Professor Richard John from Griffith’s School of Environment has been applauded this week as one of six Gold Coast residents recognised as a Queensland Science and Innovation Champion.

All were noted for their innovation, knowledge and ground-breaking leadership and research.

Professor John was named a Science Champion for his leadership in science, specifically in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) promotion and education.

Science and Innovation Minister Ian Walker said the champions were chosen for their work in grass roots science and innovation, in areas including digital learning and innovative ideas.

“The Science and Innovation Champions being recognised today help to ensure Queensland continues to be an innovation destination, offering endless collaborative and commercial opportunities,” Mr Walker said.

“Innovative businesses and entrepreneurs are developing and adopting new technologies, andunderpinning the four pillars of the Queensland economy of construction, mining, agriculture andtourism and it is important we acknowledge their hard work.”


Other recipients of the award included:


  • Gold Coast TechSpace: Innovation Champion for its members’ leadership and contribution to the promotion of innovation and technology on the Gold Coast.
  • Sam Winter and Sharon Hunneybell: Innovation Champions for their development of the

Startup Apprentice Program, which supports the development of students’ entrepreneurial

  • Darren Rackemann, Varsity College: Innovation Champion for adopting the StartupApprentice Program and for his ongoing promotion and advocacy for STEM education anddigital learning.
  • Adjunct Professor Clarence Tan, Bond and Griffith Universities: Innovation Champion, forexcellence in ICT innovation and his leadership within the sector.


The Science and Innovation Champions program was launched in May 2014, and aims to support the Queensland Science and Innovation Action Plan’s goal of a community engaged in and valuing science.


“The Queensland Government is delivering its Science and Innovation Action Plan to ensure itsinvestments in science and innovation turn great ideas into great opportunities,” Mr Walker said.

He urged Queenslanders to nominate other successful Queensland science and innovation leaders to be champions. Visit