the AAAlist - Courier Mail


the AAAlist - Courier Mail
Alex GrAnsbury Gail Reid Dr scott o’neill SpieRiG bRotheRS yAssmin AbDel-mAGieD dR JiM aylwaRd sAmAnthA stosur
pRof. GeoRGia Chenevix-tRenCh KAte morton pRof ian fRazeR stephAnie Gilmore pRof. MaRK Kendall AlexAnDer
lotersztAin pRof peRRy baRtlett JAson DAy pRof. anton MiddelbeRG prof michAel GooD pRof. zee Upton JessicA
WAtson CatheRine MCneil yAron lifschitz pRof ove hoeGh-GUldbeRG the ten tenors tRaCey RobeRtSon & nathan
Mayfield emmA moffAtt linda lowndeS prof. lArs nielsen dale dUGUid prof ross homel don MoRGan viShal MehRotRa
& frAnK DyKsterhuis Matthew & daniel tobin JAson bAirD RaChael beRMinGhaM & KiM MCCoSKeR terry morris daRCy
ClaRKe prof. stuArt mAcGreGor dR Clinton fooKeS prof. nAthAn efron pRof. hUGh poSSinGhaM Dr VictoriA GorDon
& Dr pAul reDDell williaM baRton KAte miller-heiDKe bRian SteendyK prof. JAmes DAle aliCia CoUttS Dimity DornAn
RobeRt MCviCKeR Alex GrAnsbury Gail Reid Dr scott o’neill SpieRiG bRotheRS yAssmin AbDel-mAGieD dR JiM aylwaRd
sAmAnthA stosur pRof. GeoRGia Chenevix-tRenCh KAte morton pRof ian fRazeR stephAnie Gilmore pRof. MaRK Kendall
AlexAnDer lotersztAin pRof peRRy baRtlett JAson DAy pRof. anton MiddelbeRG prof michAel GooD pRof. zee Upton
JessicA WAtson CatheRine MCneil yAron lifschitz pRof ove hoeGh-GUldbeRG the ten tenors tRaCey RobeRtSon &
nathan Mayfield emmA moffAtt linda lowndeS prof. lArs nielsen dale dUGUid prof ross homel don MoRGan viShal
MehRotRa & frAnK DyKsterhuis Matthew & daniel tobin JAson bAirD RaChael beRMinGhaM & KiM MCCoSKeR terry morris
daRCy ClaRKe prof. stuArt mAcGreGor dR Clinton fooKeS prof. nAthAn efron pRof. hUGh poSSinGhaM Dr VictoriA
GorDon & Dr pAul reDDell williaM baRton KAte miller-heiDKe bRian SteendyK prof. JAmes DAle aliCia CoUttS Dimity
DornAn RobeRt MCviCKeR Alex GrAnsbury Gail Reid Dr scott o’neill SpieRiG bRotheRS yAssmin AbDel-mAGieD dR JiM
aylwaRd sAmAnthA stosur pRof. GeoRGia Chenevix-tRenCh KAte morton pRof ian fRazeR stephAnie Gilmore pRof. MaRK
Kendall AlexAnDer lotersztAin pRof peRRy baRtlett JAson DAy pRof. anton MiddelbeRG prof michAel GooD pRof. zee
Upton JessicA WAtson CatheRine MCneil yAron lifschitz pRof ove hoeGh-GUldbeRG the ten tenors tRaCey RobeRtSon
& nathan Mayfield emmA moffAtt linda lowndeS prof. lArs nielsen dale dUGUid prof ross homel don MoRGan viShal
MehRotRa & frAnK DyKsterhuis Matthew & daniel tobin JAson bAirD RaChael beRMinGhaM & KiM MCCoSKeR terry morris
daRCy ClaRKe prof. stuArt mAcGreGor dR Clinton fooKeS prof. nAthAn efron pRof. hUGh poSSinGhaM Dr VictoriA
GorDon & Dr pAul reDDell williaM baRton KAte miller-heiDKe bRian SteendyK prof. JAmes DAle aliCia CoUttS Dimity
DornAn RobeRt MCviCKeR Alex GrAnsbury Gail Reid Dr scott o’neill SpieRiG bRotheRS yAssmin AbDel-mAGieD dR JiM
aylwaRd sAmAnthA
Anth stosur pRof. GeoRGia
ia ChenevixChenevix-tRenCh KAte morton pRof ian fRazeR stephAnie
nie Gilmore pRof. MaRK
Kendall AlexA
AnDer loterszt
lotersztAin pRof peRRy
RR baRtlett
DAy pRof. anton Middelbe
MiddelbeRG prof michAel GooD pRof.
Upton JessicA
ove hoeGh-GUldbeRG
Jessic WAtson
Atson CatheRine
eil yAron lifschitz
ifschitz pRof
oeGh-GUldbeRG the ten tenors
enors tRaCey
tR ey RobeRtSon
& nathan Mayfield emmA moffAtt
ross homel don
inda lowndeS
lownde prof.
rof. lArs nielsen
ale dUGUid prof
RGan viShal
Ra & frAnK
K DyKsterhuis
Matthew & daniel tobin
obin JAson
bAirD RaChael
Chael beRMinGhaM
MCCoSKeR terry
erry morris
Dr VictoriA
daRCy ClaRKe
ClaRK prof.
rof. stuArt mA
cGreGor dR Clinton fooKeS prof. nAthAn
thAn efron pRof. hUGh poSSinGhaM
ul reDDell williaM
M baRton
iller-heiDKe bRian
ian SteendyK prof. JAmes
J mes DAle aliCia
UttS Dimity
GorDon & Dr pAul
DornAn RobeRt
Robe t MCviCKeR Alex Gr
nsbury Gail Reid Dr scott o
o’neill SpieRiG bRothe
bRotheRS yA
yAssmin Ab
mAGieD dR JiM
ylwaRd sAmAnthA
nthA stosur pRof.
pRof. GeoRGia Chenevix-tRenCh
Chenevix- enCh KAte
Ate morton
morton pRof ian fRazeR
stephAnie Gilmore pRof. MaRK
Kendall AlexAnDer
Alex Der lotersztAin
pRof peRRy
RR baRtlett
tlett JAson
A on DAy
A pRof. anton MiddelbeRG
MiddelbeRG prof mich
el GooD pRof. zee
Upton JessicA WAtson
Atson CatheRine
ine MCneil
yAron lifschitz
ifschitz pRof ove hoeGh-GUldbeRG
Gh-GUldbeRG the ten tenors tRaCey
ey RobeRt
R Son
& nathan
athan Mayfield emmA
emm moffAtt
off tt linda lownde
lowndeS prof.
rof. lArs nielsen dale
ale dUGUid prof
ross homel don MoRGan
RGan viShal
MehRotRa & frAnK
r nK DyKsterhuis
sterhuis Matthew & daniel tobin
obin JAson
bAir RaChael
Chael beRMin
erry morris
y ClaRKe prof. stuArt
rt mAcGreGor
mAcGreGor dR Clinton fooKeS prof. nAthAn
thAn efron pRof. hUGh poSSinGhaM
Dr VictoriA
on & Dr pAul reDDell williaM
M baRton
KAte miller-heiDKe
iller-heiDKe bRian
ian SteendyK prof. J
mes DAle a
aliCia CoUttS
UttS Dimity
R on K
An RobeRt
Rt M
CviCKeR Alex Gr
Ansbury Gail Reid Dr scott o’neill SpieRiG bRothe
yAssmin Ab
mAGieD dR Ji
bRotheRS yA
ylwaRd sAmAnthA stosur pR
of. GeoRGia Chenevix-tRenCh KA
Ate morton
orton pRof ian fR
fRazeR stephAnie
tephAnie Gilmore pRof. Ma
Kendall AlexA
AnDer loterszt
lotersztAin pRof
of peRRy
RR b
tlett JAson
Ason D
DAy pRof. anton Middelbe
MiddelbeRG prof
rof michAel GooD pRof. zee
A WAtson
Atson CatheRine
eil yAron lifschitz
ifschitz pRof
oeGh-GUldbeRG the ten tenors
enors tR
ey RobeRtSon
Upton JessicA
ove hoeGh-GUldbeRG
linda lowndeS
ross homel
MoRGan viShal
wndeS prof. lArs nielsen
ielsen dale dUGUid prof r
omel don MoRG
& nathan Mayfield emmA moffAtt
MehRotRa & frAnK DyKsterhuis Matthew & daniel tobin JAson bAirD RaChael beRMinGhaM & KiM MCCoSKeR terry morris
daRCy ClaRKe prof. stuArt mAcGreGor dR Clinton fooKeS prof. nAthAn efron pRof. hUGh poSSinGhaM Dr VictoriA
GorDon & Dr pAul reDDell williaM baRton KAte miller-heiDKe bRian SteendyK prof. JAmes DAle aliCia CoUttS Dimity
DornAn RobeRt MCviCKeR Alex GrAnsbury Gail Reid Dr scott o’neill SpieRiG bRotheRS yAssmin AbDel-mAGieD dR JiM
aylwaRd sAmAnthA stosur pRof. GeoRGia Chenevix-tRenCh KAte morton pRof ian fRazeR stephAnie Gilmore pRof. MaRK
Kendall AlexAnDer lotersztAin pRof peRRy baRtlett JAson DAy pRof. anton MiddelbeRG prof michAel GooD pRof. zee
Upton JessicA WAtson CatheRine MCneil yAron lifschitz pRof ove hoeGh-GUldbeRG the ten tenors tRaCey RobeRtSon
& nathan Mayfield emmA moffAtt linda lowndeS prof. lArs nielsen dale dUGUid prof ross homel don MoRGan viShal
MehRotRa & frAnK DyKsterhuis Matthew & daniel tobin JAson bAirD RaChael beRMinGhaM & KiM MCCoSKeR terry morris
daRCy ClaRKe prof. stuArt mAcGreGor dR Clinton fooKeS prof. nAthAn efron pRof. hUGh poSSinGhaM Dr VictoriA
GorDon & Dr pAul reDDell williaM baRton KAte miller-heiDKe bRian SteendyK prof. JAmes DAle aliCia CoUttS Dimity
DornAn RobeRt MCviCKeR Alex GrAnsbury Gail Reid Dr scott o’neill SpieRiG bRotheRS yAssmin AbDel-mAGieD dR JiM
aylwaRd sAmAnthA stosur pRof. GeoRGia Chenevix-tRenCh KAte morton pRof ian fRazeR stephAnie Gilmore pRof. MaRK
Kendall AlexAnDer lotersztAin pRof peRRy baRtlett JAson DAy pRof. anton MiddelbeRG prof michAel GooD pRof. zee
Upton JessicA WAtson CatheRine MCneil yAron lifschitz pRof ove hoeGh-GUldbeRG the ten tenors tRaCey RobeRtSon
& nathan Mayfield emmA moffAtt linda lowndeS prof. lArs nielsen dale dUGUid prof ross homel don MoRGan viShal
MehRotRa & frAnK DyKsterhuis Matthew & daniel tobin JAson bAirD RaChael beRMinGhaM & KiM MCCoSKeR terry morris
daRCy ClaRKe prof. stuArt mAcGreGor dR Clinton fooKeS prof. nAthAn efron pRof. hUGh poSSinGhaM Dr VictoriA
GorDon & Dr pAul reDDell williaM baRton KAte miller-heiDKe bRian SteendyK prof. JAmes DAle aliCia CoUttS Dimity
DornAn RobeRt MCviCKeR Alex GrAnsbury Gail Reid Dr scott o’neill SpieRiG bRotheRS yAssmin AbDel-mAGieD dR JiM
Words: Name goes here
PhotograPhy: Name goes here
PhotograPhy: russell shakesPeare, david kelly, atlas, Chris hyde, roger d’souza, getty images
styliNg: kimberly gardNer / arC Creative hair & makeuP: taNia travers / arC Creative
the AAA list
they’re the high achievers who justify the Smart State tag – the
scientists, researchers, medicos, athletes, artists and entrepreneurs
whose ideas and innovations are going global.
