HONOURED: Fraser Island's lead defender named state's best
THE man who saved the world-heritage listed Fraser Island from environmental destruction has been honoured as one of Queensland's greatest citizens.
The late Dr John Sinclair AO, who was renowned as Fraser Island's most valiant defender throughout his life, was honoured by the State Government posthumously as a Queensland Great alongside seven other Queenslanders.
Born in Maryborough, Dr Sinclair passed away in February, aged 79.
After joining the Wildlife Preservation Society in the 1960s, he became increasingly involved in the conservation movement and founded the Fraser Island Defenders Organisation (FIDO) in 1971.
The group fought for six hard years to stop sand mining in the forested dunes of K'Gari, with Dr Sinclair enduring significant personal and financial hardship during the ordeal, including bankruptcy.
Because of his efforts, sand mining and logging on the island were stopped in 1976 and thousands of visitors can now experience the pristine sand island's beauty.
In 2014, Dr Sinclair was appointed to the Order of Australia for his outstanding commitment to conservation and in 2017 the Sunshine Coast University presented him with an honorary doctorate as one of Australia's leading nature conservationists.
Now in its 19th year, the Queensland Greats recognises the state's best and most generous contributors to public life and well-being.
Former Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson, cancer researcher Judith Clements, ophthalmologist and former Wallaby captain Mark Loane, journalist and community advocate Kay McGrath and indigenous advocate Patricia O'Connor were among the group to receive awards.
The institution award recipient was the Queensland Country Women's Association.
"These individuals and groups have enriched our State as they demonstrate what makes a Queensland Great," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
"It is important to celebrate, honour and commemorate outstanding people who have contributed enormously to our communities throughout Queensland.
"Their work, dedication and enterprise have helped make Queensland an even better place to live."