Lloyd McDer­mott a Queens­land great

Eidsvold man recog­nised in an­nual awards

Central and North Burnett Times - - OVER 50s -

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.

PHOTO: QUEENS­LAND GOV­ERN­MENT

HON­OURED: Lloyd McDer­mott was named as a Queens­land Great this week.

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