Compiled by Karen Milliner
| 15
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12/11/2010 3:06:28 PM
atch your breath. Are you ready?
Meet inventor Alex Gransbury, the
man trying to re-imagine the earliest
utensils in human history. A big ask?
Not for Alex. Sit with him at the
factory/salesroom/living quarters
of his company Dreamfarm at Brisbane’s Breakfast
Creek and try not to wilt in the face of his youthful,
turbo-charged effervescence. He’s kinetic; hard to pin
down and always on the fly. If he had to invent himself,
he’d be something constantly on the move with lots
of shiny, well-oiled cogs, a long-range lens looking
into the future, and a little rear-vision mirror glancing
at the past. And he wouldn’t have an off button.
Alex and Dreamfarm specialise in giving the world
better spoons, tongs, potato mashers, tea infusers,
vegetable steamers, knives and pizza cutters.
They don’t just call a spoon a spoon, either. The
Dreamfarm version is the Supoon (sit up scraping
spoon). Tongs are Clongs (click-lock sit up tongs).
Mashers are Smoods (smooth mash in seconds).
Pizza cutters are Scizzas (scissors cleanly cut pizza).
The Dreamfarm range is also beautifully, groovily
designed, and of the moment. Fittingly, Gransbury’s
conversation is peppered with “cool”, “dude” and
“awesome” and he has an accent that is difficult to
fathom, like a dish with many complex ingredients.
It only makes sense when you learn he is
the son of Australian diplomats and was born in
London during his parents’ tenure in the Soviet
Union. He was an infant when the family moved to
Manila, aged one when they shifted to Tokyo, and
five when they came home and settled in Canberra.
Having no idea what he wanted to do with his life,
he drifted into economics at university in Canberra.
Bored, he moved across to commerce. More bored,
he got to tinkering in his mother’s back shed. Then
bang, the Grindenstein was born.
“I’d been given an espresso machine for
Christmas, and I’d worked in cafes and stuff through
university,” he says. “I love good coffee. But there
wasn’t anything available to dispose of the grounds,
like the massive grind bins in cafes. It’s a big bit of
PVC pipe and they drill a bolt through it [to bang the
basket’s used grinds into]. I made a miniaturised
version of that for myself.” The Grindenstein – named
after Dr Frankenstein’s fictional monster’s boxlike
head and neck bolts – was unleashed on the world.
“Friends came over and said, ‘That’s cool, could
I get one of them?’ ” he recalls. “I thought I’d make
a few more and sell them at the markets. I think we
sold 34 on the first day. I did the numbers for the
number of espresso machines sold every year in
Australia, and there was nothing available like this.
What are the options? Banging the grinds into the
sink? It’s oily, so it makes an absolute mess there.
Or you try and knock it out in the bin, which is just
gross. This’d be a great idea.”
It was 2003. By the end of that year Gransbury
had 30 retailers carrying the product. By the
following year he’d sold 2000 units. Over the next
few years he set up Dreamfarm Europe (in the
Netherlands) and Dreamfarm USA (in New Jersey).
Back at the dawn of Grindenstein, he had
notebooks filled with inventions in gestation. He
needed another practical idea. Then, living with
some uni mates, and naturally there being lots
of pizza around the house, he puzzled over the
impracticality of the pizza wheel. “A pizza wheel
drags the topping from one side to the other,”
he says. “It never cuts through. You can’t use it on
non-stick cookware because it scratches. We always
used scissors. We ended up wrapping tape around
the ends of the scissors, then getting bits of
cheesy stuff stuck in the scissors.” Cue the
combination scissors and spatula, the Scizzas.
Gransbury’s step-by-step kitchen revolution
followed. The Smood was born after he noticed
a springy metal-coiled egg cup at his mother’s
place. Why couldn’t a larger version with a handle
produce fluffy potato heaven? (And yes, it works
brilliantly.) Why shouldn’t tea infusers be made of
squeezable silicone to get your cuppa just as you
like it? Why should used tongs mess up a clean
bench when you could sit them up on little crinkled
elbows in the handle? How do you take a common
object that’s taken for granted and make it
desirable and more efficient?
Dreamfarm, started in a shed, moved to
Brisbane in 2008. (Why Brisbane? An ex-girlfriend,
Gransbury says, and … well, it’s a long story.) It
has six full-time and four part-time staff. It sells its
products around the world with an annual turnover
of between $1 million and $5 million. And it now has
about 300 distributors in Australia alone.
The Japanese love the Vebo – a combination
boiler/steamer and strainer. Australians can’t get
enough of Clongs and Smoods. The Americans
adore the Grindenstein. The Swedes and
Norwegians love the white Grindensteins; Australians
don’t. Kitchen politics is a complicated business.
But it’s more than that. “I believe we are here to
grow ideas, original ideas, into great products that
people use every day and generally think are useful,
not just sit in a corner and look pretty,” Gransbury
says. “I want people to walk away and go, ‘You know
what? I don’t know what I used to do without this
thing. This thing is so cool.’ ”
BQW20NOV10B&B_16-17.indd 16
Clothing: jaCket, shoes, the Cloakroom ( 3003 0916 ), jeans, mitChell ogilvie ( 3031 3888)
01 Alex
GrAnsbury, 29,
12/11/2010 11:23:07 AM
We’re here to
grow ideas into
products that
people use
every day … not
just look pretty.
| 17
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12/11/2010 11:23:25 AM
02 Dr VICTOrIA GOrDON, 51, & Dr PAUL
The company the two scientists founded in
Yungaburra, North Queensland, has for the past
decade been investigating rainforest plants as
potential sources of new drugs. Its most advanced
discovery, EBC-46, developed from seeds in the fruit
of the blushwood shrub, is seen as a potentially
potent weapon against skin, breast and prostate
cancer. Trials on melanomas and other skin tumours
in more than 100 horses, dogs and cats have
caused great excitement: tumours were reduced
within 24 hours of the drug being applied and in
some cases they were destroyed and the skin
healed within two weeks. Through its subsidiary
QBiotics, the company is hoping to have the drug
commercially available to vets next year.
Year ahead: Finalising application to begin the first
phase of human clinical trials of EBC-46.
Being named Queenslander of the Year is among
numerous 2010 highlights for speech pathologist
Dornan, who has devoted her life to teaching
children with hearing loss to listen and speak. She
founded the Hear and Say Centre in Brisbane 18
years ago and has just completed her doctorate,
a four-year study on children with cochlear implants
and digital hearing aids who undergo the centre’s
Auditory-Verbal Therapy. The study showed they
reached milestones for speech, language, reading
and mathematics at the same rate as children with
normal hearing. Dornan has made 17 presentations
around the world on her preliminary findings, with
final results due to be published soon in the US.
