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The honours recipients who 'made substantial contributions and had a significant impact'

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Specialists in surf lifesaving, para-medicine, social research and conservation are among a selection of “inspiring” Sunshine Coast residents to be praised for their valuable service.

The King’s Birthday 2023 Honours List celebrated 1192 recipients from around the country, including awards in the Order of Australia (General and Military Divisions), meritorious awards and recognition for distinguished and conspicuous service.

A handful of Sunshine Coast residents were appointed Members of the Order (AM) in the General Division, including Milton Bartlett, William Lord, Martin O’Shannessy and Barry Traill.

Mr Bartlett, of Peregian Springs, was acknowledged for significant service to surf lifesaving in international, national and local roles.

He has been a lifesaving official at world level since 1988, at national and state level since 1983 and at local level since 1982.

The former Bondi and Yamba club member has been a member at Sunshine Beach SLSC since 1982 and is a life member there.

Bill Lord was recognised for service to para-medicine. Picture: monash.edu.

Dr Lord, of Woombye, was recognised for significant service to para-medicine, particularly research and education.

He has been a director at the Australasian College of Paramedicine since 2000 and has held various positions with multiple ambulance and paramedic services.

He has also held positions within the education department and at universities, including at the University of the Sunshine Coast, where he was Associate Professor and Discipline Lead, Paramedic Science Program, from 2012-19.

Mr O’Shannessy, of Tewantin, was acknowledged for significant service to social research and public polling.

He is a partner at Omnipoll and was chief executive officer at Newspoll from 2005-15.

He was a key social researcher on constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians, assisted dying and marriage equality.

He is also the co-founder of the Research Industry Council of Australia.

“I’m delighted, a bit humbled and thrilled to think somebody out there thought enough of my work to nominate me,” he told Sunshine Coast News.

“I think it was really important to get involved in those social issues, not as a person leaning one side or the other, but as a person who could help the guys trying to make a decision know exactly what the people out there wanted, whether it was on the question of Indigenous recognition, or assisted dying or getting container deposit legislation in a number of states.

“To see something important to the community and to know you’ve had a role in it, whatever the outcome, is incredibly rewarding.”

Martin O’Shannessy was acknowledged for service to social research and public polling.

Mr Traill, of Maleny, was recognised for significant service to conservation and the environment in a range of roles.

He was the founding Australian director of Pew Charitable Trusts from 2007-20 and founder and president of the Invasive Species Council from 2002-07.

Mr Traill also advocated for conservation as the director of Solutions for Climate, a project of Climate Action Network Australia, since 2020; and he was involved in campaigns for Box-Ironbark parks and Victorian forests protection.

He was also the founder of the Northern Australia Environment Alliance, the Outback Alliance and Landholders for Dingos.

Other Sunshine Coast residents were recognised with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division, including Palmwoods’ Judith Bandidt, for service to the community of Goomeri; Cooroy’s Wendy Bebbington, for service to women and to the community; Coolum Beach’s Allan Davies and Lyn Davies, for service to the community through charitable organisations; Maroochydore’s David Hawdon, for service to the community through a range of roles; Cooroy’s Terence Hayes, for service to the community of Gloucester, Peregian Springs’ Michele Lipner, for service to the community through a range of charitable organisations; Glenda Lloyd, for service to children and the community; and the late Michael Simpson, formerly of Montville, for service to the community of Montville.

Barry Traill was recognised for service to conservation and the environment. Picture: monash.edu.

Governor-General David Hurley commended all award recipients.

“Recipients have made substantial contributions and had a significant impact at the local, national or international level,” he said.

“Some are volunteers, others have had a remarkable impact in professional roles – many have done both. They are all inspiring and their service is valued by us all.

“Learning about the wide-ranging service of recipients, which spans almost every field of endeavour imaginable, is uplifting and makes me enormously optimistic for our country.

“Collectively, they speak to who we are now and who we can be in the future.”

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb.

For the first time since the Order of Australia was established in 1975, the majority of recipients in the General Division are women.

“While we can take a moment to acknowledge the significance of achieving gender parity in our Honours, it should not be a cause for pause,” he said.

“We reflect on our progress, and then recommit our efforts to ensure nominations reflect our diverse and strong community.

“Each recipient has something in common: someone nominated them.

“The Order of Australia belongs to each of us because nominations come from the community.”

Have we missed someone? Let us know of any other Sunshine Coast resident to have received King’s Birthday Honours via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au

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