30 January, 2023

Moreton Bay and Somerset locals celebrated in 2023 Australia Day Honours

SIX people from the Moreton Bay and Somerset Regional Council areas are amongst the 135 Queenslanders acknowledged in the 2023 Australia Day Honours List.

Moreton Bay and Somerset locals celebrated in 2023 Australia Day Honours - feature photo

Ian Hall from Woodford was recognised for service to veterans and their families, Owen Pezet from Burpengary East for his service to soccer, Raymond Smith for service to rowing, Frederick Stolz from Kippa Ring for service to secondary education, Paul Stevens from Toogoolawah for service to the community of the Gold Coast and Paulus Toonen from Scarborough for service to the community of Redcliffe.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated all recipients, who have excelled in fields as diverse as scientific research, sport, politics and visual arts.

“This year, 135 Queenslanders have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to our great Queensland – and Australian – lifestyle,” the Premier said.

“These awards show the level of innovation, expertise, talent and generosity that can be found right here in Queensland.

“To be recognised on this esteemed list means each of these incredible Queenslanders have made an indelible mark on the social and cultural fabric of this country.

“At a national level, I’m also pleased to see more women being recognised for their contributions, with this year’s list including the highest percentage of female Order of Australia recipients in an honours list since the introduction of the Australian honours system in 1975.

“On behalf of my Government, I congratulate all our 2023 Australia Day Honours recipients, and thank them for serving, achieving and believing in Queensland.”

This year, four Queenslanders were appointed Officers (AO) in the General Division – the second highest level of Award, recognising distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or to humanity at large.

They are:

  • Inclusive education champion and Director of the University of Queensland’s Down Syndrome Research Program, Associate Professor Rhonda Faragher

  • Biological scientist and Professorial Research Fellow at the Mater Research Institute-UQ, Professor David Hume

  • Queensland-born former Papua New Guinean politician and social justice advocate, Dame Carol Kidu DBE, and

  • Business leader, philanthropist and former University of the Sunshine Coast Deputy Chancellor, Mr Scott Williams AM.

Queenslanders are encouraged to nominate members of their community for an Order of Australia throughout the year – to ensure high achievement, professional contributions and charitable pursuits are justly recognised and celebrated.

The Council for the Order of Australia, an independent body with representatives from each state and territory of Australia, meets twice a year to consider nominations.

The nomination form for the Order of Australia can be found at

The complete Australia Day 2023 Honours List is available on the Governor-General’s website.


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