WE COUNT down the Sunshine Coast's 100 most influential people ahead of the release of the Daily's special Power 100 lift-out on Friday.
60. MICHAEL SHADFORTH
THE managing director of Ray White Commercial North Coast Central, Michael has a history of establishing manufacturing and produce-oriented businesses that were pioneers before returning to the Coast from Melbourne to pursue his passion for smart development and property investment. He has since been active in the community and elected president of the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce and the Combined Chambers Alliance Sunshine Coast. Michael is currently chairman of the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal on the Coast.
59. NOEL PLAYFORD
MAYOR of Noosa Shire prior to its amalgamation into a regional council, Noel was one of the main architects of Noosa's overwhelming vote for de-amalgamation and was subsequently re-elected Noosa Mayor. He retired at the last council election but is still a powerbroker in the Noosa region and a long-time supporter of the Noosa Parks Association. A former president of the Local Government Association of Queensland, Noel was last year appointed to a panel reviewing how complaints about Queensland's mayors and councillors are managed.
58. JOCELYN WALKER
WITH her husband Vic, Jocelyn created the iconic Moby Vic's Roadhouse on the highway in the early 1970s. Following his death, she created the annual Vic Walker Memorial Scholarship to allow an Immanuel Lutheran College graduate to attend the University of the Sunshine Coast. Jocelyn has been a member of the University of the Sunshine Coast Foundation Board for 20 years and in 2011 was awarded an Honorary Senior Fellowship in recognition of her sustained contribution to business, education excellence and philanthropy.
57. FR JOE DUFFY
NOW parish priest of Stella Maris Catholic Church in Maroochydore, as a young priest in the 1980s Fr Joe had an unlikely career as a talkback radio host in Brisbane during the 1980s. Today he is an outspoken advocate of the Sunshine Coast community opening its arms to refugees fleeing Syria and other troubled countries. He has also publicly supported the Muslim community's plans to build a mosque next door to his Maroochydore church, despite the plan being strongly condemned by a small section of the community.
56. JAMES BIRRELL
BORN and raised in Maroochydore, James is the founder and creative director of Maroochy Music and Visual Arts Festival, which each year injects millions into the economy. As well as being a member of Sunshine Coast Arts Advisory Board, James is a former president (now vice-president) of the Maroochy Revitalisation Association which he helped found to develop the Maroochydore CBD and establish the Ocean St precinct as the arts and culture heart of the Coast. The association also runs the annual Ocean St World Festival.
55. PROF JIM LAGOPOULOS
THE director of the Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience - Thompson Institute, Prof Lagopoulos has been involved with neuro-imaging for more than 20 years and was previously the Director of Clinical Imaging at the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Research Institute. His pioneering techniques in the use of MRI on brains have brought science closer to finding the cause of schizophrenia. He has established an independent neuro-imaging research program with a focus on traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
54. BRENDAN BURKETT
ONE of Australia's most successful Paralympic swimmers, Brendan turned his passion into an academic career and is now Professor of Sport Science (Biomechanics) at the University of the Sunshine Coast. He leads research high performance sport, rehabilitation after injury and prosthetic technology in sport, working with elite athletes through organisations such as the Australian Institute of Sport. Brendan drives the USC's High Performance Student Athlete program, helping top sportspeople combine university degrees with sports training.
53. CRAIG MCPHERSON
DEALER principal of Pacific Motor Group, Craig employs more than 100 staff in 12 sites but his influence is felt far beyond his business. Craig is widely respected for his support of local clubs, charities, schools and his personal contribution to staff in times of need. His business is a major sponsor of many school, sport and community groups and a long-time supporter of charities and community initiatives including the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, Give Me 5 for Kids, Sunshine Butterflies, Beautiful You Cancer Charity and Little Athletics Noosa.
52. IAN BAKER-FINCH
THE winner of the 1991 British Open grew up in the region and worked at the Caloundra club before launching his touring career. Renowned as one of Australia's finest golfers, Ian is also respected for his integrity, knowledge of the game and the way he deals with the public. He spends a lot of time away from his Mooloolaba home commentating on golf events and supporting the development of junior golf. Ian is an Ambassador for the Invincibles Sunshine Coast Junior Golfing Tour which includes the Ian Baker-Finch Junior Classic, which he regularly attends in person.
51. BEN SIMPSON
AS REGIONAL manager of development giant Stockland, Ben oversees some of the region's largest projects which employ hundreds of people. Key projects in 2017 include the $5 billion master-planned city of Aura, at Caloundra South and the $5 billion Oceanside community at Bokarina Beach. Under Ben's stewardship, Stockland's Brightwater community at Mountain Creek was named 2016 Best Masterplanned Development in Queensland by the Urban Development Institute of Australia. Ben is also a member of the Sunshine Coast Business Council.
