Skip links and keyboard navigation

Wall of fame

This program was developed under a former Government.

Elizabeth Norris

Photographer: Dale Wicks

Science Champion

Elizebeth Norris

Elizebeth has established herself as a leading authority on fossil amber found in far north Queensland. She is credited, along with her partner, with having discovered Australia’s first fossil amber deposits and is highly regarded for making specimens available for academic research.


Science Champion

Teresa Hackney

Teresa is a leader in science teaching in the Mackay region. Teresa’s leadership is demonstrated by the innovative, special science focus days she convenes for Mercy College school students. Teresa was instrumental in facilitating ‘Women in Science’, the Queensland University of Technology - Science in Engineering Winter school in Mackay. She has also been a driving force in the creation of a hub for science teacher professional development in Mackay.

Science Champion

Robert BlackRobert Black

Robert is a respected advocate of the value of astronomy in school science curriculum. His efforts to improve the delivery of astronomy-related science content for several schools in the Burdekin region of North Queensland has drawn praise from partnering organisations, including Stephen Ramsden, Founder of the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project and Dr Steele Hill from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Innovation Champion

Dr Cara WrigleyDr Cara Wrigley

Dr Wrigley is a senior lecturer in Design-led Innovation at the Queensland University of Technology. Through a design-based approach to business model innovation, she helps Queensland firms improve their level of emotive engagement with customers to achieve growth.

Innovation Champion

mark paddenburgMark Paddenburg

Mark is Chief Executive Officer of the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast and has a track record of creating value by connecting entrepreneurs with talent and capital. Mark’s passion lies in helping innovative startups and high growth companies achieve their dreams. He has previously worked with a number of startups, including Dascom (now owned by IBM), FireWire, Venture Commander and (now owned by Flight Centre). The Innovation Centre, established in 2002, includes a business incubator/accelerator and is a wholly owned entity of the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Science Champion

matthew simpsonProfessor Matthew Simpson

Professor Simpson is a Professor of Applied Mathematics at Queensland University of Technology. His research involves developing new mathematical models and computer simulations of collective migration processes.  Applying these models to experimental data, his work provides quantitative insight into the mechanisms that drive collective cell spreading processes. These insights help improve our understanding of tissue repair processes and disease pathways, such as the spreading of melanoma.

yvette adams

Photographer: Rosie Joyce

Innovation Champion

Yvette Adams

Yvette is an award winning entrepreneur who has developed a number of innovative tools to help businesses and individuals succeed online and commercialise their products. She currently runs three companies: The Creative Collective, a creative agency specialising in digital marketing and crowdfunding with national and international clients; The Training Collective, a training organisation specialising in digital skills with programs delivered in-person and online; and, an online portal which helps people globally find and enter business awards. Yvette’s Get Up To Speed training program is notable for having helped more than 750 people from Australia and New Zealand acquire digital skills essential to improving their online presence and growing their businesses.

Simon Groth

Photographer: Sally Ball

Innovation Champion

Simon Groth

Simon is a writer and editor recognised for his leadership in adopting new forms of digital literature. As Manager of if:book Australia, a refreshing, experimental online publishing space, he explores the changing connections between writers and readers.


Science Champion

Professor Richard John

Professor John is a leader in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) promotion and education. He has been instrumental in engaging local schools and the community in science experiences and providing innovative approaches to science education such as the Science on the GO! program.

Innovation Champion

Adjunct Professor, Dr Clarence Tan

Dr Tan is an innovation leader in the Queensland ICT sector and is dedicated to mentoring students and companies, and providing commercialisation assistance.


Innovation Champion

Gold Coast TechSpace

The Gold Coast TechSpace, as an ‘incubator for brains’, has been facilitating technology-focused co-working, delivering educational learning sessions and helping the commercialisation of technology on the Gold Coast.

Innovation Champions

Sam Winter and Sharon Hunneybell

Startup Apprentice

Sam and Sharon are the founders of the Startup Apprentice Program, which provides a free entrepreneur program for schools, community groups and co-working spaces. The program supports students in the development of key life skills and encourages young Australians to view entrepreneurship as a valuable, rewarding career path.

Science Champion

Darren Rackemann

Varsity College

Darren has been a champion for the Startup Apprentice Program at Varsity College. His ongoing promotion and advocacy for STEM education and digital learning have been instrumental in unlocking students’ potential.


Science Champions

Peter and Ann Radke

Yuruga Nursery

Peter and Ann Radke own and operate the Yuruga Nursery and its subsidiary, Clonal Solutions Australia, which are considered centres of expertise in new plant production for application in tropical countries worldwide. Clonal Solutions Australia won the 2014 TNQ20 Tropical Innovation of the Year award for their work with elite genetics in crops in agriculture, forestry, biofuels and horticulture.

Innovation Champion

Mr Troy Haines

Startup and Innovation Coach and Founder

Troy founded TheSPACE, a startup and innovation hub, to bring together budding entrepreneurs and innovators throughout the Far North Queensland region. Troy also established the Cairns Entrepreneurial Society (Pty Ltd), the first entrepreneurial society for all faculties at the James Cook University Cairns campus.

Innovation Champion

Mr Damian Zammit

Capital Raiser and Trainer

Damian has helped develop the entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem in Far North Queensland by expanding the service delivery of theSPACE to address the lack of funding available to startups and innovators. His work at theSPACE also assists entrepreneurs and businesses to scale ideas for a global market.

