30 June 2009

Queensland’s top 150 Icons have been released and The University of Queensland’s structures, people and research milestones have made the list.

Compiled from nearly 30,000 public votes, the list included icons such as the Great Barrier Reef, Australia Zoo, World Expo 88 and the State of Origin and was released in conjunction with the state’s 150th birthday celebrations on June 10.

Stand out UQ affiliations included UQ’s Great Court, the cervical cancer vaccine, co-developed by UQ Professor Ian Frazer and the late Dr Jian Zhou, and the immune system research conducted by UQ alumnus, 1996 Nobel Laureate for Medicine and 1997 Australian of the Year Professor Peter Doherty AC.

Professor Doherty and Rolf Zinkernagel were awarded the Nobel Prize for their discovery of how the immune system recognises virus-infected cells.

The 150 Icons are categorised under state-shapers, sports legends, natural attractions, defining moments, events and festivals, influential artists, locations, structures and engineering feats, innovations and inventions and “typically Queensland”.

UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Greenfield thanked the Queensland people for their support, saying the University looked forward to further contributions to the state’s history.

“The high level of recognition by Q150 Icon voters reflects how UQ people, and the institution itself, have helped to shape the modern Queensland and the modern Australia,” Professor Greenfield said.

“UQ was essentially a 50th anniversary “gift” for Queensland, and the University’s 2010 centenary will signal the start of a second century of high-impact learning, discovery and engagement.”

Various UQ alumni on the list included Academy Award and Tony Award winning actor Geoffrey Rush and Australian sporting legends Susie O’Neill and Kieren Perkins.

Some other UQ affiliations included bestselling UQP author Hugh Lunn and former UQ Alumnus of the Year David Malouf.

Accommodation website Wotif.com, founded by UQ graduates Graeme Wood and Andrew Brice, also joined the cervical cancer vaccine in the list of innovations and inventions.

A defining Queensland moment was the famous women’s rights event at the Regatta Hotel in 1965, where UQ graduate Merle Thornton (mother of Australian actress Sigrid Thornton) and Rosalie Bogner protested for women’s rights and chained themselves to the bar.

The University of Queensland also sponsored the Q150 Steam Train, which embarked on a five-month journey in April to more than 30 Queensland communities.

Media: Eliza Plant at UQ Communications (07 3365 2619)