Hear and Say, which helps 440 children statewide,
has also this year translated its face-to-face
teaching programs into an online format so they
can be delivered to health professionals overseas.
Year ahead: Overseeing the centre’s move into
new Brisbane premises and expanding services.
the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and
Nanotechnology, UQ. Their tiny patch is packed
with microscopic “projections” that can painlessly
deliver a vaccine into the body’s thousands of
immune cells when placed on the skin for two
minutes. It’s been successfully trialled in mice to
administer vaccines for influenza, West Nile and
Chukunga viruses, and – in collaboration with
Professor Ian Frazer – the Gardasil cervical cancer
vaccine. Significantly, the Nanopatch produced the
required immune response with only 150th of the
flu vaccine dose that is standard with a needle.
This, coupled with the fact it doesn’t need to be
refrigerated, means vaccines could in future be
cheaper, as well as easier to administer.
Year ahead: Planning for human clinical trials.
05 JAsON DAY, 23, GOLfEr
The “next big thing” of world golf well and truly
arrived in 2010. The boy from Beaudesert became,
at 22, the youngest Australian winner on the US PGA
Tour when he took out the HP Byron Nelson
Championship in May, earning him $US1.17 million. In
only his second “major”, the US PGA Championship
in August, Day finished tenth and followed that up
with second place in September’s Deutsche Bank
Championship, part of the cut-throat FedEx Cup endof-season playoffs. His eighth place overall in the fourtournament event earned him a $US600,000 bonus
on top of his $2.9 million season earnings, good
enough to rank him 21st on the Tour money list.
Year ahead: Guaranteed entry into all four majors
– US Open, US PGA, US Masters and British Open.
In one ten-day block this year, the travel schedule
for this composer and didgeridoo master read
“Berlin-Melbourne-Rome”. But the man from Mt Isa
has developed the stamina to spend most of each
year touring the globe. This year Barton wrote
a quartet piece for the Berlin Philharmonic
Orchestra; toured India at the invitation of the
Australian-India Council; and played in Rome
during October celebrations for the canonisation
of Mother Mary MacKillop. Just as important to
him was showing Indian orphans the beautiful
music of the didgeridoo.
Year ahead: Touring, and preparing a major “William
Barton & Friends” concert to be staged in Brisbane.
Tissue engineer Upton’s vision of her revolutionary
wound-healing formula VitroGro being sold over
the chemist’s counter has moved closer with the
completion of a clinical trial of 30 patients whose
skin ulcers had not healed with conventional
treatment. After three weeks applying VitroGro, the
ulcers reduced in size by an average 43 per cent
with six people healing completely. New trials of
a second-generation formula are about to begin.
Upton’s work was recognised this year with the
2010 Beckman Coulter Discovery Science Award
from the Australian Society for Biochemistry and
Molecular Biology. As leader of the Tissue Repair
and Regeneration Program at QUT’s Institute
of Health and Biomedical Innovation, she also
secured $28 million in federal funds to establish
at QUT the world’s first interdisciplinary national
wound research centre.
Year ahead: Continue with second-generation
VitroGro clinical trials in the hope the formula will
become available to the public by the end of 2011.
04 PrOfEssOr MArK KENDALL, 38,
No more vaccination needles? We could see that
within a decade, thanks to the Nanopatch developed
by Kendall and his world-leading research team at
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12/11/2010 11:22:01 AM
08 Gail Reid, 29,
fashion desiGneR
n the cool white loungeroom of Roberto
Cavalli’s Florentine villa, a young woman
perches on a sofa waiting for an interview
with the top Italian designer. An assistant
enters the room and politely asks: would she
like her coffee served with a gold spoon or
a silver one? “A spoon would be fine, thanks,’’
replies Gail Reid, momentarily thrown by the offer
of precious metals.
It’s just another “pinch me’’ moment in the
Brisbane designer’s career – one that’s been on an
upward trajectory since 2005 but this year shot
straight to the stars. Reid eventually declined
a consultant position with Roberto Cavalli, but the
best was to come. At Milan Fashion Week (MFW) in
September, her label Gail Sorronda was a finalist in
the prestigious “Who Is On Next’’ event, sponsored
by Italian Vogue, showcasing the best emerging
designers from around the world. After a group
show before thousands at the glittering Piazza
Duomo, Reid’s collection drew praise not just from
French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld and Belgian
designer Raf Simons, but from influential US Vogue
editor Anna Wintour.
During MFW Reid was also invited to show at
the Vogue Talents exhibition, where Viktor & Rolf
owner Renzo Rosso approached her to ask if she
might be interested in consulting work with the
leading label. This time the Hepburnesque Reid had
the perfect answer on her lips. “I die,’’ she replied,
which is fashionista-speak for “yes, please’’.
While that offer is yet to be finalised, Reid, who
with younger sister Fiona was raised in Brisbane by
mum Noli, has caught the eyes of design team
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. Speaking
from the London flat she shares with fiancé and
business manager Atlas Harwood, Reid laughs
when she recounts how she thought it was a hoax
when she received an email asking if the new Dolce
& Gabbana Spiga 2 store in Milan could stock her
label. Gabbana told The Wall Street Journal earlier
this year: “I love Gail Sorronda. It’s my taste.’’
“They’ve just doubled their order for next
season,’’ Reid says, “and that’s unbelievably
exciting for me – and also a lot of work to be done
to complete it. Generally I don’t get out of bed
until about lunchtime, then I spend the afternoon,
the evening and into late at night on the sewing
machine or doing development on the mannequin.
Sometimes I’ll go for a long walk, or up onto our
rooftop for inspiration.’’
Her Edgeware Road flat is in a distinctly Arabic
part of London, and when she’s not working Reid
likes to take friends out to local cafes for “some
watermelon and mint shisha and Moroccan tea”. It
all sounds terribly glamorous but Reid, who spent
2008 in Paris honing her craft “and eating a lot
of Nutella crepes”, still has her feet firmly on the
ground. That’s thanks to her mother, after whom the
label is named – Sorronda is Noli’s maiden name.
“I wanted to honour her,” says Reid. “She
brought us up as a single mum and we never had
a lot of money, so she taught us how to be very
resourceful. One of my earliest memories is going
to op-shops with her and re-interpreting garments
and integrating them into our wardrobes – we were
always the best-dressed family at church.’’ She
laughs and adds she’s still being resourceful,
delighted with a recent market find: some leftover
pieces of fabric, costing £1 a metre, she can use
for draft designs (called toiles).
After leaving All Hallows’ private Catholic girls’
school in Brisbane (“Mum worked incredibly hard
to get me there”), Reid studied town planning and
interior design at the Queensland University of
Technology before moving into fashion studies. After
graduating from QUT in 2004, she wasted no time:
her label debuted at Australian Fashion Week the
following year. Like all her collections, the entire
range was in black and white (though there was
a hint of bronze in her latest, Murmur, at MFW). The
minimal palette is fast becoming the Sorronda signature.
Now with stockists in Australia, Italy, Japan,
the US and the Middle East, Reid’s facing an
even bigger year next year – she has secured the
services of a high-profile European talent scout.
“He got Riccardo Tisci his job [as creative director]
at Givenchy and Nicolas Ghesquiere his as creative
director at Balenciaga … so we’ll see.’’
Meanwhile there’s a wedding to plan. Reid and
Harwood, who met when he wandered into her
Brisbane concept store in 2007, will be married “the
moment we have some time’’. What is certain is that
the ceremony will take place in Brisbane (“where our
hearts are’’) and the bride will wear white – or black.
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09 Prof. IAN frAZEr, 57, ImmuNologIst
Frazer’s research team at UQ’s Diamantina Institute
continues to explore the development of vaccines
to prevent and treat skin cancers that have a viral
link. Work this year has given them a greater
understanding of how skin tumours fend off attacks
from immune cells. One of the viruses responsible
for some skin cancers has been found to be similar
to the human papillomavirus, which causes cervical
cancer and for which Frazer developed the Gardasil
vaccine in conjunction with Dr Jian Zhou. Since that
vaccine’s 2007 release, global sales have topped $5
billion. On the personal front, Frazer’s dream of an
integrated facility where research can be brought to
commercial reality took shape, with construction
commencing on Brisbane’s $354 million Translational
Research Institute, one of only a handful of its type
in the world.
Year ahead: Test more effective ways of using the
immune system to fight skin cancer.
Dolce and Gabbana
have doubled their order
for next season and
that’s exciting for me.
10 DAlE DuguID, 54, vIsuAl EffEcts ExPErt
His name is on the credits of big-budget films such
as Superman Returns and Australia. Now the Oscar
and Emmy-nominated Duguid will be sharing
his several decades’ expertise in visual effects,
animation and post-production with Chinese
filmmakers and TV producers. In a multimilliondollar joint venture, China’s largest privately owned
theatrical exhibitor, SMI Corporation, has taken
a substantial stake in Duguid’s Gold Coast
company Photon VFX to create a new entity,
SMI-Photon. Duguid has started on his first
Chinese job – visual effects for a big TV gala.
Year ahead: Continuing other projects including
a “delightful” animated feature film and TV series.
