Our 2014 bmag Brisbane Person of the Year candidates

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
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
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.