BRISBANE PERSON OF THE YEAR Proudly supported by Dr Daniel Timms Brad Webb Rosario La Spina Mike O’Hagan Kate Miller-Heidke Dr Peter Stewart Our 2014 bmag Brisbane Person of the Year candidates John Curro Russell White Prof Adele Green Natalie Weir Michael Tuahine Shelley Argent Brisbane has many incredible sons and daughters putting us on the map locally, nationally and internationally T he bmag Brisbane Person of the Year will be announced by Lord Mayor Graham Quirk at a special ceremony on Monday 27 October. The nominated person will join the ranks of former title holders including art dealer and philanthropist Philip Bacon (2013), businessman and Merlo founder Dean Merlo (2012), SES rescue worker Danny Armstrong (2011) and former Broncos captain and sporting hero Darren Lockyer (2010). We salute our 2014 candidates: The artificial heart Dr Daniel Timms PhD, chief technology officer at BiVACOR, is changing history with his revolutionary invention of an alternative to the artificial heart. Brisbane-based Dr Timms was invited to work at the world-leading Texas Heart Institute where the device, 13 years in development, is five years from being tested in humans. Couture brilliance Brad Webb is Australia’s undisputed master of bridal couture. Designing under the Brisbanebased label Darb Bridal Couture, Brad has won the equivalent of three Olympic Gold medals and the Australian Fashion Design Awards Supreme Award in 2005, 2006 and 2009. Top tenor Rosario La Spina is our very own international tenor who was trained at the young singers’ 28 bmag.com.au I Read Brisbane’s Best academy at La Scala, Milan and has taken leading roles in the Italian and French repertoire around the world – Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Rosario is also a major recording artist for Universal/ABC Classics. Master of removals Beginning with only one ute, Mike O’Hagan now runs eight companies including Mini Movers - a short-distance removal company that turns over $30 million a year and employs more than 500 people. He is the former director of the Australian Institute of Management in Queensland and is passionate about business. Sweet songbird One of Brisbane’s most successful singer-songwriters, Kate Miller-Heidke has such a devoted fan base that when she asked them to financially support her latest album it took all of three days to fund the recording, making it the fastest and most successful crowd-funded campaign by an Australian artist. Kate wrote most of the tracks to O’Vertigo here in Brisbane. She is also working on a project with Opera Australia. Second sight Dr Peter Stewart, a Brisbane ophthalmologist, pioneered laser cataract surgery in Australia and for the best part of a decade has spent his holidays performing life-changing surgery on the coral islands of Kiribati in Micronesia, enabling residents to enjoy the gift of sight. Music to our ears John Curro is the founder and musical director for Queensland Youth Orchestras (QYO), a training ground for professional musicians for nearly half a century. John’s skills as a musical director and inspirational leader along with his personal philanthropy have cemented QYO’s positioning as an enduring institution on our cultural landscape. Fatality free roads Russell White is regarded as one of the country’s leading road safety advocates. Fatality Free Friday, a national community-based road safety initiative, was his idea. It’s turned into Australia’s only national community-based road safety program and last year it reached 10.6 million people with its message. Walking on sunshine For nearly 30 years Professor Adele Green AC, currently head of the cancer and population studies at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, has been at the frontline of the battle against skin cancer. Her ground-breaking research has been pivotal in convincing the sun-loving Australian community that putting on sunscreen is the best way to fight skin cancer. Born to dance Choreographer and artistic director of Expressions Dance Company Natalie Weir has created more than 150 works for Australian and overseas dance companies. In 2010 Natalie’s work Where the Heart Is won Best Choreography and Best Ballet or Dance Work at the 2011 Helpmann Awards. She was nominated again in 2014 for her work When Time Stops. Indigenous inspiration Michael Tuahine is inspiring personal leadership, responsibility and positive change in indigenous communities. Michael co-founded Community Leadership Solutions (CLS), to improve opportunities for and attitudes within the indigenous community. CLS works with the Former Origin Greats (FOGs) and the Artie Academy initiative, named after indigenous league legend Artie Beetson. A voice for all Shelley Argent once described herself as an "ordinary stay-at-home mother". But when her son announced he was gay, Shelley stepped up. She is the national spokesperson for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and has worked tirelessly to protect and enhance the human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. In 2005 Shelley was awarded an OAM for her work in the community.
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