2011 South Australian of the Year Frank Seeley AM
Frank Seeley AM is Founder and Chairman of Seeley International, Australia’s largest air conditioning manufacturer and a global leader in the development and commercialization of energy efficient climate control appliances.
Frank is committed to keeping as much business in South Australia as he can. Seeley International's head office is in Lonsdale, in the city's south, and boasts state of the art production facilities that keep Seeley's products leading the Australian market. Best known for it's flagship heating and cooling brands, Breezair, Braemar and Convair, the company has just this year launched Climate Wizard, which has forged a brand-new cooling category and looks set to change the way the world looks at cooling... all this from South Australia.
As well as being committed to keeping as much business in South Australia as possible, Frank is a generous contributor to the community. He and his wife Kathy open their home and share their meals with up to 50 disadvantaged children each week.
Frank has also established a charitable fund which has raised in excess of $10 million to benefit underprivileged children.
2011 Young South Australian of the Year Khadija Gbla
The 2011 Young South Australian of the Year is Khadija Gbla. Born in Sierra Leone, Khadija’s family sought refuge in Australia in 2001 after enduring a thirteen-year civil war in their homeland. Khadija strives to combine her African and Australian heritage and values in order to advocate acceptance and equality within the community.
Khadija has travelled around the country, and the world, to advocate for equality. She attended the 20/20 Youth Summit in Canberra to increase the current and future participation of socially and economically marginalised refugee youth in the community, and the Harvard National Model United Nations, where she participated in international negotiations and debates with other delegates from around the world.
She regularly speaks at numerous schools, university, forums, and conferences advocating for refugees and multicultural young people in South Australia.
Khadija’s aim is to give women, young people and minority groups a voice, and to inspire others to accept the differences in our multicultural society.
2011 South Australian of the Year Category Winners
Ten inspirational individuals, groups and organisations were awarded with 2011 South Australian of the Year category Awards at a special ceremony at the Adelaide Town Hall on Thursday 3 November.
Winners were recognised in the categories of Arts, Business, Community, Education, Environment, Health, Innovation, Sports , and Tourism and were presented with their awards by The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Stephen Yarwood.
Advantage SA sincerely congratulates all winners of the 2011 South Australian of the Year Awards.
Arts Award | Professor John Maxwell Coetzee
Professor Coetzee is an internationally renowned author. He has received the Nobel Prize in Literature and his novels Life & Times of Michael K and Disgrace have both been awarded the Booker Prize. He chose to make Adelaide his home in 2002 and now dedicates his time to the University of Adelaide, where he is a Visiting Professor of Humanities, with the discipline of English and Creative Writing. Professor Coetzee mentors and oversees the work of students in the University’s School of Humanities, and lends his name to the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice.
Business Award | T&R Pastoral
T&R is the largest Australian owned meat processing company in the country. It supplies over 75 countries with a wide range of high quality beef and lamb products, as well as meat co-products. The company has experienced a high rate of expansion every year for the past ten years, and currently employs over 1600 South Australians.
Community Award | Rosemary McKenzie-Ferguson
Rosemary McKenzie-Ferguson generously volunteers her time to help injured workers, a cause she has been passionate about for over 15 years. She has become an ambassador for workers rights, and personally contacts many people who have been injured at work to lend them her knowledge and support during a difficult time. Rosemary has pioneered the ‘Bags of Love’ initiative, which delivers food to injured workers and their family when they are struggling to make ends meet.
Education Award | Kent Douglas Spangenberg
Kent Spangenberg, Principal of Loxton High School, is a passionate advocate of South Australian public education and the importance of quality services in rural areas. Through Kent’s extraordinary leadership, Loxton High School has become one of the highest performing schools in the State, academically and athletically. Kent is also dedicated to passing on his passion for education to the next generation of teachers, and has been the driving force behind significant improvements in teacher education. Kent’s work develops outstanding young South Australians, quality teachers and skilled, compassionate educated leaders.
Adele Mayrhofer, Principal of Suneden Special School and the Regional Indigenous Training Program received commendations in the Education category.
Environment Award | Peter Owen
Peter Owen, Campaign Manager for The Wilderness Society in South Australia, works tirelessly to inform the public of important environmental issues. His ability to articulate the environmental cause is outstanding. He regularly meets with politicians and community leaders to discuss the State’s most important environmental issues, including marine sanctuary zones and wilderness protection areas. Peter was instrumental in campaigning for the unprecedented protection of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, which will ensure the important piece of land can never be destroyed.
Health Award | Associate Professor John Greenwood AM
Associate Professor John Greenwood, Director of the Royal Adelaide Hospital’s world class Burns Unit, has developed an incredible new burns treatment that will drastically reduce the pain, recovery time and treatment costs for burns patients. The biodegradable polymer acts as a barrier to infection, a structural foundation for new skin to grow on, minimizes wound contraction which can lead to a reduction in mobility, removes the need for multiple skin grafts and costs substantially less than the current market product.
Innovation Award | The Mitolo Group
The Mitolo Group is a second generation, family-owned company, based in Virginia. As Australia's leading potato and onion packing company, The Mitolo Group grows, processes and distributes more than 70,000 tonnes of potatoes and onions every year. The company also produces Ollo Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Mitolo Wines. Innovation has long been a key focus, and The Mitolo Group has achieved many successes in this area, including producing the world's first olive oil refill pack. The focus on innovation is best demonstrated by the company's recent launch of Carisma, the world's first officially certified low GI potato, which also boasts a range of important health benefits. In 2012, the company will celebrate 40 years in business.
Sports Award | Anna Meares OAM
Since representing Australia in her first international track cycling meet at the Junior World Titles in Italy in 2000, Anna Meares has gone from strength to strength. At the age of 20 Anna became the youngest Australian female track cyclist, and the first female representing Australia on the track, to win Olympic Gold. In doing so she broke the World and Olympic record, riding a time of 33.952 seconds, and becoming the first woman in history to break the 34 second barrier for 500m. Anna is still at the top of her game, winning three World Championships for Australia in 2011. Based in South Australia, Anna has partnered with the Port Adelaide Football Club to be involved in the Healthy Living Styles school program.
Tourism Award | Joint Winners | Ron Kandelaars and Keith Conlon OAM
Ron Kandelaars is a producer, writer and presenter with Channel 9 SA's multi-award winning tourism television program Postcards. It's a role that has seen him travel the length and breadth of the state over the past 13 years, gathering more than 2,000 stories. Ron's long term contribution to tourism is evident in his love of a good story, the pride he takes in his craft, his genuine interest in the characters and businesses in South Australian tourism, his ability to connect with interviewees and audiences, and his ongoing commitment to promoting and fostering the SA tourism industry.
Keith Conlon OAM has been dubbed “Mr South Australia” for his passion for, and extensive knowledge of, his home state. Keith Conlon is one of our most recogniseable voices and faces. He is in his seventeenth, and sadly last, season as the enthusiastic host of Postcards, Channel 9 SA’s award winning television show about tourism and lifestyle in South Australia. Through his work on Postcards, Keith has shared the stories of countless people and places across the State, giving viewers great ideas to help them plan a holiday, short break, weekend escape or day trip in some of South Australia's most beautiful destinations.