Power 100 countdown - the Top 20 revealed
WE REVEAL the 20 most influential people of the Sunshine Coast as part of the Sunshine Coast Daily's special Power 100 countdown.
1. BRUCE & DENISE MORCOMBE
SINCE the abduction and murder of their son Daniel, in December 2003, Bruce and Denise Morcombe have worked tirelessly to improve the safety of children across the nation.
In 2005 they formed the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help them spread their vital messages. Bruce and Denise have personally travelled thousands of kilometres across Australia, visiting schools to promote child safety.
Through the foundation, they have a major influence on the safety of children, providing education and instilling simple messages to remind them of their personal safety.
By directly helping educators and parents through the funding and development of child safety educational resources, as well as helping young victims of crime, the couple continue to empower people to make their local communities safer places for all children.
Their foundation is committed to the development and education of respectful relationships for children and teenagers in our schools and communities, as well as helping in reducing the over-representation of indigenous Australians in the child protection sector.
It continues to develop new cutting-edge resources that are required in our ever-changing cyber and physical world and to funding new projects and initiatives in partnership with universities, police, community and educational organisations to ensure an on-going commitment to child safety and respectful relationships.
Bruce and Denise ensure Daniel's legacy continues not only through the foundation but events such as the annual Day For Daniel, which is supported by tens of thousands of people in communities across Australia, and the Dance For Daniel which is held each year in Brisbane.
In 2012, Bruce and Denise were jointly named Queenslanders of the Year and in 2013 each of them received Order of Australia Medals (OAM).
2. MARK JAMIESON
MAYOR of Sunshine Coast Regional Council since April 2012, Mark has overseen a period of massive growth in the region after a career in the private sector.
As mayoir of the Sunshine Coast he heads a team which is reshaping the local economy, strengthening community programs and supporting and building on the region's already outstanding environmental credentials. This includes driving a major regional infrastructure program that has the most innovative mix of public and private investment opportunities in Australia.
It is underpinned by a clear 20-year blueprint established for a new economy for the Sunshine Coast, which is already delivering results.
Mark's successful leadership of council is evidenced by it achieving five consecutive surpluses, consistent unqualified audit reports and the highest Queensland Treasury Corporation financial sustainability rating of any council in Queensland.
The region has now been independently rated as having the second strongest performing economy in Queensland and is experiencing some of the highest levels of business confidence in the last four CCIQ-Westpac Business Confidence surveys.
The council has acquired and now manages one of the most extensive municipal conservation estates in south-east Queensland and has achieved national recognition for a number of its environmental programs.
In October 2016, Mark was elected president of the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) for a four-year term. In the six months since his election, he has been able to deliver a reinvigorated approach and fresh advocacy plan for the LGAQ to better position local governments in the 21st Century.
As well as being patron of several Sunshine Coast groups, Mark also sits on the board of directors of the Australian Local Government Association and the Council of Mayors South-East Queensland.
3. ROY & NOLA THOMPSON
RECENTLY named the 2017 Queensland Higher Education Philanthropists of the Year, Roy and Nola Thompson are generous supporters of several local organisations, especially the University of the Sunshine Coast.
In 2011-2012, their first donation of $400,000 to the USC supported about 150 Study Support Bursaries, which provide regular payments to students experiencing financial pressures.
Looking for a way to continue this type of support, in 2013 they donated another $4.85 million to pay half the cost of building a multi-level carpark at the university, with an agreement that funds raised from the carpark would go towards student scholarships and bursaries.
This project has already supported 69 students and is expected to provide more than $29 million to more than 1000 students over the next 50 years.
The Thompsons then became interested in what the USC could do to help deal with the challenge of mental health on the Sunshine Coast. The result was the donation of a $7 million building that now houses the Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience - Thompson Institute at Birtinya.
This integrated facility is teaching Master of Psychology programs, will provide about 6000 clinical sessions with patients in its first year and is building its research platform to help uncover solutions to some of the most vexing mental health issues.
Being named the 2017 Queensland Higher Education Philanthropists of the Year was a thrill for the couple but Mr Thompson said recognition had nothing to do with their amazing generosity.
