Philanthropist Fred Hyde AM has been announced as the Queensland recipient of the Senior Australian of the Year Award for 2015.
Mr Hyde, 94, has devoted the last three decades and all of his personal, physical and financial resources to rescuing and educating abandoned children in Bangladesh.
The World War II veteran from Warwick behan his life helping others after seeing the plight of children left orphaned after a tidal wave on Bhola Island in 1970, Fred later sold his house and poured all his savings into his not-for-profit organisation, Co-operation in Development. Since 1991, Fred has built 45 schools, five kindergartens and teacher training facilities for 165 teachers and, at present, there are 12,000 children attending Co-operation in Development schools. Fred continues to spend six months of every year in Bangladesh, directing projects that touch the lives of countless people.
Queensland’s recipient of the Australian of the Year Award for 2015 is child protection campaigner Hetty Johnston.
Young Australian of the Year is Yassmin Abdel-Magied, 23 – Engineer and social advocate from Sunnybank Hills.
Juliette Wright, a social entrepreneur from Camp Mountain was announced as the Local Hero recipient.
Premier Campbell Newman commended all of the award winners for their generosity, passion and commitment.
“All four recipients are truly inspirational people and we should all be proud to count them as part of our Queensland community,” Mr Newman said.
“It is through their selfless, determined and unwavering commitment to their individual fields that they make our society a better place and in turn act as role models for younger and older generations alike.
“Each year these awards provide a nationwide platform of recognition. They not only allow us to celebrate the best and brightest among us, but also provide an opportunity to learn about the remarkable and inspiring stories of Queenslanders making a difference to Australia.
“These recipients are very deserving of their awards and should be proud of their achievements. We are truly humbled by their triumphs, dedication and selflessness.
“On behalf of Queensland, I would like to thank Hetty, Fred, Yassmin and Juliette for their contribution and wish them all the best at the national Australian of the Year Awards, to be held in Canberra on the eve of Australia Day.”