Legendary Queensland journalist Sean Dorney AM has been named as the AIIA Queensland Award winner for 2019. Sean, who is celebrated as an icon of Pacific reporting in the Australian media, was presented with his award by Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey AC at Government House Brisbane on Wednesday, November 27.
He became a household name in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific through his work as an ABC correspondent over four decades. During that time, he was awarded an MBE by the PNG Government and captained the country’s Rugby League national team, the Kumuls.
In 2018, Sean was recognised as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. Despite living with Motor Neurone Disease, he has been actively engaged with AIIA Queensland this year. In March, his address on Australia’s Welcome Re-engagement with Papua New Guinea and the Pacific attracted a sold-out audience. In October, Sean and his wife, Pauline Nare, attended a panel discussion on Deepening the ties – opportunities for increased engagement between Queensland and the Pacific islands region
The other highlight of the ceremony was the announcement of two major scholarships. Amanda Sousa E Silva won the AIIA Qld International Award which encourages Queensland university students to study and intern abroad. Amanda’s academic excellence and current work with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in New York City exemplifies the qualities that AIIA Qld promotes. She is completing her Master’s degree in International Relations as well as her internship.
Pearl Gariano received the AIIA’s Asia-Pacific Scholarship, intended to support cultural and intellectual exchange between Australian students and the Asia-Pacific. Selection for this scholarship is recommended to the Executive Council of AIIA Queensland by a board of representatives from several Queensland based universities. Pearl is currently completing an internship in Japan with Hokkaido University in Autonomous System Engineering.
Both Governor de Jersey and AIIA Queensland President, the Hon. Paul Lucas, addressed the audience and reiterated the long-standing importance of the AIIA’s role in the community and its work toward the proliferation of understanding and interest for international affairs.