Australian of the Year, Professor Emeritus Alan Mackay-Sim, heads a list of noteworthy Griffith University representatives who have been handed a prestigious Batonbearer role on the Australian leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR).

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) has announced the names of Australians selected to carry the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Queen’s Baton following its arrival into the country on Christmas Eve (24 December).

Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Ian O’Connor AC, congratulated the nine from Griffith’s academic, student and alumni community who received the news on Wednesday.

Some Griffith University QBR Batonbearers are as follows:

  • Professor Emeritus Alan Mackay-Sim, 2017 Australian of the Year and world-leading spinal cord injury researcher
  • Professor Emeritus Colin Mackerras AO, foundation professor at Griffith’s School of Modern Asian Studies in 1974
  • Professor Mark von Itzstein, Director of Griffith’s Institute for Glycomics and a world-leading scientist in the fight against diseases like childhood leukaemia, melanoma and malaria
  • Professor Claire Rickard, Professor of Nursing, Menzies Health Institute Queensland and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences
  • Associate Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet, Director of the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre and a former Australian University Teacher of the Year
  • Krystal Lockwood, PhD researcher, Griffith Criminology Institute and Charlie Perkins Scholarship recipient
  • Michael Baker, Bachelor of Dentistry and Oral Health graduate and Graduate Diploma of Dentistry graduate
  • Bianca Archer, Bachelor of Architectural Design student and Abedian Foundation Griffith Futures Scholarship recipient

Professor O’Connor recalled the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the Commonwealth Games Village at Griffith’s Nathan campus in 1982. “It is a significant honour for Griffith University to be linked with Her Majesty and the Commonwealth Games again,” he said.

“I look forward to the excitement and energy the Queen’s Baton Relay will bring to the Gold Coast in the build-up to the Games in April, 2018.

“It is fitting that Griffith will be represented by Batonbearers who are truly inspirational both in their endeavours at this university and across the community. I’d like to congratulate all of those who have been chosen to carry the Baton. It is a major honour and a genuine endorsement of their achievements.”

A number of other batonbearers from the Griffith family were among approximately 3,800 announced by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

These included Queensland Conservatorium graduate, Dami Im; Bachelor of Business graduate, Michael Shelley; Master of Criminology and Criminal Justice student, Clare Polkinghorne; and former Pro Vice Chancellor (Health), Professor Allan Cripps AO, and Griffith Business School Lecturer Robyn Cameron who is a tireless community worker particularly in fundraising for breast cancer research.

The Baton will travel through every state and territory over 100 days, covering 40,000km. On average, each batonbearer will carry the Baton for approximately 200 metres.