50. GRANT KENNY
AS a 16-year-old, Grant won both the Australian Junior and Open Iron Man Championship on the same day and went onto a stellar career in life saving competition, winning another three Australian Open Ironman titles. He later competed in kayaking at two Olympics, winning a bronze medal at Los Angeles. In 1986 Grant received the Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to sport. He has received the Australian Sports Medal and the Centenary Medal, both for his services to the sport and business, and has been inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame
49. NARELLE MCCARTHY
A COMMITTED environmentalist, Narelle has the liaison and advocacy roles with the Sunshine Coast Environment Council - the region's peak environmental advocacy group. In that role, she engages with more than 60 community groups working on environmental protection and policy, conservation, natural resource management and sustainability. SCEC's membership collectively represents more than 10,000 people and it actively campaigns on a range of topics, including the health of local waterways and plans to expand Sunshine Coast Airport.
48. ROZ WHITE
IN 1993, Roz and husband Michael bought a small convenience store. Today they own four IGA stores employing scores of staff. Roz is vice-president of the Sunshine Coast Business Women's Network and a director with Montrose Therapy and Respite Services. In the past year, White's IGA has dispersed $100,000 to the community through donations and sponsorships. In 2015 Roz was named the Sunshine Coast Business Women's Network Outstanding Business Woman of the Year and was also honoured in the IGA National Retail Excellence Awards.
47. GREG LAVERTY
AS Director of the Economic Development and Major Projects at Sunshine Coast Council, Greg's focus is on the continued economic development of the region. He is responsible for council's commercial entities and its internal and external communications and is playing a lead role in delivering major projects including the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion, the new Maroochydore City Centre, the $5 billion health precinct at Kawana, the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm and the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Submarine Cable.
46. BRETT GRAHAM
NOW principal of six Ray White real estate businesses on the Coast, Brett began with just two offices in 1999. He has introduced equity partners into the six offices which now employ more than 100 staff and, as a network, sell an average of 70 properties per month and manage nearly 2000 investment properties worth $760 million. Brett has been Sunshine Coast zone chairman of the Real Estate Industry Queensland, vice-president of Bloomhill Cancer Help Centre and a contributor to many local charities and community groups.
45. LISA ROWE
FOR 16 years Lisa has managed the operations of charity Wishlist and with the help of a dedicated team raised millions of dollars for hospitals in the Sunshine Coast and Gympie regions. Last year her team's efforts saw $1.7 million directed back into health services through medical equipment, research projects and education. Lisa and the Wishlist team have raised funds for major projects including $2.5 million for the Reed Charity House and $1.4 million for the relocation and refurbishment of the Cancer Centre at the Nambour Hospital.
44. PROFESSOR GREG HILL
VICE-Chancellor of the University of the Sunshine Coast since 2011, Prof Hill was Deputy Vice-Chancellor from 2005 and associated with the introduction of a broad range of undergraduate programs and the development of USC's record for quality teaching. He has led the development of USC as a growing, comprehensive university that is increasingly research intensive. Chair of the Regional Universities Network, Prof Hill is recognised for research, teaching innovation, technology transfer to developing countries and indigenous education.
43. FIONA SIMPSON
ELECTED as Member for Maroochydore in 1992, Fiona has held shadow portfolios including Health, Transport, Main Roads and Tourism. After the 2012 win of the LNP Government, she was selected as the Queensland Parliament's first female Speaker in its 150 years. Fiona was a key player in the formation of the LNP, a merger between the former National and Liberal parties. As the Member for Maroochydore, she has a track record of delivering for the Sunshine Coast region and a reputation for passionately advocating for her local community.
42. JARROD BLEIJIE
JARROD was first elected Member for Kawana in 2009. As a solicitor, when the LNP won power in 2012 he was appointed Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and helped Premier Campbell Newman drive laws which reduced the impact of outlaw motorcycle gangs. Jarrod is a Rotarian, a Lion, a former director of Mercy Ships Australia and patron of Sunshine Coast Youth Partnership Inc. He is also patron of Kawana Soccer Club, Kawana Waters Surf Lifesaving Club, the Amputee Support Association Sunshine Coast and Caloundra Chorale.
41. BILL DARBY
A KEY player in the region's tourism industry, the general manager of Caloundra's Rumba Beach Resort is a member of the Sunshine Coast Major Events Board, the Sunshine Coast Safe Night Out Precinct board, the University of the Sunshine Coast Foundation board, Visit Sunshine Coast and the Queensland Tourism Industry Council. Bill has also been a member of key industry groups including Sunshine Coast Council's Economic Development Taskforce and the Attorney General's Expert Panel for Red Tape Reduction in Liquor and Gaming.
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