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Another who’s leapt out of Brisbane’s deep pool
of design talent to make his mark overseas, Clarke
was this year invited to represent Australia and the
Pacific region in a Designing the World exhibition
at Salone Satellite, the premier showcase for
emerging designers held in collaboration with
the Milan Furniture Fair. Seeing exhibition-goers
perched on his Ned stools (the design inspired by
bushranger Ned Kelly’s distinctive helmet) beneath
his eye-catching Bonito cane pendant lights has
given him the confidence to move to the US to
start an offshoot there.
Year ahead: Launching a new product range
to include a bed and steel outdoor furniture.
six bottles of his winery’s top drop: the Saint Jude’s
Road Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
($390 a bottle and rated 95 points out of 100 by
Australian wine writer James Halliday). A shipping
container of more modestly priced reds is now
heading to China about every two months.
Year ahead: “Introduce more people to our wines.”
13 ALiCiA COUTTs, 23, swiMMER
A few months ago, Coutts was virtually unknown on
the world swimming scene. That all changed at the
Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where she won
five gold medals – three of them individual – and
1 4 /the
1 Australian
1 / 1 0 , flag2at: the
1 3closing
P Mceremony.
Coutts’s resilience was tested by two abdominal
surgeries in the past three years, although she puts
her recent jump from unknown to Delhi’s queen of
the pool down to one thing: confidence. “I felt good
after I won my first event and it just grew from that.”
Year ahead: July’s World Championships in Shanghai.
The Dr Wood Challenge Centre products from this
Nerang-based business continue to enthral kids
around the world. It’s mathematician and physicist
Dyksterhuis who dreams up ideas and refines puzzles
and games (with co-founder Dr Mark Wood helping
out, but largely retired) while CEO Mehrotra oversees
their manufacture and distribution to 28 countries.
Three products were launched at last month’s Essen
toy fair in Germany: the Flag It puzzle with boards,
flags and playing cards; Pixelate, a littlies’ version of
the Kaleidoscope Classic, the original Dr Wood puzzle;
and Race Around The World, in which “travellers”
solve puzzles as they move through countries on
maps. Four Tasmanian primary school kids came up
with the idea for the latter; the Mind Challenge team
refined it and now it’s published in 14 languages.
Year ahead: Finishing new products to launch at
toy fairs in New York, Nuremberg and Melbourne.
12 TERRY MORRis, 71, OwnER, siRROMET
He built a business empire on data processing and
property interests, but the impressive winery he
created in 2000 at Mt Cotton, south-east of
Brisbane, remains a consuming passion for Morris.
When he signed Sirromet’s biggest export deal to
date – sending $10 million worth of reds to China
over the next four years – he popped the cork not
on a red but on a bottle of Sirromet sparkling
chardonnay pinot noir. To the chairman of the
H E R 1Chinese
7 4 0 company
3 H e r opartnering
n HP_ Q
p d f he gifted
Pa ge
the deal,
Heron Island.
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Immerse yourself in reef life.
12/11/2010 4:52:54 PM
Clothing: suit, shirt, tie, belt, riChards & riChards ( 3211 1000 )
15 Dr Jim
AylwArD, 62,
skin cAncer
n the Sunshine Coast during the
Christmas holidays of 1980, Jim
Aylward’s mother Edith showed
him a newspaper article about
a weed that had long been
used as a bush remedy for
sunspots. The story quoted a Medical Journal of
Australia article about a farmer who had presented
at Royal Brisbane Hospital with a basal cell
carcinoma on his chest. Doctors noted that after
the farmer self-treated his cancer with sap from
the radium weed, the tumour disappeared.
The report added that while it was an interesting
case, it shouldn’t be taken as a recommendation for
therapy. But Aylward, a biochemist taking a break
from his job at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee,
saw a challenge. If the sap worked on skin cancers,
he thought, how did it work, and how active was it
against other cancers?
Melbourne-born Aylward returned to Australia to
take up a lecturing role at Monash University, where
he’d received his PhD in biochemistry in 1975. Then
in 1981 he was offered a research position at the
CSIRO in Brisbane – closer to his parents, who had
relocated from Victoria to the Gold Coast. On the
weekends, his father Cyril and Edith tended tropical
fruit on a farm they’d bought on the Sunshine
Coast, and there they planted some radium weed
they’d found in northern Victoria. Edith, who had
grown up in Rutherglen, had seen many farmers
suffer from skin cancer. She was intrigued by
folklore concerning the medicinal properties of
radium weed, a small bush no more than 30cm high
that’s common across Australia and New Zealand.
Cyril, who stood 6ft 2in [188cm] in his prime, had
been a big, brawny blacksmith’s apprentice but in
1996 he withered away, victim of a type of soft tissue
cancer called malignant fibrous histiocytoma. Not
long after Cyril’s family farewelled him at Woombye
Cemetery near Nambour, Aylward became one of
the many scientists to be retrenched by the CSIRO.
By offering to study radium weed’s toxic milky
sap, he thought he might keep his desk at the
CSIRO’s Long Pocket laboratories in the western
Brisbane suburb of Indooroopilly, just down the road
from the home he shared with his wife Gearty and
their miniature schnauzer Maxwell. In May 1997 he
took some diluted sap to Professor Peter Parsons
at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.
Parsons had seen a number of people claiming to
have cures for cancers, and he was a little jaundiced.
He told Aylward he’d pit his extract against human
melanoma cells to see what effect it might have.
“We’ll then ring you,” he said. “Don’t ring us.’’
Parsons told Aylward he’d call in four days. He
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didn’t. A week went by, two weeks. Aylward studied
the employment ads. Then one of Parsons’
graduate students rang from the lab and said: “Jim,
you’ve got to come in here quick. We’ve never seen
anything like it – you’re turning those melanoma
cells back to the appearance of normal cells.”
“I ran out of the lab screaming ‘Yahoo!’ ” Aylward
recalls. “Everyone must have thought I’d lost it.”
The eureka moment didn’t stop him losing his
job, but the CSIRO chief at Long Pocket allowed him
the use of a lab for six months. With his redundancy
money Aylward funded a company, Peplin, and
worked on isolating an ingredient in the weed called
ingenol mebutate, which he found “was active against
every sort of cancer tested, not just melanoma”. The
research, initially on human tumours grafted onto
mice, quickly consumed his funds until one day, out
walking, Maxwell and Aylward met Alice, a Rhodesian
Ridgeback whose owner had a friend prepared to
invest a quarter of a million dollars in Peplin. But
within a year that friend wanted his capital back.
Eventually Aylward contacted investment
guru Chris Abbott, who had a keen interest in
biotechnology. Abbott put in half a million to save
Peplin at the eleventh hour, and the company
was restructured. Then in September last year
Danish multinational LEO Pharma bought it for
$US287.5 million, about $A306 million at the time.
The cream Aylward has developed from radium
weed sap is likely to be on the Australian market by
Just one application per day for two
days will make a sunspot disappear.
2012. Just one application per day for two days,
he says, will make a sunspot disappear, though he
strenuously warns against self-treating with radium
weed because of the potential dangers of underlying
conditions. The drug will initially be used to treat
actinic keratoses – better known as sunspots – but
superficial basal cell carcinoma could be next.
Professional growers already supply LEO
Pharma’s Gold Coast facility, where the weed’s
active ingredient will be extracted for export; Aylward
expects it will form the nucleus of an expanding
biotech industry in Queensland. He is now on the
advisory board for iLab Incubator at Toowong,
helping early-stage technology ventures.
Aylward says Australians punch above their
weight in innovative science: “Scientists just need
the incentive to turn their discoveries into practical
outcomes.’’ Radium weed will help conquer skin
cancer, he says, and there’s no telling what other
cures are contained in the plants all around us.
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16 Prof. MICHAEL GooD, 56,
Recognised by the state government as a 2010
Queensland Great and recently elected a fellow of
the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences
and Engineering, Good has returned full-time to the
lab. He stepped down mid-year as director of the
Queensland Institute of Medical Research to take up
a five-year Australia Fellowship. Now based at the
Griffith University Institute for Glycomics, a world
leader in the field of carbohydrate science, Good is
aiming to bring to fruition his decades of research
into producing vaccines to combat two of the
world’s biggest killers: malaria and streptococcus A.
Year ahead: Bring the malaria vaccine into a form
suitable for phase-one human clinical trials; run
human trials on the strep-A vaccine.
BQW20NOV10B&B_26.indd 26
and the Singapore Dance Theatre. Her vision for
Expressions to reach new audiences was realised
through a collaboration with BeijingDance/LDTX on
First Ritual, which premiered in China this month and
will be performed at next year’s Brisbane Festival.
Year ahead: A new collaboration with a contemporary
dance ensemble in Basel, Switzerland.
18 sAMANtHA stosur, 26, tENNIs PLAYEr
Stosur made it to her first Grand Slam final and
reached a career-high world No 5 singles ranking
before finishing 2010 as world No 6. Last month
she also became the only player this year to defeat
1 /two
1 world
0 / 1 No
0 ,1s. The
4 : first
1 7 wasP 13-time
Grand Slam
19 Prof. JAMEs DALE, 60,
Bill Gates asked for a personal update when Dale,
director of QUT’s Centre for Tropical Crops and
Biocommodities, and his team delivered research
results at the Grand Challenges meeting of the
Gates Foundation in Seattle last month. With
foundation funding they have developed bananas
with increased levels of pro-vitamin A (betacarotene) and other bananas with extra iron, to
address dietary deficiencies in Africa. Some of the
first beta-carotene-fortified fruit grown in trial
plantings in north Queensland have shown a 12fold increase in the vitamin (the team’s target was a
four-fold increase). Trial plantings of these bananas
in Uganda will be harvested and tested next year.
