 Queensland Young Australian of the Year – Angel Dixon

2019 Queensland Local Hero – Elijah Buol

8:00pm Brisbane: The 2019 Queensland Australian of the Year Award recipients have been announced this evening at a ceremony held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Queensland Award recipients will become part of 32 State and Territory recipients from around the country. These recipients will represent their state at the national Awards on 25 January 2019 in Canberra, where the four Australians of the Year will be announced.

The 2019 Queensland Australian of the Year is detective and children’s champion, 55 year old Jon Rouse. 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.

The 2019 Queensland Senior Australian of the Year is 68 year old scientist, Professor James Dale AO of Moggill. 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.

The 2019 Queensland Young Australian of the Year is model and activist, 28 year old Angel Dixon of the Gold Coast. 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.

The 2019 Queensland Local Hero is advocate for young and disadvantaged people, 33 year old Elijah Buol of Regents Park. 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.

Queensland Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk said this year’s recipients are remarkable Queenslanders that have positively influenced our communities, our State and our nation. “This prestigious annual awards program celebrates the achievements and contributions of Australia’s finest,” Ms Palaszczuk said. “It is with great pleasure that I acknowledge these remarkable individuals as Queensland recipients who have impacted the lives of many. “I would like to personally congratulate the 2019 recipients and wish you all the best of luck at the national announcement in Canberra.”

National Australia Day Council CEO, Ms Karlie Brand said the Queensland Award recipients’ work was making a real difference for people in the community. “We look forward to welcoming these great Queenslanders to Canberra in January for the national awards,” said Ms Brand.

For more information on the Australian of the Year Awards visit australianoftheyear.org.au.

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