BRISBANE plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Michael Lanigan was grateful to receive recognition in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to medicine.
But as he explained “the reward was not so much the AM (Member of the Order of Australia) but the work I did which most probably led me to receive the award”.
“That reward came from the parents and families of children I operated on overseas as a volunteer with Interplast and Romac (Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children),” he said.
“There was often a language barrier in places where I worked such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Tonga and Micronesia.
“But the expressions of gratitude on these people’s faces said it all.”
Dr Lanigan was one of three Queenslanders and 27 Catholic Australians to receive a Queen’s Birthday honour.
Townsville Mercy Sister Kerry Gordon and Nona Mulcahy of Laidley received OAM’s.
Much-admired Sr Gordon was recognised for her service to the performing arts as a teacher and to Townsville community.
Nominated for Australian of the Year in 2010, the Mercy Sister runs speech and drama lessons for children from her North Ward home, also known as The Magic House.
Laidley’s Mrs Mulcahy was awarded an OAM for her service to the community of Merriwa through a range of health and aged care groups.
Paula Fox, a longtime supporter of the Sacred Heart Mission in Melbourne, and Pierre Slicer, a prominent barrister who has also served as a director of St Vincent de Paul, were made Officers of the Order of Australia.
Dr John Falzon, national chief executive officer of the St Vincent de Paul Society, was one of others in the Catholic community to be given an OAM, a Medal of the Order of the Australia, for “service to the community through social welfare organisations”.