Year ahead: Trial plantings of the iron-fortified
bananas; possibly begin a parallel project in India.
17 NAtALIE WEIr, 43, ArtIstIC DIrECtor,
Weir brought with her a wealth of experience when
she returned full-time last year to the Brisbane
contemporary dance company where she was
a founding member – and which provided her first
commission as a choreographer at age 18. Since
then she’s created more than 150 works for
3 0 8 1 . including
5 _ Q WE
. p d f Ballet
P a Theatre
ge 1
winner Serena Williams, who Stosur swept aside in
June on her way to the French Open final. The Gold
Coaster was ultimately beaten in the final by Italy’s
Francesca Schiavone, but reversed that result at
last month’s WTA Championships in Doha. In her
next match in Doha, Stosur disposed of new world
No 1 Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets.
Year ahead: Her own tilt at the world No 1 crown.
12/11/2010 11:32:29 AM
ou know you’ve made it in Hollywood
when the movie geeks are flinging at
you the same line they used on the
creator of Star Wars. “George Lucas
raped my childhood!” the film nerds
screamed when über-director Lucas
followed up the most sacred film trilogy of all time
with a series of prequels resembling the slower
episodes of the Teletubbies. Now everybody’s
tampering with the sacred reels: Terminator Salvation,
Transformers, The A-Team, Indiana Jones and the
Kingdom of the Crystal Dentures …
But you’ve got to be good to be asked to do the
tampering. And Brisbane filmmaking twins Peter
and Michael Spierig are good. They might be
brilliant, in fact. Case in point: the action sequence
about two-thirds into Daybreakers (2009), the
vampire film they made in Queensland for $20
million that looks like it cost $80 million. In this
sequence, Ethan Hawke’s vampire scientist is in
the back seat of a sun-blocked speeding vehicle
ducking under deadly shafts of sunlight caused by
the bullets firing through his windows. The idea was
exciting and fresh, and the film grossed $50 million
around the world. It also got “generals”. That’s
“general meetings in LA”, explains Peter (pictured
opposite, at left), sipping a coffee beside Michael
in their production house, Blacklab International,
at Woolloongabba in Brisbane’s inner east.
“We really wanted to meet the people at the Jim
Henson Company,” adds Michael, “because we’re
such big fans of Henson.” The late American
puppetry pioneer extended his range as an innovator
from The Muppet Show to 1980s fantasy films
The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. “We met [Henson’s
daughter] Lisa and we mentioned that The Dark
Crystal is one of our favourite movies.” Peter picks
up the story: “[The Henson Company] didn’t say
much. Then we get a call later and they say, ‘We
want you to read something.’ ” It was the screenplay
for a big-budget 3D sequel to 1982’s The Dark
Crystal – a film considered sacred to Gen X.
The Power of the Dark Crystal, directed by the
Spierig brothers, is due for release next year. “Don’t
you dare rape my childhood!” one Dark Crystal fan
roared at the pair at a recent film convention. Another
made the same plea. Then another … “When one
person says that, you take it on board,” says Peter.
“But when a bunch of people say it, you think,
‘Wow, this really means something to them.’ ”
Says Michael: “But it means so much to us, so
the last thing we want to do is screw it up.”
The Blacklab boardroom is a rectangular glass
box. Outside this fish tank, staff buzz about making
calls, scribbling notes, writing on whiteboards.
After Daybreakers, the Spierigs could have worked
anywhere in the world; they chose Woolloongabba.
They’re passionate about Brisbane and its
filmmaking potential. (Their $700,000 breakthrough
zombie horror film, 2003’s Undead, was shot largely
in the back yard of their parents’ Brisbane home,
while in Daybreakers, Queen Street is a futuristic
nocturnal streetscape.)
In fact, Blacklab was established with one major
goal in mind: to bring more work to Brisbane and
Queensland. Says company director Tim McGahan:
“We need to be able to develop projects and keep
projects here. We’re working on all sorts of projects,
from light entertainment to high-end TV drama.
The boys are sort of the creative directors of the
company. Our ultimate goal is just that there’s more
work. So there’s an industry, a logical progression
for filmmakers to come through. There seems to be
a gap between coming out of uni and making your
short film and getting into some music videos or
TV commercials. Then where are they gonna go?
We’re hoping to develop an industry where there’s
multiple tiers for directors and writers. Then we stop
the brain drain.”
Inevitably, as with most serious discussions
among men, it all comes back to Star Wars. “But
guys like George Lucas,” says Peter, “were bred in
a Hollywood industry that seemed so far away. It all
seemed so impossible to achieve.”
Then a Kiwi called Peter Jackson went and
made a film trilogy to rival Star Wars. The Lord of
the Rings had big sets, big sequences, big ideas.
And he made it in New Zealand. “You look at any of
those visionaries like Peter Jackson and Lucas and
Spielberg, they were all creatively driven,” says
McGahan. “By leading that creative vision is how
you build that infrastructure around you. An industry
can happen anywhere.”
“We never really thought small,” says Peter.
“We’re interested in making films that appeal to
Australian audiences, but we want people from
around the world to see them. That’s why our ideas
and themes are more universal.”
But the days are short and the to-do list is
long. Right now, the boys are working on puppets.
Hundreds of them, in fact. For The Power of the
Dark Crystal, they’re staying true to the Jim Henson
spirit: more puppets, fewer digital effects. Less
Jar Jar Binks, if you like. More Chewbacca.
It means more late nights, pressure and time
together. Peter looks at his brother. “Well, we’ve spent
every other waking moment together,” he says. “I’ll be
stuck with him for the rest of my life.” TRENT DALTON
Peter SPierig wearS ShoeS by Mitchell ogilvie (3031 3888) Michael SPierig wearS jacket, Mitchell ogilvie (3031 3888)
20 Peter &
Michael SPierig,
34, filMMakerS
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Words: Name goes here
Photography: Name goes here
Peter Spierig wears shoes by Mitchell Ogilvie (3031 3888) Michael Spierig wears jacket, Mitchell Ogilvie (3031 3888)
We never
really thought
small. We want
people all over
the world to
see our movies.
| 29
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12/11/2010 12:27:33 PM
Accolades have flowed thick and fast for these
Brisbane creators of entertainment for multiple
media platforms. The International Digital Emmy
Award and Interactive Media Award they brought
home this year, along with their nominations for
a British BAFTA and UK Broadcast Digital Award,
were for Primeval Evolved, which extended online
the stories of British TV series Primeval. The
Hoodlum team of filmmakers, game designers,
writers and story developers has grown to about
30 and the company has increased its presence
in the US. This year it delivered trailers and a fan
immersion game for Sony ahead of the release of
the Angelina Jolie thriller Salt. In Brisbane, shooting
has begun on SLiDE, a 10-part teen drama Hoodlum
is co-producing with Playmaker Media. It will
screen on pay TV channel FOX8 next year with
online and social media tie-ins.
Year ahead: Developing a number of original
productions, including a doco.
When a new strain of flu rears its head, it takes three
to six months using existing techniques to produce
a vaccine to thwart its spread. The H1N1 swine flu
was a recent case in point. What Middelberg and his
team at UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering
and Nanotechnology have designed is revolutionary
platform technology to enable vaccines to be massmanufactured faster and more inexpensively. Instead
of the conventional method of cultivating a virus
in chicken eggs, they grow cells in a sugar-based
solution. The next step is to apply the technology to
making vaccines for specific diseases. Middelberg,
named as the 2010 Smart Futures Premier’s Fellow,
will collaborate with researchers at China’s Tianjin
University to advance that work.
Year ahead: Investigate the technology’s effectiveness
in making vaccines for influenza and Hendra virus.
Using data collected from more than 1000 sets of
twins, MacGregor this year helped identify new
genes underlying glaucoma, short-sightedness
and optic nerve hypoplasia, the leading cause of
blindness in children. The genetic studies are
among the first in these eye diseases. MacGregor
is involved in other international collaborative work
at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research
that has made advances in cancer genetics, with
major studies into melanoma and ovarian cancer
under way. In recognition of his contributions, he
was awarded the 2010 Australian Academy of
Science Ruth Stephens Gani Medal for research
into human genetics.
Year ahead: Identifying genes influencing cancer
patients’ responses to chemotherapy.
The winner of the inaugural Premier’s Smart State
Design Fellowship has lately been tasting
chocolates in Switzerland – all in the name of
research, of course. It’s a collaboration with Nestlé
involving a fair trade cooperative in Ecuador. The
multinational is one of many companies to seek
out the services of the Buenos Aires-born, Brisbanebased designer who also produces his own Derlot
Editions range of furniture and lighting. This year he
exhibited in Tokyo as part of the Quench collective
of Queensland-based designers, and created Haus,
a trio of tiny “houses” with bench seating and
tables. These attracted “crazy interest”, he says,
from several countries at the recent Unlimited:
Designing for the Asia Pacific event in Brisbane.
Year ahead: A possible hotel collaboration in
Singapore, launching Derlot Editions in Europe.
She needed only to win her quarter-final at this
month’s penultimate event of the women’s world tour
to ensure a fourth world title in four years on the pro
circuit. But Gilmore is not an “only” sort of person.