Science Champion

Dr Michael Creagh

Aerospace Engineer
CB Aerospace

Michael's innovative navigation solutions for the aerospace sector have produced two novel guidance laws for space craft and spinning rockets, an adaptive control law for a hypersonic glider and numerous intelligent navigation algorithms.

Science Champion

Dr Andrew Stephenson

Science Communicator, School of Mathematics and Physics
University of Queensland

Andrew's leadership in science communication is demonstrated through his delivery of science outreach programs across Queensland. Since 2010, Andrew has been the Science Communicator for the University of Queensland's (UQ) School of Mathematics and Physics, where he runs the UQ Demo Troupe, BrisScience and the Junior Physics Olympiad.

Science Champion

Anne Brant

STEM Teacher in Residence
Queensland University of Technology

Anne is Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) STEM teacher-in-residence. Anne's teaching and leadership in the delivery of science (specifically STEM) programs helps connect secondary students with QUT and industry.

Science Champion

Hosam Zowawi

Clinical Microbiologist, Centre for Clinical Research
University of Queensland

Hosam is interested in the problem of hospital-acquired infections, particularly those caused by antimicrobial resistant organisms. As a clinical microbiologist he recognised the need to develop more rapid diagnostic tools to aid initial medical management and implement infection control precautions. Hosam's development of an innovative and novel diagnostic test helps to rapidly identify antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Innovation Champion

Dr Talitha Best

Lecturer in Psychology, School of Human, Health and Social Sciences
Central Queensland University (Bundaberg)

Dr Best is a psychologist who is taking an innovative approach to translating research into outcomes for industry. Dr Best and Professor Philip Brown, both from Central Queensland University, are working with the Bundaberg and Wide Bay horticultural industries to deliver research outcomes that contribute to increased productivity, profitability and sustainability for food products and ingredients in the region. The unique combination of psychology and horticulture science is helping to translate research into innovative practices for the horticultural industry.

Science Champion

Professor Philip Brown

Professor of Horticultural Science
Central Queensland University (Bundaberg)

Professor Brown is a horticulture scientist who has a keen interest in improving practices in agricultural industries. Professor Brown and Dr Talitha Best (both from Central Queensland University) are working with the Bundaberg and Wide Bay horticultural industries to deliver horticultural research outcomes that contribute to increased productivity, profitability and sustainability for food products and ingredients in the region. The unique combination of horticulture science and psychology is helping to translate research outcomes into innovative practices for the horticultural industry.

Science Champion

Professor David Swain

Deputy Dean of Research for Agricultural and Environmental Science
Central Queensland University

Professor Swain’s ground-breaking research involves developing precision livestock management tools for northern beef production systems. These technologies will enable the Queensland beef industry to more easily and directly measure beef reproductive performance, lifting the beef industry’s overall reproductive success. His work is an excellent example of collaboration between industry, research and educators.

Innovation Champion

Shainiel Deo

Halfbrick Studios

Halfbrick's Fruit Ninja game and its spinoffs have been downloaded 400 million times worldwide. The Brisbane-based studio is a success story for the nation's growing game development industry. Shainiel is a true Innovation Champion as his achievements provide inspiration to Queensland’s aspiring entrepreneurs. “The amazing upcoming talent found in Queensland needs goals and motivation for continued growth in science and technology to not only to be the pinnacle of innovation in Australia, but across the entire world. Halfbrick is always proud to do its part to help foster that innovation and support the expansion of such an incredibly important and creative industry.”

Science Champion

Professor Mark Kendall

Australian Institute for Bioengineering & Nanotechnology
The University of Queensland

Professor Kendall is the inventor of the Nanopatch, a needle-free vaccine delivery device. The Nanopatch has the potential to overcome a need for refrigerated transport and allow for distribution in remote and undeveloped regions of the world. His incredible research is instrumental in contributing to the momentum of science in Queensland.

Science Champion

Professor Mandyam Srinivasan

Visual Neuroscience at the Queensland Brain Institute and the School of Information Technology
The University of Queensland

Professor Srinivasan’s unique research involves designing robotic aircrafts based on the flight behaviour of bees and birds. This unique approach takes biology and uses it for an engineering role. Among Professor Srinivasan’s many awards and honours, the value of his work is being recognised by aerospace leader, Boeing.

Innovation Champion

Luke Anear


SafetyCulture is working hard to ensure that every worker in the world will have access to the best mobile safety management systems. By leveraging the power and rapid adoption of smartphone technology and cloud based infrastructure, Luke’s innovative system has been used to conduct 5 Million safety inspections in over 50 countries. This makes SafetyCulture’s most popular app, iAuditor, the world’s most used safety app.

Science Champion

Sarah Chapman

Head of Science
Townsville State High School

Sarah's contribution to teaching science and inspiring students makes her an excellent example of a Science Champion in Queensland. In 2013, Sarah won the Prime Minister's Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools. ‘Science education in Queensland is more important than ever. Students need to be inspired in science as they are our scientists and innovators of tomorrow. Engaging students in the classroom and people in our communities in science ensures that we invest in the problem solvers and active participants of Queensland's future.’

Last updated
26 May 2017
  1. Is your feedback about:
  2. (If you chose ‘website’ above)

    Page feedback

    1. How satisfied are you with your experience today? *
  3. (If you chose ‘service’ above)

    Feedback on government services, departments and staff

    Please use our complaints and compliments form.