"It wouldn't have made any difference whatsoever," he said. "If we got it, that's good. If we didn't get it, it's still good."
On the day the Thompsons were honoured with their award, Mr Thompson quietly handed a $3.6 million cheque to Professor Jim Lagopoulos, director of the Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience - Thompson Institute, to purchase a new MRI machine.
4. TERRI IRWIN
SINCE the death of her husband Steve in 2006, Terri has assumed the leadership role at Australia Zoo and continued the conservation fight to which they were both committed.
She continues to oversee Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors, a non-profit organisation she and Steve set up in 2002 for the benefit of wildlife conservation.
Terri is a world-renowned conservationist and tourism ambassador and actively campaigns for conservation projects in Australia and around the world.
In 2016, after a six-year battle, she was successful in protecting the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve, in Queensland's Cape York Peninsula, against strip mining.
In 2014 Terri was awarded an AM for her services to conservation and was also a Queensland finalist for Australian of the Year.
She was named the 2015 Queensland winner of the Australian Award for Excellence in Women's Leadership. That same year Terri and her children, Bindi and Robert, accepted a Queensland Greats Award on behalf of Steve as they continue to carry on in his footsteps through work at Australia Zoo and around the world.
Terri has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Queensland for her work in conservation and support of high-quality research.
She continues to be a passionate wildlife spokesperson and conservation icon around the world, regularly speaking out and supporting conservation issues and has dedicated her life to conservation.
5. BINDI IRWIN
BINDI was just a youngster when her father Steve Irwin passed away in 2006 but has since grown into a mature young woman who is forging her own way in the conservation fight.
An actress, television personality, conservationist, singer and dancer, Bindi appeared regularly in her father's television shows and has also appeared in several movies as well as winning last year's US version of Dancing With The Stars.
But it is her outspoken defence of the environment and her efforts to be a role model for other young people, particularly young women, which has made her a person of significant influence internationally.
Bindi's instagram page, which focuses on protecting the environment, has 1.5 million followers and since she was a child she has spread her environmental message on high-profile TV programs such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, Oprah and Larry King Live.
She has also performed at special events such as G'Day USA in both LA and New York.
In 2008, Bindi won the Logie for Most Popular New Female Talent and in 2013 was nominated for a Logie for Most Popular Female Television Presenter. She was also nominated for an ARIA in 2009.
She has her own clothing range, Bindi Wear International, and her own range of books entitled Bindi Wildlife Adventures.
In October 2014, Bindi was named Young Conservationist of the Year by the Australian Geographic Society - an honour she dedicated to her late father.
In 2015, Bindi, brother Robert and mum Terri accepted a Queensland Greats Award on behalf of Steve and continue to carry on in his footsteps through work at Australia Zoo and around the world.
6. THE SHADFORTH FAMILY
WHEN brothers Peter and John Shadforth co-founded a civil contracting business building water pipelines to farms in North Queensland in 1964, they could hardly have imagined it would grow into a multi-million-dollar operation employing more than 500 people.
With Peter's nephew Ray at the helm, Shadforths is now one of Queensland's largest family-owned civil contracting companies.
The business is built on strong family values that are mirrored through its people and clients and its success has been underpinned by a willingness to support every aspect of community life, with many school ovals and community sporting facilities being in part born of the family's generosity.
Over the past 40 years, the family business has played a key part in constructing some of the Sunshine Coast's most iconic residential communities including Noosa Waters, Peregian Springs, the old Hyatt Coolum, Twin Waters, Sunshine Cove, Mountain Creek, Rainforest Sanctuary, The Boardwalk, Kawana, Bells Reach, Bellflower and many others which have combined to shape today's Sunshine Coast.
They are now heavily involved in building new mega-communities such as Aura, Harmony and Sun Central, the new Maroochydore town centre.
In 2013, Peter's son Geoff was tragically killed while participating in a charity motorbike ride in Cambodia. To honour his memory, the Shadforth family and the University of the Sunshine Coast, along with the Sunshine Coast business community, collaborated to establish The Geoff Shadforth Memorial Lecture which is held each year at the university.
