FOUR Redlanders – a criminal psychologist, SES volunteer, mechanical engineer and sportswoman – have been named in this year’s Australia Day honours list.
They and 891 others have been recognised for their contributions to the nation.
Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove said the awards recognised the nation’s quiet achievers.
“They are people who serve the community but do not seek accolades,” he said.
“Their qualities – compassion, dedication, generosity, selflessness, tolerance and energetic ambition – inspire and motivate us.
“We are a stronger, safer and more caring nation because of them.”
Redlanders Professor Richard Wortley, Mr Anthony Daniel, Dr Christos Spero and Ms Terry Donovan will be awarded.
Read their stories below.
Professor Richard Wortley, AM
Criminal psychologist and academic, Professor Richard Wortley, has been appointed to the Order of Australia for his services to criminal psychology.
The 62-year-old has directed the University College London’s Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science for the past eight years and was also an adjunct professor at Griffith University’s Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance.
Professor Wortley said he had no idea who nominated him for the accolade him but was honoured by the recognition.
“(I was) very surprised and it was the last thing I was expecting,” he said.
Professor Wortley said his current research was focused on ways to reduce online exploitation of children, with other projects at the institute exploring types of crime threats presented by emerging technologies.
“We are dedicated to finding ways to reduce crime,” he said.
Professor Wortley said he became interested in criminal psychology after working as a prison psychologist.
“I wasn’t particularly looking to get into this field, it just happened to be the first job that came along,” he said.
“But I was soon hooked. I got to talk to thousand of prisoners, including many notorious ones and was fascinated by the diversity of reasons that they were in prison.
“I eventually got the opportunity to move to the university sector where I started formally researching crime.”
Professor Wortley said he worked full-time in the UK but regularly visited his home at Cleveland to see his family.
Tony Daniel, OAM
Victoria Point man Tony Daniel has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his ongoing volunteer work with the State Emergency Service.
The 67-year-old has served with the SES for the past 44 years, sacrificing family gatherings at a moment’s notice to help out.
Mr Daniel, an SES team leader, said he was humbled to find out he had been nominated.
“When you see what other OAM recipients have done, I was rather surprised,” he said.
“It is not so much for me, as all the activations have put a strain on the wife and kids.”
Mr Daniel has helped in natural disaster evacuations and recoveries, including Cyclone Tracey, the Brisbane floods, Cyclone Yasi and various storms at Newcastle, New South Wales.
He said he was on-call 24 hours a day but was committed to helping others in strife.
Mr Daniel said his Medal of the Order of Australia would be added to his collection of awards.
He received the National Emergency Medal in 2011, the NSW Service Medallion in 2007, the National Medal in 2001 and three Meritorious Service medals marking 30, 35 and 40 years of service.
Mr Daniel said his wife Anne and his two adult daughters were proud of his OAM achievement.
The Victoria Point man has also worked jobs including with the Department of Defence and within the education system as a facilities officer.
Dr Chris Spero, OAM
Dr Chris Spero has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to science and oxyfuel technology.
The Capalaba man said he was delighted to have been named on the Australia Day honours list but was unsure who nominated him.
“It felt surreal,” he said.
“I am extremely proud and didn’t know I’d be nominated. I never imagined it.”
Dr Spero said his research was focused on ways to capture carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power stations.
The 59-year-old has been involved in the field of power technologies for the past 40 years and currently heads CS Energy’s energy technology and innovation department.
He has a doctor of philosophy in mechanical engineering and recently led a nine year study, called the Callide Oxyfuel Project, to demonstrate the capture of CO2 on an industrial scale.
“(It is) where a conventional coal-fired power station boiler is fired with oxygen mixed with recycled exhaust gas instead of regular air,” he said.
“The carbon dioxide is then captured from the waste gas cryogenically for industrial applications or geological storage.
“The purpose of the technology is to utilise coal for power generation without emissions to the atmosphere.”
Dr Spiro said he was proud of his 100 year family history in Australia and of his Greek-Australian forebears, who had worked in farming and stone masonry.
The Capalaba man has three adult children and four grandchildren. He said his wife Helen enjoyed horticultural interests on their acreage block.
Ms Terry Donovan, OAM
Victoria Point woman Terry Donovan has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to archery.
The 73-year-old said she became hooked on the sport after first picking up a bow and arrow aged 19.
“I like the fact that everything is up to the archer and you are either successful or fail on your own,” she said.
Ms Donovan has represented Australia numerous times through her 54 year sporting career, including at four Olympics between 1972 and 1984.
She also helped her team secure silver at the 1979 world archery championships and competed at the Commonwealth Games in 1982.
Her wins include 14 Australia championship medals in the open division. “The open ones I definitely have to work for,” she said.
Ms Donovan is today a life member of the Mount Petrie Bowmnen club, where she has served on the committee in various positions throughout the past four decades.
She has also served as treasurer of the South Queensland Archery Society since 2006.
While Ms Donovan said her glory days were behind her, she still enjoys coaching beginners.
Ms Donovan is certain someone from the club nominated her for the Medal of the Order of Australia.
She did not find out until official correspondence from the Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General arrived in her inbox, which she believed was spam.
“I didn’t know I was nominated,” she said. “Archery has been very good to me over the years.”