The world crown duly won, the 2010 Queensland
Sportswoman of the Year finalist allowed herself
a short celebration there in Puerto Rico before
switching back into competition mode and taking out
the final. Other highlights for the year included
being voted Laureus World Action Sportsperson by
the world’s sporting media and induction into the
Huntington Beach California Surfers’ Hall of Fame
– the youngest person to receive the honour.
Year ahead: Continue closing in on her idol
Layne Beachley’s record of seven world titles.
Fookes’s research won the People’s Choice Award
at this year’s Australian Museum Eureka Prizes,
striking a chord with voters no doubt because it’s
geared towards improving safety in airports, train
stations and other public spaces. A senior research
fellow in QUT’s Faculty of Built Environment and
Engineering, Fookes is working out ways to invest
computers with the ability to do what people now
do: intelligently analyse footage from CCTV
cameras. The work – which employs existing
biometric technologies such as facial recognition – is
supported by a range of security, law enforcement
and counter-terrorism agencies. Trials are under
way at airports and agencies around the country.
Year ahead: Expand reach of biometric technologies
and continue to develop surveillance capabilities.
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27 Prof. lars nielsen, 45, bioengineer
More than 25,000 new jets are expected to take
to the skies in the next two decades, adding to an
already heavy load of greenhouse gas emissions.
Can we find an eco-friendly alternative to aviation
fuel? Something that could be manufactured
sustainably, cheaply, and in the necessary
quantities? Perhaps from sugar cane juice? This
is what the consortium project headed by Nielsen
at UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and
Nanotechnology is trying to find out. Boeing, Virgin
Blue and major US green energy company Amyris
are among the big names funding it, along with the
Queensland Government. Laboratory work is under
way to ferment sugar cane juice into a fuel, while
scientists are also looking at other potential fuel
sources such as algae and oilseeds.
Year ahead: Work to produce enough biofuel from
sugar cane to do a test run on a jet engine.
28 Yaron lifsChitZ, 40,
artistiC direCtor & Ceo, CirCa
You know you’ve arrived, says Lifschitz, when you
perform in France, a country with a rich tradition of
globally lauded circus acts, and you’re told “you
guys have changed French circus – we’ve never
seen anything like this”. That’s the feedback
Brisbane ensemble Circa received when it took
its dynamic modern mix of physicality and theatre
to Festival Circa in Auch last month. The core
troupe of seven has toured extensively this year
– appearing on the main stage at the Barbican in
London, hitting Broadway in New York and opening
the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival in Ireland.
Back home it premiered a new work, Wunderkammer
(“our best ever”, according to creator Lifschitz), at
the Brisbane Festival.
Year ahead: Lots more touring and adding
Wunderkammer to the overseas schedule.
Clothing: dress, shoes, samantha ogilvie (3852 4661)
29 Yassmin
19, Young
of the Year
f any anecdote gives an insight into the world
of over-achieving Queensland teen Yassmin
Abdel-Magied, it’s the one she’s telling now
about her semi-regular, tea-drinking catchups with Governor-General Quentin Bryce.
The meetings started a few years ago when
Bryce was governor of Queensland and AbdelMagied a member of a youth group for Muslim
women. Now, thanks to her new profile as a charity
founder and crowning as Young Queenslander
of the Year, the vice-regal visits have escalated to
one-on-one affairs when Bryce is up from Canberra.
Like her third-year University of Queensland
engineering school friends, Abdel-Magied finds
herself in a situation that’s hard to believe. If she
thought too much about it, it would overwhelm
her, so she opts for laughter and self-deprecation
instead. Sitting cross-legged on a bench near
the university’s Great Court on a break between
lectures, she has one arm draped across the
backrest, the other animating her story.
“So I’m telling all my mates, ‘Oh, you know I’m
going to be late to uni tomorrow’ and they’re like,
‘where are you going?’ and I say ‘yeah, having tea
with the Governor-General’.” She finishes with a
dramatic twirl of her hand and laughs uproariously.
Bryce is in fact just one face among a powerful
network of contacts the talented teen has amassed
thanks to her enthusiasm for any community work
she can fit around her university schedule. Her CV
boasts her inclusion on the Queensland Design
Council, the board of the Queensland Museum and
the management committee of the Youth Affairs
Network of Queensland. Past roles have included
sitting on the Queensland Government’s 2009
Year of Creativity Roundtable, Deputy Chair of the
Queensland Youth Council, leading the Queensland
Youth Parliament and travelling to Canberra in 2008
for the youth summit running alongside the 2020
Ideas Summit. But it’s her role as founder and
president of Brisbane-based not-for-profit charity
Youth Without Borders (YWB) that’s commanding
attention on the international stage.
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really passionate but then everyone is really
possessive about ‘it’s our project’, or ‘this is
our problem’. I’m trying to get away from that.”
You’d assume she’s blowing the socks off proud
parents Midhat Abdel-Magied and Faiza El-Higzi,
but she says she’s simply trying to live up to the
example they set her. Her father is an electrical
engineer with a PhD and MBA who works as
a migration officer for the state government, while
her mother works for AusAID as the manager for Latin
America. They emigrated to Brisbane from Sudan
when Yassmin was almost two (her brother was born
three years later). She attended the Islamic School
of Brisbane, then John Paul College at Daisy Hill, on
Brisbane’s southern outskirts, graduating with an OP1.
She’s candid about her Muslim faith and her choice
to wear a hijab, or headscarf, for modesty reasons.
Her wardrobe decisions (she also covers the skin to
her ankles and wrists) attract questions – which she
happily answers. There are some funny moments.
“I’ve heard it all, like ‘do you speak Muslim?’ or ‘you
are from Islam, right?’ I’m like, no, it’s a religion, it’s not
a country!’ ” she says, breaking into peals of laughter.
“On Monday I took my bike to the shop to get fixed
and the bike dude looked at me awkwardly and he’s
like, ‘I don’t mean to be sounding rude, but do you
cycle in all that getup?’ ” Another laugh. “I said ‘no,
man, it’s not rude’ and I just explained I have a little
mini version [of the hijab] for when I ride.”
Her long, loud laugh is one of many delightful
aspects of Abdel-Magied’s personality. So are
her surprising confessions: her love of cars (she’s
a volunteer on the university’s racing team, which
requires its members to build and race a car),
and her major vice is online shopping.
As for her future, she isn’t ready to speculate.
She may apply for a Rhodes Scholarship next year
and wants to pursue work experience overseas in
mechanical engineering. Beyond that, she’s keeping
an open mind. “I always want to do work that will
help people,” she says. “What is the point of my
life if not to make other people’s lives better?”
Clothing: dress, shoes, Samantha Ogilvie (3852 4661)
What is the point of my
life if not to make other
people’s lives better?
While attending the Asia Pacific Cities Summit in
Brisbane in 2007, it occurred to Abdel-Magied that
“there were all these really passionate people
working in different community organisations dealing
with the same issues”, but huge numbers of needy
people were falling between the cracks. “I thought,
wouldn’t it be great if there was an organisation that
was purely based around getting these groups to
work together to make bigger change – rather than
replicating their resources and fighting for funding?”
She and three other attendees formed the core
of the organisation in 2008 and YWB became
officially incorporated in April 2009. Abdel-Magied
says it’s about empowering young people to bring
about positive change in their communities. “If you
have an idea but you don’t know how to make it
happen or you don’t have the resources, you can
come to us and we’ll link you up with other
organisations or people that can help.”
The group’s management committee of ten
meets every month and is steering about seven
projects. One is a mobile library project that started
when a 15-year-old Indonesian girl who lived in a city
of more than one million people with no public library
approached Abdel-Magied for assistance. “We didn’t
go to Indonesia but we contacted the embassy over
there and they put us in touch with a number of
other organisations,” she says, “and now there are
boxes on the back of motorbikes filled with books
that go around different villages.” YWB is hoping to
replicate the project in an appropriate format in
remote Queensland indigenous communities.
Another young person wanted to send muchneeded sanitary pads to women in Africa. She used
YWB’s logo to lend legitimacy to her project and is
now running an established operation.
Abdel-Magied likes to describe her group’s work
as galvanising people around good ideas. “At the
end of the day it doesn’t matter who does the work,”
she says, “whether it’s Youth Without Borders or
another organisation, as long as the people who
need to be helped are helped. That’s what frustrates
me about community work sometimes – everyone’s
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Gossip columnists preoccupied themselves with her
love life (an engagement, then split, with Ruby Rose),
her move from a base in New York to one in London,
and the cropping and colouring of her locks from
flowing auburn to funky black bob. The catwalk
queen herself, ranked 12th by in its
global top 50, just got on with the game. Hers was
the face (and body) that appeared on the 2010 Pirelli
calendar; sold fragrance for Carolina Herrera and
Narciso Rodriguez; posed in ads for Saks Fifth
Avenue, Givenchy and Gap; and graced the pages
of Vogue in Australia, Germany and Britain. The
self-proclaimed “bogan from Logan” also strutted
her stuff in Oz for Bonds and David Jones.
Year ahead: Walking the walk at New York,
London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks.