Money raised from the lecture, with support from Shadforth Civil Contractors, goes towards funding a PHD student each year at the university to research pavement designs and road stabilisation.
7. ROD FORRESTER
ROD Forrester and his wife Jan were only passing through in in 1974 when they fell in love with Mooloolaba and decided to stay and raise their family.
By 1987 Rod and his brother Des had founded the FKP Property Group. The following year FKP (formerly known as Forrester Kurts Properties) was formed following the merger of Peter Kurts Properties Limited and Forrester Parker Group.
Rod served as managing director of FKP until 2003, overseeing the company's listing on the ASX and leading its growth to become Australia's largest owner/operator of retirement villages and one of the nation's top 200 companies, with an annual turnover of $350 million.
He remained a director until 2008.
Rod and Jan are now major investors in ARIA property group, which was established by their son Tim and daughter Kirsty Mitchell and is behind several Sunshine Coast developments as well as being a key player in the urban renewal of South Brisbane.
In 2002, Rod became a board member of the Sunshine Coast Helicopter Rescue Service and in July 2013 was appointed to the board of LifeFlight, after the merger of the two rescue services.
His extensive community commitment has included being founding chairman of Matthew Flinders College, a board member of the University of Sunshine Coast, chairman of the university's Capital Work's Committee and USC Deputy Chancellor.
He was also on the board of the Innovation Centre of the Sunshine Coast, which is dedicated to helping other businesses get off the ground.
In 2001, the Forresters established the Rod and Jan Forrester Scholarship in Business - a $3500 annual scholarship for University of the Sunshine Coast students undertaking an undergraduate program in the School of Business.
8. EMERITUS PROFESSOR PAUL THOMAS
AS the University of the Sunshine Coast's founding vice-chancellor from its opening in 1996 until he retired in 2010, Paul Thomas was pivotal in helping the region lift the bar on its educational, cultural and employment opportunities.
This was achieved through the university's teaching and research success, its development of global links and its extensive engagement with the local region.
Student enrolments doubled every year during Prof Thomas' leadership in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Investment in shared community infrastructure included the USC art gallery, pool and sporting facilities and he helped start USC's Innovation Centre in 2001 to generate start-up and tech businesses.
A former QUT Education academic who first became planning president of the "Sunshine Coast University College" in 1994, Prof Thomas helped push for the Sippy Downs institution to gain independent university status, in turn enabling USC to become strong and influential so early in its growth.
From an initial intake of about 500 students and 50 staff, USC now has more than 1000 staff and 16,000 enrolled students and has graduated 17,000 people who are working around the world.
More recently, Prof Thomas chaired the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Board, overseeing the development of the $1.4 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
9. JENNA CAIRNEY
AS editor of the Sunshine Coast Daily, for the past three years Jenna Cairney has set the news agenda for one of the fastest growing regions in Australia.
Jenna began her career in her home country of Scotland, before moving to Australia and holding senior positions with newspapers in Grafton and Warwick as well as The Land agricultural publication.
Since taking over the top editorial job at the Daily in October 2014, Jenna has immersed herself in the local community and worked tirelessly to ensure the Daily leads the way in local, state and international news coverage through its print product as well as its rapidly-growing online site.
Prior to the 2016 local government elections, Jenna was the driving force behind a series of public forums which gave members of the community the chance to come face-to-face with candidates and guage their views on important topics.
It was widely considered those forums and other Sunshine Coast Daily election coverage under her leadership played a significant role in the outcome of the elections by enabling voters to make informed choices.
Jenna was named the Australian Regional Media Editor of the Year in 2015.
Her skills have been recognised by News Ltd which recently promoted Jenna to lead the editorial team at the Townsville Bulletin.
10. THE HALL FAMILY
HALL Contracting started as a one-man operation in 1946 when Les Hall began supplying sand and gravel on the Sunshine Coast using an old surplus army truck.
His oldest son Brian joined the business in the 1960s, followed soon after by Peter in the early 1970s.
In addition to dredging, the business began specialising in ready-mix concrete.
