Dr Mark Loane with patient Michelle Miley.
6 June 2019

Brisbane eye surgeon, University of Queensland medical graduate and sporting legend Dr Mark Loane AM, Indigenous advocate and Arts graduate Mrs Patricia O’Connor, renowned conservationist Dr John Sinclair AO and philanthropist Chuck Feeney have been named as Queensland Greats.

They were among eight Queensland Greats announced by the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk during 2019 Queensland Week Celebrations.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj AC said the recipients were outstanding individuals and shining examples of the talent and generosity within UQ’s community.

“The combined contributions of Mark, Chuck, Patricia and John to our state are extraordinary,” Professor Høj said.

“Mark completed his medical education at UQ while also representing Australia as a member of the Wallabies.

“As a powerful player on the rugby field he was known as the ‘train without a station’ and as an ophthalmologist, he has dedicated much of his career to providing healthcare and eye surgery to some of the most isolated and vulnerable members of our state.”

Patricia O’Connor (Bachelor of Arts ’92) was recognised for her leadership and advocacy, which includes her work championing the creation of Australia’s first war memorial for Indigenous service men and women and installing the teaching of Yugambeh Language in Queensland schools.

“Patricia’s leadership in enshrining and preserving Indigenous culture has been immense and she has left a legacy that is represented in the minds and voices of Queensland’s schoolchildren,” Professor Høj said.

Dr John Sinclair AO (Diploma in Agriculture ’59, Bachelor of Economics ’74), a highly regarded conservationist, was also posthumously acknowledged in the awards for his advocacy and drive to protect the natural habitat of Fraser Island.

Professor Høj said The Atlantic Philanthropies founder Chuck Feeney, who was named in the honorary category, was also thoroughly deserving of recognition as a Queensland Great.

“Chuck was a major supporter of Queensland-based research and the arts, especially during the ‘Smart State’ era, when he contributed to the creation of UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Queensland Brain Institute and many other centres of research excellence,” he said.

“He had a profound impact not only on Queensland but the world through his overwhelming support of research institutes and the arts.

“His visionary contributions have benefitted countless people around the world, and will continue to do so for generations to come."

Professor Høj said all recipients were leaders in giving back to the community to help others.

“It is an honour to count Mark, Chuck, Patricia and John among our community of graduates and supporters who are creating positive change in Queensland, Australia and around the world each year and I offer them my sincere congratulations.”

Media: UQ Communications, communications@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 1120.