31 PRof. oVE HoEGH-GULdBERG, 51,
A report in international journal Science this year
that pulled together leading research showed that
greenhouse gases are driving irreversible changes
in the functions of our oceans. Hoegh-Guldberg,
the report’s lead author and director of UQ’s Global
Change Institute, says oceans are the planet’s
“heart and lungs”, producing half the oxygen we
breathe and absorbing 30 per cent of humangenerated carbon dioxide. The damage we’re
seeing is akin to the ocean being made to smoke
three packets of cigarettes a day. His own research
concentrates on the effect of increasing ocean
acidity on coral reefs, and his team is midway
through a world-first “tricky experiment”: in small
areas of waters off Heron Island, manipulating pH
levels to replicate those scientists expect in reef
waters midway through this century.
Year ahead: Lead writing team for the Oceans chapter
of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
this year’s Shanghai World Expo opened doors, with
multiple commissions in China now in progress.
In the Middle East they’re heading a public art
strategy for a huge urban renewal project in Jeddah,
Saudi Arabia, while at home they added to the office
mantelpiece the top gong and one for business
creativity in the Lord Mayor’s Business Awards.
Year ahead: Completion of the eight-storey facade
of 250,000 suspended aluminium panels on the
new carpark at Brisbane airport.
33 PRof. NATHAN EfRoN, 56,
Already world-renowned for his research into contact
lenses, Efron this year took out optometry’s “Nobel
prize”: the American Academy of Optometry Glenn
A. Fry Lecture Award. It’s only the second time in the
award’s 40 years that it was presented to a researcher
outside North America. The gong recognises Efron’s
discovery of a direct correlation between eye nerve
damage in people with diabetes and degeneration
of the nerves in their feet and hands (peripheral
neuropathy). At QUT’s Institute of Health and
Biomedical Innovation he’s working to develop
simple, effective tests using ophthalmic microscopes
that assess nerve changes, thus giving doctors
monitoring the health of diabetic patients and
scientists devising drugs to treat neuropathy a precise
window on what’s happening elsewhere in the body.
Year ahead: Analysing the first data from
participants in a five-year study.
It wasn’t a single achievement that saw the director
of the Griffith Institute for Social and Behavioural
Research recognised this year with an American
Society of Criminology award. It was his body of
work over decades into the causes of crime and
violence and ways to prevent it. Homel’s early
research led to the introduction here of random
breath testing, which has changed driving culture.
A central passion now is continuing Pathways
to Prevention, the early intervention program for
families that he developed in partnership with
Mission Australia and Education Queensland in
2001. This program targets antisocial behaviour in
young children to forestall more serious problems
that cause, as Homel says, “a lot of pain”.
Year ahead: Follow-up work with children from
seven Brisbane schools who undertook a Pathways
to Prevention program in 2002 and 2003.
35 KATE MoRToN, 34, AUTHoR
If history repeats itself, Morton’s just-released third
novel The Distant Hours will be sitting on bestseller
lists until Christmas. Her second novel, The Forgotten
Garden, spent two months on the New York Times
list and to date, her first two books have recorded
sales of more than 3 million copies in 37 countries.
Completing The Distant Hours, a tale that’s set in
an English castle and weaves through family
secrets from the war years, consumed much of the
year for the Brisbane “gothic sensation”. Now that
it’s on shelves around the world, she’s off on a sixweek world promotional tour.
Year ahead: Thinking about a novel set in Australia.
The Tobin twins have been driving the global
expansion of their Brisbane company Urban Art
Projects, with Matthew leading the Shanghai office
and Daniel relocating to the US to open a UAP
studio in Houston, Texas. It was a bumper year for
the duo and their team of 65 designers, artists,
metalworkers and other craftspeople who devise
and install large-scale works for architectural and
landscape projects. The artworks they created for
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36 DON E. MORGAN, 62, iNvENtOR
It’s taken the better part of two decades but the
Brisbane physicist is finally seeing his revolutionary,
shock-absorbing foam lining for helmets out in the
marketplace. The “cone-head” design, which won
Morgan the 2007 Invention of the Year on ABC-TV’s
The New Inventors, incorporates a series of cones
of differing density, providing greater protection for
the delicate areas of the skull. He describes it as
a “crumple zone in a helmet”. A global licensing deal
with Hong Kong-based Strategic Sports Ltd, one of
the world’s largest helmet manufacturers, has seen
the design incorporated into motocross, road
motorbike, bicycle and skiing helmets distributed
under various brands including Kali Protectives,
Scott, Uvex, Motovan and Head Sport AG. Already
winning fans in Europe and North America, helmets
with the cone lining will soon hit our shores.
Year ahead: Hoping to see his technology adapted
to baby capsules and child car seats.
37 EMMA MOFFAtt, 26, tRiAthlEtE
Second place behind reigning Olympic champion
and former training partner Emma Snowsill at
September’s World Championship Series grand
final in Budapest was enough for Moffatt to make
it back-to-back world titles. It was a hard-won
honour for the Brisbane-based triathlete, who failed
to win an event in the series but topped the overall
point score through determination and consistency.
The win was particularly sweet for the Beijing bronze
medallist after she started the year with a seriously
injured shoulder following a bike crash.
Year ahead: Going for a third-straight world title on
the way to the London Olympics.
38 JASON BAiRD, 43, MAkEup ARtiSt
“And the Emmy goes to … ” In August, Gold Coaster
Baird heard his name added to that sentence when
the 2010 Creative Arts Primetime Emmy Awards were
handed out in Los Angeles. The win was for most
outstanding prosthetic makeup in a series, miniseries
or movie, and Baird shared it with several members
of the 40-plus team he led for the Steven Spielberg/
Tom Hanks World War II miniseries The Pacific, shot
around Queensland in 2007. To Baird, the statuette is
acknowledgement not only of his work on the epic,
but a 22-year journey through the film and TV world.
Baird established his own makeup effects studio
JMB FX in 1996, doubling it in size over the years.
The studio’s film credits include Star Wars Episode
II: Attack of the Clones, The Matrix Reloaded, The
Matrix Revolutions, Daybreakers and The Ruins.
Year ahead: Complete work on Spielberg sci-fi TV
series Terra Nova. Fox will air a sneak peek in May.
40 pROF. pERRY BARtlEtt, 63,
Building relationships with contemporaries in China
has borne fruit for Bartlett this year: the director of
UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute engineered a joint
neuroscience laboratory with the Institute of
Biophysics within the Chinese Academy of Sciences
in Beijing. In a bid to increase our understanding
of diseases such as dementia and schizophrenia,
scientists in the joint lab will progress world-leading
research on the mechanisms and genes involved in
learning and memory. Bartlett’s research team has
been building on his joint discovery nearly two
decades ago that cells in the brain can make new
nerve cells (neurons). Researchers are hoping to
soon show that kickstarting the relevant brain cells
with drugs or environmental stimuli to produce new
neurons can slow down, if not reverse, the memory
and cognitive loss of ageing and dementia.
Year ahead: Hopes for a joint laboratory in Shanghai
focused on genes involved in the progress of motor
neurone disease, epilepsy and schizophrenia.
41 liNDA lOWNDES, 43,
This year, Lowndes was recognised with a Rotary
award for using her spray-on, colour-correcting
simulated skin to help disguise the scars of two
badly burnt Indonesian girls flown to Australia for
treatment. Just as rewarding was the opening of the
first overseas Microskin clinic in New York – and her
product subsequently being named by America’s
Allure magazine as one of 2010’s top 12 ingenious
beauty breakthroughs. Another highlight has been
working with child burns patients in Australia and
New Zealand as part of a study into Microskin’s
psychological effects. At her Brisbane HQ, Lowndes
has been busy completing testing on a sunscreen
product and putting the finishing touches on
a spray-on retail line in 14 shades for minor
blemishes. It should be available by Christmas.
Year ahead: Looking at opening two more US
clinics and others in Canada, Wales and London.
39 thE tEN tENORS, vOcAliStS
They’re ten blokes with glorious voices who can
belt out Puccini’s Nessun Dorma in one breath and
AC/DC’s Thunderstruck in the other – plus they look
sharp in suits. No wonder they’ve hit the heights.
Formed in Brisbane 15 years ago, still managed from
here and with a couple of Queenslanders still in the
line-up, the Ten Tenors are one of Australia’s longest
continually running live music exports. They have
platinum and gold albums and DVDs to their names
and tour overseas up to ten months a year. The
global financial crunch saw their travel pared back
this year, although they found new audiences in
Sweden and the Ukraine and doubled dates in Peru.
Year ahead: Hit stages for the first times in Japan,
China and India, and release two new albums.
36 |
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42 ScoTT o’Neill,
48, deNgue fever
o pinpoint the genesis of Scott
O’Neill’s groundbreaking work on
dengue fever, you need to go back
to the ’80s when he was a PhD
student living in Brisbane hovels
and slogging away on experiments
that just kept failing. For five years, the view in
O’Neill’s microscope was of an ancient bacterium
with feminist tendencies called Wolbachia that
simply refused to respond the way he and his
supervisor expected.
Writing a PhD about failed experiments had the
budding entomology scientist frustrated, annoyed
– and obsessed. “I think I have a bit of a problem
with obsession; most scientists do,” says O’Neill,
now the Head of the School of Biological Sciences
at the University of Queensland. “So you have to
keep your motivation up by grabbing on to the few
experiments that work – they keep you going over
the dry periods.”
It’s an obsession the world may soon have
cause to celebrate. After 25 years teasing out the
secrets of Wolbachia, O’Neill is about to release
mosquitoes infected with the little bug into two
Cairns suburbs with the expectation that it will
dramatically reduce the spread of dengue fever.
