As you know from my post It’s All Happening in Queensland, this state is celebrating 150 years of independence. Part of those celebrations involved the public voting on Queensland’s top 150 icons.
To do that, 10 categories were chosen and the people voted for their favourite in each category. The top 15 in each category made the Queensland’s top 150 icons list.
From the point of view of anyone born and bred in England, I’m afraid a lot of the list is quite meaningless. To explain what I mean, I need to go through it. I am only going to cover the first three categories today, which were all about people or organisations.
The first category is “State-shapers” for those “that have influenced or made a significant contribution to Queensland”. At number two is ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin, for his great work on wildlife and conservation issues. That’s the only name on that list I recognised.
I wasn’t yet living here in Australia when Steve died, but I guess he was a really sad loss to this nation. He was a great and much loved character and his zoo is far and away the best zoo I have ever been to. It’s clean and all the animals are very well looked after. And if you ever visit, you must have the burger and chips from the food court. Yum!
He was beaten into the top spot by the Yungaba Immigration Centre which is over at Kangaroo Point in Brisbane City. It was built in 1885 and was (many years ago) the first stop for immigrants coming here to Queensland. Nowadays we just get off the plane and grab a taxi.
The next category to do with people is “Sporting legends” and was won by someone I’d never heard of, Wally Lewis. I told you State of Origin was big here and he’s Queensland’s all time hero in that. Although on Wednesday just gone, Queensland beat New South Wales comprehensively in this years Origin, making history. They have now won four in a row and that’d never been done before. Time for a new hero? Of the others in sporting legends, I recognised Pat Rafter and Rod Laver (tennis), Allan Border (cricket) and Greg Norman (golf).
Finally, and I’ve left the best to last, let’s look at the category “influential artists”. Again, for me, just one easily recognisable name. At about the same time as I was being born, some Brisbane based brothers were forming a band and shattering neighbours windows without the aid of bricks or stones.
Yes, straight in at number 1, Queensland’s most influential artists are The Bee Gees.
Tragedy! It’s hard to bear.
I will certainly return to this subject, after all we can’t leave it there can we? Other categories cover places, events, structures, defining moments, inventions, natural wonders and Queensland’s traditions.