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2008: Peter Beattie

Fellows In Residence

The Right Honorable Peter Beattie
Trade Commissioner to the Americas
and Former Premier of Queensland, Australia
April 23, 2008

Beattie originally a small-town country boy, is a name few in Australia do not recognize. After joining the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in 1974, Beattie played a major role with the late Dr. Denis Murphy in reforming the party's Queensland branch before being elected State Secretary in 1981. In 1989, he was elected to Parliament as the Member for Brisbane Central and in July 1995, he served as Health Minister before becoming Opposition Leader in 1996. Beattie was Queensland's Premier from 1998 - 2007, and is currently the Trade Commissioner to the Americas.

The Right Honorable Peter Beattie delivered an adress, “The Making of the Australian Tiger – Queensland’s Rise to the Top” on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 in Shaw Hall, Younts Conference Center, Furman University. 

His legacy as Premier was turning Queensland into Australia's "Smart State" through a newly focused education system, workforce development, and creating long-term jobs in industries such as biotechnology and information technology.

About The Right Honorable Beattie

The author of The Year of the Dangerous Ones (1994) and the autobiographical In the Arena (1990), Beattie is a member of various organizations, including the Queensland Law Society; the Society of St Andrew of Scotland (Queensland); Queensland Railway Employees Union; and the Queensland Association for Mental Health.

In late 2003, Beattie received an honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Queensland. UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hay, who personally nominated the Premier for the award, said the doctorate recognized Beattie for his leadership and commitment to higher education through the Queensland Government's "Smart State" initiatives. Establishing growth in industries such as biotechnology and nanotechnology and attracting and distributing significant funding for development in these areas were hallmarks of Beattie’s initiatives.