e-Blast: QDN Members acknowledged in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020

QDN is delighted that two of our members have been acknowledged in this year’s Queens Birthday Honours List for their tireless work for people with disability.

Dr John MacPherson, long-serving QDN Board Director, has been awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his significant service to people with disability and to access and inclusion.  The Member of the Order of Australia (AM) is awarded for service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group.

John has been involved with QDN since the initial meeting in 1998 calling people to action about setting up a group so that people with disability could have a voice in Queensland.  John was on QDN’s Interim Steering Committee. John has held various positions on the Board since QDN was incorporated in 2002 and later became a company limited by guarantee.

John has extensive knowledge and passion around creating accessible communities.  John has contributed his wisdom on behalf of QDN for over 20 years. John has authored and advised on numerous Standards and technical specifications relating to accessibility including the Draft Standards for Accessible Public Transport, Access to Premises Standards and the Accessible Rail Code of Practice and served on numerous committees on behalf of QDN advising on access issues.

Prior to being seconded to Department of Transport and Mains Roads last year, John held the role of Disability Officer for Brisbane City Council for 29 years where he used his specialised knowledge to ensure that services and infrastructure provided by Brisbane City Council met the needs of people with disabilities. He also had oversight of the implementation of the Council’s Access and Inclusion Plan.

Ms Philia Polites, past QDN Board Director, has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to people with disability and to the community.  The Medal of the Order of Australia is awarded for service of particular recognition.

Philia served on QDN’s Board of Directors from 2015-2019. During this time Philia was also a member of QDN’s Audit and Compliance Committee. Philia’s skills and knowledge from her public sector and voluntary roles were an asset to QDN.

As a senior Federal Government public servant, Philia was responsible for a number of social justice initiatives, including monitoring, evaluating and reporting on Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policy and programs. As Director of the Government’s first Access and Equity (A&E) Program in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Philia was responsible for making A&E considerations a central concern for effective policy and decision-making, as an integral part of overall corporate planning and operations.

Philia also has close community links, particularly in the ethnic and multicultural fields, and was a recipient of a Women’s Award for the ACT for her work in women’s health, disability issues and multicultural/ethnic issues.

QDN congratulates John and Philia for their well-deserved accolades and worthy acknowledgements of their leadership contributions to the disability community. Well done!