Following the sale of the concrete business in the late 1980s, the family turned its focus towards the expansion of its civil construction and contract dredging services.
Les' grandson, Cameron Hall, joined the business in 2005 following several years working throughout Australia and overseas as a civil engineer and is now managing director of Hall Contracting.
Today, the company employs 180 people and is Australia's largest privately-owned dredging, civil and marine construction company with offices in South East Asia, the Pacific Islands and Australia.
It specialises in dredging ports and harbours, undertaking civil infrastructure projects, creating master-planned communities and specialised projects such as weirs and sea walls in sensitive environments.
The company has been the civil contractor on the Pelican Waters development since the 1990s and is also currently working on a range of other projects in the region including the Oceanside development at Birtinya and Stockland's new Aura development at Caloundra South.
It is also delivering the access road and sea wall infrastructure for the new parallel runway project at Brisbane Airport.
Thanks to a $100,000 commitment by the Hall family in honour of Les Hall and his wife Mary, the University of the Sunshine Coast was able to estabish establish an annual $5000 engineering scholarship for first-year construction engineering students.
11. PETER BOYCE
THE principal lawyer at Butler McDermott Lawyers in Nambour, Peter has been involved in many high-profile legal battles, including the fight against the resumption of properties for Traveston Dam.
But it was his determination to get justice for Bruce and Denise Morcombe after the abduction of their son Daniel that put him in the spotlight as he helped the couple start the Daniel Morcombe Foundation to keep the investigation into their son's disappearance in the public and police eye.
In 2009, when the Morcombes began pushing for a coronial inquest into Daniel's disappearance, Peter offered to represent them free of charge and went on to be one of the key figures in Brett Peter Cowan being brought to justice.
In 2013 he received an Order of Australia Medal as well as the Civil Justice Award from the Australian Lawyers Alliance for achievements promoting justice, freedom and the rights of the individual.
Peter also won the 2016 Queensland Law Society's President's Medal, with law society president Bill Potts saying he stood as "a leader in our profession and one of countless lawyers who selflessly toil for little or no reward in the pro bono space within their communities".
He is chairman of the Sunshine Coast Turf Club, a board member and honorary solicitor for charity Wishlist and honorary solicitor for the Sunshine Coast Health Foundation, St Joseph's Parish in Nambour, Nambour Rugby League and Sunshine Coast Rugby League.
12. TONY WELLINGTON
AS THE mayor of Noosa Council, Tony has the often unenviable task of walking the fine line between ensuring economic prosperity for his iconic region and protecting it from being loved to death.
That often means being involved in the ongoing battle fighting off developers who want to grab a slice of the action.
Tony graduated from Sydney's Macquarie University in 1976 with a BA majoring in Mass Media and Communications, receiving the University Prize for his media studies.
He went onto work on a freelance basis in the film and television industry, write books and articles, lecture in media, have exhibitions of his paintings staged around Australia, run folk clubs, record a CD of original songs, work as a photographer and publish a regular political newsletter
Tony found himself caught up in politics thanks to the 2008 forced amalgamation of Noosa with neighbouring Maroochy and Caloundra councils, cutting his political teeth as part of the movement to first try to prevent that amalgamation and then successfully bring about a de-amalgamation.
In 2012 he was elected to the Sunshine Coast Regional Council on a de-amalgamation platform but midway through that four-year term Noosa won its battle to be de-amalgamated and locals went to the polls.
Tony was then elected to the new Noosa Council under Mayor Noel Playford.
At the 2016 local government elections, when Mr Playford stepped down, he was elected to replace him as mayor.
13. BILL HOFFMAN
A SENIOR journalist with the Sunshine Coast Daily, Bill has been in the newspaper game his entire working life and is widely regarded as one of the most experienced and credible journalists in Queensland.
Bill uses his high profile to speak out on important issues ranging from refugees, terrorism and federal politics to same-sex marriage and his fears of rampant over-development of the region he loves.
Bill joined the Daily before its launch in 1980 and has been responsible for some of the paper's biggest investigations, as well as championing the causes of our most vulnerable.
