June 7, 2022

A Community Elder born and raised in Cherbourg has joined the ranks of “Queensland Greats”, people or institutions honoured on Queensland Day for their social, scientific, health, environmental or cultural contributions to the State.

Uncle Albert Holt’s honour was announced during the 22nd Queensland Greats Awards at Brisbane City Hall on Monday, June 6.

Uncle Albert, a Bidjara man, was born in 1936. He was the first Senior Indigenous Queensland Police Liaison Officer, joining the force in 1995.

He helped establish the Queensland Murri courts in 2006, advising magistrates on cultural issues, assisting defendants to understand the court processes and accessing Elders to support and rehabilitate Indigenous offenders.

His contribution to education has also been significant, having founded Hymba Yumba Independent School, an institution deeply committed to the traditions of Indigenous culture, spirituality and identity.

For two decades, Uncle Albert lobbied for Queensland schools to be more inclusive and transparent of a shared and unafraid Aboriginal history in the curriculum.

He was pivotal in the establishment of the Inala Indigenous Health Service which works towards closing the health and wellbeing gap in one of Australia’s highest populated First Nations metropolitan communities.

His citation praises him for “blazing a formidable trail advocating for community justice, health and higher education of race, gender, class equality, enriching lives for all Queenslanders”.

The other 2022 Queensland Greats named on Monday are:

  • Cricketer and youth and multicultural advocate Usman Khawaja
  • Burns treatment pioneer Emeritus Professor Dr Stuart Pegg AM
  • Engineer Else Shepherd AM
  • First Nations health and human rights advocate Professor Gracelyn Smallwood AM
  • Koala conservationist Prof Peter Timms
  • Queensland artist, the late Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori
  • Natural and cultural history institution, the Queensland Museum Network

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk paid tribute to the award recipients for their achievements, advocacy, creativity and community spirit.

“I’m proud to acknowledge the inspiring lives of these great Queenslanders,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

“They have improved Indigenous education and justice, used sporting prominence to assist young migrants, pioneered burns management, and had extraordinarily productive technical careers.

“They’ve advocated for better health for our First Nations Queenslanders, made landmark scientific contributions to wildlife protection, impressed the world with local Indigenous art and curated our State’s scientific and cultural history.

“Their contributions to health and research, science and technologies, the arts and education have provided pathways for disadvantaged communities, and pioneered life-changing developments.”

A total of 123 individuals and 18 institutions have now been named Queensland Greats since the awards began in 2001.

They are honoured with a commemorative plaque in the Roma Street Parkland.

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