Cr Brian Battersby and Professor Malcolm West have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.
One man has been the heartbeat of the Hills District for four decades; the other has made a career out of keeping human hearts beating.
The contributions of Ferny Hills resident Brian Battersby and Professor Malcolm West, from Bunya, have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday honours.
A local councillor with the Pine Rivers Shire and Moreton Bay Regional Councils for the past 36 years, Cr Battersby said he was overwhelmed to receive a medal of the Order of Australia.
“Words can’t describe how humble I feel because I just do my job, I love my job and I love helping people, and I got an award for it,” the 66-year-old said.
First elected to Pine Rivers Shire Council as a 31-year-old, Cr Battersby has seen off the challenges of 34 candidates to be re-elected the representative for the Hills District at 11 local government polls.
Currently one of Queensland’s longest serving local councillors, Cr Battersby entered politics at the urging of former Pine Rivers Deputy Mayor Brian Burke.
“I actually met Brian Burke, who was a guy I went to primary school with, and he asked me to run for council some time in 1974,” Cr Battersby recalls.
“It took over 12 months for him to keep working on me to convince me to say ‘yes’, then I stood the first campaign in 1976.
“I won and that night I thought, ‘What have I done?’ I was really outside my comfort zone and didn’t think I could do the job at all.
“Sometimes in life there’s opportunity to change and there was somebody there for me who helped me and supported me all the years… and I’m still doing the job.”
Cr Battersby, who moved to Ferny Hills 41 years ago “when there was no water or sewerage”, said the most enjoyable part of his job was solving problems.
“When someone’s got a problem or they would like something done, and sometimes it’s not local government’s job to provide it, by working with people sometimes you’re able to pull things together,” he said.
“That gives me a real buzz.”
Professor West (AM) received his Queen’s Birthday honour for his service to cardiovascular medicine as a clinician, researcher, academic and mentor.
Professor of Cardiology at the Prince Charles Hospital and Professor of Medicine at the University of Queensland, the 70-year-old has been working in the medical field for more than 40 years.
“I was burnt severely as a child and I suppose that led to my destiny,” said Professor West, whose particular areas of interest in cardiovascular medicine are Marfan Syndrome and aortic aneurisms.
“The clinic that my colleagues and I set up deals with people who have got these heart conditions, that often affect young people when they’re adolescents and in their 20s and 30s.
“In my early years these conditions were essentially fatal conditions and nowadays with treatment of the vascular problems people can survive and live a normal life.”
Professor West, who has also helped establish regional medical schools in Brunei, New Orleans, Sunshine Coast and Hervey Bay, said he was surprised to learn of his Queen’s Birthday accolade.
“I just like doing my work and I get a lot of pleasure out of it, and I get pleasure from seeing people being able to lead normal lives,” he said.