If those field tests go well, it will be trialled in
Vietnam and Thailand using some of the $10 million
in funds O’Neill has attracted from the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation for his work. If he runs
short, he can dip into the $1.95 million grant the
Queensland Government recently gave him and his
Eliminate Dengue team.
“To have this sort of success has exceeded our
expectations,” O’Neill says. “It’s just a great ride
to be on at the moment. It’s not enough for me to
be obsessed about something that’s completely
curiosity-driven – I like there to be some kind of
beneficial impact out of what I’m doing.”
And what an impact that could be. The World
Health Organisation estimates 2.5 billion people
– about two-fifths of the world’s population – are at
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risk from dengue fever, a potentially fatal mosquitoborne disease. There are about 50 million infections
every year. Far north Queensland in 2008-09 had
a large dengue outbreak that infected more than
1000 people and contributed to the death of an
elderly woman.
Back in 1985, Gosford-born O’Neill was stuck
in a curiosity-driven PhD project at UQ, trying to
learn something about the evolutionary journey of
Wolbachia. A prehistoric and microscopic bacterium,
it had come to the world’s attention in the 1920s
but once scientists worked out it wasn’t infectious
to humans, they’d largely ignored it for decades.
O’Neill might well have left it languishing
again after his frustrating experiments, if not
for a trip to the US to clear his head. There he
contacted the University of Illinois, a leader in
entomology research, and got a job. He was
employed to look at fruit flies but something just
kept pulling him back to Wolbachia. He was now
armed with up-to-the-minute techniques, and
success started coming his way.
Scientists had already discovered that
Wolbachia caused mating incompatibilities in
insects; O’Neill now found that the bacterium
could actually turn males into females. “All sorts
of other effects that had been seen in other
insects … were related to this infection with this
one bacterium which was incredibly common in
insects,” he says. “I’d gone from years of nothing
working to suddenly everything I touched worked.
The Midas touch. It was just incredible.”
Yale University noticed, and soon O’Neill
had a one-year contract with the Ivy League
institution. He was there for ten years. “I was
successful in writing grants and got promoted
into the system … I got money, and with money
came a more permanent job.”
Not that his work was always successful. The
rollercoaster of scientific endeavour went into one
of its downward slides and the eureka moments
faded. As did the appeal of life in New Haven,
Connecticut, “one of the very poor cities in the
US. New Haven is the place where I learned what
handguns sounded like.”
O’Neill arrived in Queensland to take up his
post at UQ just weeks before September 11,
2001. Almost as soon as he put his new lab coat
on, he began a line of research that finally led to
the dengue breakthrough. Although Wolbachia
has found its way into a host of insects over the
millennia, it did not occur in the dengue-spreading
aedes aegypti mosquito. After years of painstaking
lab work, O’Neill and his team managed to get it
into the tiny insect. The theory was it would
shorten the life of the mosquito and therefore
reduce its ability to pass on dengue, since only
older, female mosquitoes transmit the disease.
Sure enough, O’Neill’s work did shorten the
mosquitoes’ lifespan. But something even more
spectacular occurred. “We found that Wolbachia
in the mosquito actually makes it unable for the
dengue virus to grow in the mosquito.”
The hope is that by releasing Wolbachiainfected aedes aegypti into the wild population,
the infection will gradually spread and dengue
will lose its grip on its hosts. After 25 years of
obsessing about this ancient bacterium, O’Neill
could be on the brink of ridding the world of one
of its worst insect-driven diseases.
So high has his star risen since those gloomy
PhD days, he’s now been headhunted by Monash
University to be its new Dean of Science, taking
the Eliminate Dengue project and some of the
team members with him to Melbourne in June
next year. Alongside him will be his scientist wife
Dr Beth McGraw and their daughter Marli, 5.
(His son from a previous marriage, Myles, 19, is
studying science and daughter Kathleen, 17, is
interested in journalism.) While the move is a drain
on the intellectual pool of Brisbane, it must surely
count as inspiration for all those lab-bound PhD
students who wonder if their repetitive work will
ever amount to anything.
A music critic for The New Yorker magazine
described Miller-Heidke’s album Curiouser, already
a platinum seller in Australia, as a “gem” and “a big
clutch of Pantone swatches”. Generous praise
indeed for the Brisbane songstress, who spent the
bulk of the past year overseas, touring the album
through North America, acting as support for Ben
Folds, and in London treading the boards of the
Sadler’s Wells Theatre in the musical review Shoes.
She wasn’t forgotten back home, though: she was
a finalist for the 2010 APRA Song of the Year with
husband Keir Nuttall for her hit single The Last Day
on Earth; she joined Canadian Sarah McLachlan for
a slice of the Australian A Taste of Lilith tour; and
she scored ARIA award nominations in three of the
fan-voted “most popular” categories.
Year ahead: Taking the stage at this year’s
Woodford Folk Festival (December 27-January 1)
and writing material with Nuttall for a new album.
shoes, WitChery
Words: Name
I’d gone from years of nothing working to suddenly everything
I touched worked. The Midas touch. It was just incredible.
It’s been a busy year for Steendyk: in April it was
a showing at the Milan Furniture Fair, then in
September he headed to the London Design
Festival to launch several of the ANONandCo
products from his Brisbane design studio. There
was strong interest in the Coral seating and planter
range, Chuckel and Dove stools and Yhi pendant
lamps, and he’s in follow-up talks with UK
stockists. Back home he was shortlisted for the
Queensland Smart State Design Fellowship, was
a finalist in the Belle magazine/Georg Jensen
product design awards, and won gongs from
the Royal Australian Institute of Architects and
the Australian Steel Institute for his conversion of
a Spring Hill worker’s cottage.
Year ahead: Expand the product range and
present at the agIdeas 2011 international design
festival in Melbourne.
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Genetic links to breast and ovarian cancer continue to
be uncovered by the research teams Chenevix-Trench
participates in or leads. This year the head of the
Cancer Genetics Laboratory at the Queensland
Institute of Medical Research helped identify five
different DNA segments containing genetic variations
associated with ovarian cancer risk. Chenevix-Trench
describes it as like picking up “five individual spelling
mistakes in over 200,000 pages of text”.
Year ahead: Continue research to uncover genetic
changes that affect health – work that could pave
the way for new cancer screening and treatment.
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46 roBErT McVICKEr, 55,
An army, they say, marches on its stomach. If that’s
true, then McVicker’s responsibility is enormous. His
Brisbane-based industrial catering, accommodation
and facilities management firm, Morris Corp, has
since 2003 provided meals – about 18,000 a day now
– and other services to US troops in Iraq. McVicker,
who started as a kitchenhand in the ’70s, spends
the bulk of his time in the Middle East (his wife runs
her own business providing hospitals built from
shipping containers), while his executives manage
Australian operations, mostly in the mining sector.
The couple will soon be spending their downtime in
a new home at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast.
Year ahead: Public float of the company.
47 DENNIs NoNA, 37, ArTIsT
His intricate linocuts, etchings and sculptures drawing
on the rich traditions and legends of the Torres Strait
Islands have won Badu Island-born Nona a clutch of
awards. This year he added to his CV the Works on
Paper gong in the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait
Islander Art Awards, and showings in the US and
in Paris. But the biggest feather in his cap may be a
$1.5 million commission for the Musée des Confluences
in Lyon. Depicting a hunter, canoe and dugong, the
sculpture is bigger than Nona’s striking 7m-long cast
bronze canoe commissioned for the King Abdullah
University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia.
Year ahead: Solo shows at the Australian embassy
in Paris and the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Rochefort.
KIM McCosKEr, 40, CooKBooK AuTHors
They began a little over three years ago, and now the
Sunshine Coast cooks preside over a 4 Ingredients
empire. Their fourth book, Fast, Fresh & Healthy (with
Deepak Chopra), came out this year and one for kids
is on the way. They’ve sold rights to 12 countries and
are now moving into the US market. Then there’s
a DVD, TV show, iPhone app, cookware … “Who’d
have thought,” says Bermingham (pictured left), “one
in 11 homes in Australia would have a 4 Ingredients
cookbook, and you’d see us on TV in Mexico?”
Year ahead: Tours of the US, UK and launch of the
new book for junior cooks.
49 JEssICA WATsoN, 17, sAIlor
The Sunshine Coast teen didn’t get an “official”
world record since the World Speed Sailing Record
Council doesn’t recognise record attempts by sailors
under the age of 18, but there’s no disputing that
she’s the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop and
unassisted around the world. Honours and awards
have flowed in the wake of her nationally televised
return in May: among them, the Sport Australia Hall
of Fame Spirit of Sport Award, and the Australian
Geographic Society Young Adventurer of the Year.
Year ahead: Plugging her book True Spirit … and
she’s a shoo-in for Young Australian of the Year.
50 Prof. HuGH PossINGHAM, 48,
Already he’s seeing Marxan, the conservation planning
software he and his UQ team developed, used to
protect about 5 per cent of the planet’s surface. Now,
thanks to $12 million in federal funding to establish
an Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence
for Environmental Decisions, Possingham hopes the
researchers will have a greater impact on global
policy. As centre director he’ll oversee collaborations
between Australian and international agencies to help
governments best spend their conservation dollars.
Year ahead: Opening the ARC centre; developing
Marxan to deal with issues such as coral bleaching. n
12/11/2010 4:51:15 PM