For many years he has written a hard-hitting weekly column which puts a spotlight on injustices and turns a blowtorch on public figures - from company directors and government officials to politicians of all persuasions, from local councillors right up to the prime minister.
Bill's recent investigation and series of articles on the collapse of Walton Construction exposed major problems with the payment of sub-contractors across the state and directly led to the introduction of legislation to improve fairness to the construction sector.
In 2015, he was named Australian Regional Media's Reporter of the Year.
More than 10 years ago, Bill co-founded the Island Charity Swim, an annual ocean swim from Mudjimba to Mooloolaba that has raised more than a million dollars for special schools in Nambour and Currimundi.
14. ALLAN & BARBARA PEASE
THE couple behind Pease International, Allan and Barbara have spent 30 years teaching communication skills, body language and sales and negotiation techniques around the world.
The most successful relationship authors in the business, they have written 18 bestsellers and given seminars in 70 countries. Their books are translated into 55 languages and have sold more than 27 million copies.
Allan and Barbara's work has been the subject of 11 television series, four stage plays, a No.1 box office movie and a TV series.
Their company, Pease International, produces videos, training courses and seminars for business and governments worldwide.
Barabra controls the distribution, marketing and sales of the books, CDs, DVDs, webinars and training programs on human communication, body language, sales, motivation and leadership and has travelled to more than 40 countries for seminars and research.
She is also Australia's biggest selling female author with 14 best-sellers to her credit.
Allan, known internationally as "Mr Body Language", delivers keynote addresses, appears regularly in the media and is sought to give advice on personal image by everyone from business executives and prime ministers to TV presenters, royalty and rock stars.
The couple also own and operate Heliport Studios - a state-of-the-art music recording and post-production and editing studio which creates pop music albums, MTV videos and post-production for television and film.
15. CAROLINE HUTCHINSON
POPULAR 92.7 Mix-FM breakfast radio host Caroline is much more than simply a voice on the air - she is one of the driving forces behind the annual month-long Give Me Five For Kids fundraising campaign.
With on-air partner Mark Darin, the mother of four adult children is the most prominent public face of Give Me Five For Kids and helped raise a record-breaking $403,682 in just one month earlier this year.
She has done everything from walking the length of the Sunshine Coast to broadcasting their morning show from the top of Mt Coolum and 40 metres off the ground in a crane.
Thanks in no small part to Caroline, Give Me Five For Kids has raised almost $4.5 million for children's services on the Coast.
The money always goes toward helping sick children, with this year's directed to continuing the local Clown Doctor Service and putting the finishing touches on the Children's Ward and Paediatric Emergency Department at the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
On the air and through her weekly column in the Sunshine Coast Daily, Caroline passionately tackles some of Australia and the world's biggest issues, speaking out on everything from immigration and gay marriage to the threat of terrorism.
Married to John, who she met while they were studying at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in Sydney, Caroline was born and bred in Margaret River and worked in Geraldton, Shepparton, Albury and Sydney before moving to the Coast.
16. TED O'BRIEN
THE Federal Member for Fairfax, Ted entered parliament at the 2016 election after more than 20 years of experience in business.
From a young age he was involved in the family business, progressing through to senior management in Australia and Asia.
He worked for Australia's rice industry, focusing on international negotiations and market entry work across various Asian markets that were looking to enter the World Trade Organisation.
He then spent more than 10 years with consulting giant Accenture, his final posting in Beijing as Director of Growth and Strategy for the Asia Pacific and Emerging Markets - responsible for corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions and deals.
On returning to Australia, Ted became managing director of government relations firm Barton Deakin Qld, before being endorsed by the LNP to contest the 2013 election in the seat of Fairfax, where he was narrowly beaten by 53 votes by Clive Palmer.
While starting his own advisory practice on the Sunshine Coast delivering over 50% of his services pro-bono to local community groups and charities, Ted went on to contest and win the seat of Fairfax in 2016.
He has been active in community roles including chairman of the Australian Republican Movement, chairman of the Advisory Board for Ronald McDonald House Charities SEQ, an advisory board member for Queensland Catholic Education and founder of non-profit Generation Innovation, which helps young people start their own businesses.
