By Thomas Brakstad
Lockyer Valley mayor Steve Jones has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for services to his region during the Queensland floods in 2010 and 2011.
The award is known as the “highest recognition for outstanding achievement and service” by the Australian honours committee.
Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley AC was handing over the awards and took her time to have a small private chat with each of the recipients.
For Cr Jones the nomination for the awards came out of the blue.
“I really had no idea. To this day I´m really not sure who did nominate me, but it was some months ago before Christmas that I received the letter,” he said.
“I have very much kept it a secret because it’s one of those things I never really thought about in my life and I’m very honoured that it has occurred and particularly to my family because its been a tough couple of years for them.”
During the floods in the Lockyer Valley in 2011, 19 people lost their lives, and Cr Jones worked around the clock to try and make the best out of the situation.
“This is not an award to me, this is an award to the people who took up the challenge in the Lockyer Valley and there are a lot of those people, he said.
“We all worked as a team.”
He said that people in the Lockyer Valley still feel the after match of the floods and that they will do so for a long time.
Flood development in Lockyer Valley, 2011. Uploaded to YouTube by redviking1963.
Jones was one out of 24 recipients.
“Some people here are very worthy, I feel very lacking in some ways when I see what they have done,” he says.
Another recipient was QUT Professor David Hood for his work in environmental engineering.
He started his work in sustainable energy 25 years ago.
“I commissioned the new Parliament building in Canberra when it was build 25 years ago,” he said.
“I saw how energy inefficient it was and that was the big change for me and I started thinking that we can build more efficient than this.”
The jury said Professor Hood was given the award for “significant service to environmental engineering as an educator and researcher, through contributions to professional organisations, and to public awareness to sustainability”.