For former chairman of the Hunter Medical Research Institute Glenn Turner, Newcastle has provided an opportunity to put his interest in innovation into action.
The Kiwi-turned-Novocastrian has been named a Member of the Order of Australia in honour of the change he continues to make in the city.
"I've always been very keen on technology and using it to find better ways to do things. That's what was successful in my business and I've just carried it into the afterlife of that," the Newcastle East resident said.
The father-of-six has spent his working life as a chairman and managing director of private and public companies, serving as managing director of mining equipment company Ludowici Limited between 1996 and 2007. He was lured to Newcastle with work relating to the establishment of Port Waratah Coal Services in 1977. From then on he "always regarded Newcastle as home".
"It was pretty clear Newcastle was starting to forge its own way forward. The development of the John Hunter Hospital, and the university's Newspace, HMRI, all the these things brought a focus onto Newcastle becoming a new age city."
Mr Turner has volunteered to chair the boards of some Newcastle's most innovative institutions. The 69-year-old continues to act as director of Hunter Angels, an organisation that provides "mentoring, a limited amount of cash and a lot of time" to support local start-ups, and as a paid director of Venues NSW. He is an honorary member of the Salvation Army's Hunter advisory council.
"The achievement I'm proudest of is working with the Hunter Medical Research Institute. With the good management we had, and a very intelligent board, we were able to position HMRI as a leader in translational research, which pays more attention to clinical practice than pure research," he said.
"The second was probably being the chair of the old Hunter Water Board, now the Hunter Water Corporation, which oversaw quite a significant change in it becoming a customer-responsive organisation. I see the award as more of an award for the teams I have been proud to have been part of than for myself."
In particular, he hoped his wife, Leda Turner, would be proud of the achievement.
"Her contribution has just been so constant and outstanding," he said.
QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY HONOURS:
- Professor Geoff Isbister honoured for work on snakes, spiders and poison
- Hunter building tycoon Bill McDonald awarded OAM
- Freemason Robert Peattie receives Queen's Birthday honour
- 'Fire in the belly' drives Eliza plus Hunter's other AM winners
- Hunter historian Ed Tonks recognised with OAM
- OAM for Margot who says it's an honour
- Trevor put Morpeth on the map
- 'Polio tried to kill us and nothing else will': The force driving John and those like him
- A life in league recognised: Corcoran receives Order of Australia