17. GLENN FERGUSON
THE managing director of Ferguson Cannon Lawyers, Glenn is a solicitor of the High Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of Queensland.
He is a Senior Counsellor with the Queensland Law Society, an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of the Sunshine Coast, a Founding Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australia and New Zealand College of Notaries.
Glenn is also chair of WorkCover Queensland, a Governor of the College of Law, a member of the Federal Attorney General's International Legal Services Advisory Council and the Immigration Minister's Advisory Board.
In 2004, he was asked to chair Smart Exports Queensland and he has been appointed to various federal and state advisory boards and taskforces.
Glenn also holds board positions in both the public and private sector in the insurance, superannuation, education, sport, charity and information technology fields.
In 2010 he was appointed by the Prime Minister to the expert panel to consider the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the Constitution and he continues as a member of a reference group appointed to continue the push for constitutional recognition.
Glenn was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2015 Australia Day Honours.
18. DR ALAN MACKAY-SIM
THE 2017 Australian of the Year, biomolecular scientist Dr Mackay-Sim has been fascinated by human biology since he was a youngster growing up in Sydney.
It led to him dedicating his life to researching stem cells, resulting in ground-breaking treatment of spinal cord injuries.
In 2014, his research played a major role in helping Polish scientists achieve the world's first successful restoration of mobility in a quadriplegic man.
The breakthrough has been described by his peers as the scientific equivalent of the moon landing.
Dr Mackay-Sim is also recognised as a world authority on the human sense of smell and the biology of nasal cells and has championed the use of stem cells in understanding illnesses ranging from schizophrenia to Parkinson's Disease and Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia.
Ironically, just over two years ago Dr Mackay-Sim needed a stem cell transplant himself following a diagnosis of multiple myeloma, a rare and incurable form of leukaemia.
He was close to death but pulled through and now lives in retirement in Currimundi.
Until his retirement in 2015, Prof Mackay-Sim was director of the National Centre for Adult Stem Cell Research at Brisbane's Griffith University, where he had worked since 1987.
19. BILL HAURITZ
KNOWN far and wide as the founder and director of Woodford Folk Festival, formerly the Maleny Folk Festival, Bill grew up on the Darling Downs in a musical family with a father who was a well trained musician and a mother who could play anything.
For many years Bill was influenced by his brother and two sisters singing folk songs at family occasions.
So it was no surprise when he began playing in bands and was working as a musician in 1985 when he took on the role of inaugural president of the newly-reformed Queensland Folk Federation.
Two years later, he was one of the driving forces behind the launch of the Maleny Folk Festival.
Over more than 30 years Bill has overseen the growth of the festival from a 900-person event in the Maleny Showgrounds to one which now attracts more than 100,000 people in the purpose-made site "Woodfordia".
The Woodford Folk Festival is now a $10 million business which draws artists and music lovers from around the world.
In recognition of his tireless work, Bill has been honoured with a Queensland Smithsonian Fellowship as well as being appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.
He has received a Myer Award for his contribution to performing arts, is an Honorary Senior Fellow at Sunshine Coast University and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Queensland Music Industry.
20. GARRY CRICK
THE director of Garry Crick Auto Group which he founded in 1995, Garry is truly the "Mr Motoring " of the Sunshine Coast.
Today the company comprises 12 dealerships representing 27 new car brands.
Garry left school at 14 and began his working life as an apprentice council mechanic in Cairns, primarily working on heavy earthmoving equipment.
He cut his teeth in the motoring industry at the Cairns Holden dealership where, after six weeks on the tools, he was promoted to workshop controller.
After working in the sales department, Garry decided he wanted his own dealership and returned to the Sunshine Coast at the beginning of 1990.
He worked for local motoring pioneer Ray Grace, eventually going into business with him and the rest, as they say, is history.
Crick dealerships are located in eight sites on the Sunshine Coast as well as Tweed Heads, Rockhampton and South Brisbane.
Each dealership is owned and operated by locals, employing more than 540 people and selling more than 12,000 cars each year.