Lloyd McDermott a Queensland great
Eidsvold man recognised in annual awards
LLOYD McDermott (Mullenjaiwakka), who grew up in Eidsvold, was awarded a Queensland Greats award this week.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the award recognised outstanding Queenslanders
Annastacia Palaszczuk It is an honour to acknowledge these inspiring Queenslanders who have made a lasting, positive difference to our great state.
for their lifetime of dedication and contribution to the development of the state and their role in strengthening and shaping their community.
“It is an honour to acknowledge these inspiring Queenslanders who have made a lasting, positive difference to our great state,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“I congratulate all the 2016 recipients on achieving this honour.”
Ms Palaszczuk said Mr McDermott was chosen for his work as an indigenous athlete, barrister and philanthropist.
Mr McDermott was a man of many firsts.
Born in Eidsvold in 1939, the 76-year-old was Australia’s first indigenous athlete to play for the Wallabies, Australia’s national rugby union team.
His first game with the Wallabies was when Australia played New Zealand in Brisbane on May 26, 1962.
When the team toured South Africa in 1963, McDermott refused to participate because of apartheid.
Instead, he crossed over to rugby league and played for the Wynnum Manly club.
In the midst of his sporting career, he studied law at the University of Queensland and was admitted to the New South Wales bar in 1972.
He broke another first by eventually becoming Australia’s first indigenous barrister.
About 20 years ago, Mr McDermott launched the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team, or Lloydies as it is known, to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in rugby.
The organisation continues to play a strong part in combining education outcomes and rugby union opportunities for Aboriginal Australians to this day.
Mr McDermott continues to practise part-time at the bar and also holds degrees in science and criminology.
Mr McDermott’s name will be displayed, along with other Queensland Greats, on a plaque at Brisbane’s Roma Street Parkland.
HONOURED: Lloyd McDermott was named as a Queensland Great this week.