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Monday 23 September 2019

His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland, will present 9 North Queensland residents with Australian Honours and Awards at a special ceremony in Townsville on Monday, 23 September 2019.

Presenting awards and honours under the Australian honours system – the highest form of recognition in Australia – is one of the Governor’s key ceremonial duties.

The Governor will present the following Australian Honours and Awards:

APPOINTED A MEMBER OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA IN THE GENERAL DIVISION

Mr Johnathan Dean THURSTON

For significant service to rugby league as a player and captain of the North Queensland Cowboys Rugby League Football Club, and as a representative player in the Australian Kangaroos, Queensland State of Origin, and Indigenous All Stars; and as a role model and ambassador for support programs in Indigenous communities.

AWARDED THE PUBLIC SERVICE MEDAL

Mr Peter John SEARSTON

For outstanding public service through expanding employment and career opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Northern Queensland, particularly through the Indigenous Apprenticeship Programme of the Department of Human Services and through leadership programs and cultural awareness training to increase Indigenous employment and retention.

AWARDED THE MEDAL OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA IN THE GENERAL DIVISION

Mr Greg John JONES

For service to local government, and to the community of North Queensland, particularly as mayor, deputy mayor and councillor of Flinders Shire Council and as chairman, president or member of a range of community, business, education and local government entities, including Regional Development Australia – Townsville and North Queensland.

Mr Robert PACK

For service to health, and to the community of Townsville as founder, Building Appeal Committee chairman and volunteer for Spinal Life Australia, as a judge of the District Court of Queensland, and as chairman, president or member of a range of professional, community, sport and service organisations in Townsville.

Mr Kevin Thomas PATTEL

For service to the livestock transport industry through the establishment of KT and JE Pattel Livestock Transport, continuing a family tradition as pioneer drovers and livestock haulers, while introducing innovations to reduce costs and as a prominent supporter of individuals and organisations in the community.

Mr George Henry WHITE

For service to children, particularly children with illnesses and disabilities and their families, and for his service as Santa Claus at the Townsville Special Children’s Christmas Party for the past 23 years.

AWARDED THE MEDAL OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA IN THE MILITARY DIVISION

Warrant Officer Class One Mark RETALLICK

For meritorious performance of duty to the Australian Army in regimental leadership roles, demonstrating exceptional professionalism in his contribution to remote Australian units and to the Defence Indigenous Development Program, and earning respect and admiration through selflessness, and unwavering support for his superiors, peers and subordinates.

AWARDED THE CONSPICUOUS SERVICE MEDAL

Sergeant Gayle Claire WALKOM

For meritorious devotion to duty as the Unit Welfare Officer and Batugade Platoon Commander at the 3rd Combat Service Support Battalion, diligently supporting wounded, injured and ill soldiers and their families with a tangible positive effect on mental health and on the reputation of the Army in the veteran community.

AWARDED A COMMENDATION FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE

Corporal George BARSOUM

For distinguished performance of duties in warlike operations as a Linguist on Task Group Taji IV and VI in Iraq, providing outstanding and protracted support to the North Baghdad Operations Command in operations and directly enhancing force protection of Task Group and coalition personnel.