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Leading figures within the community services sector in Queensland have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2017.

QCOSS Life Member and former President Karyn Walsh (pictured), has been appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and Michael Yau, Deputy Chairperson of the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland (ECCQ) has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM). 

QCOSS Life Member and former long-time board member Helga Biro has been awarded the medal of the Order of Australia in the general division (OAM) and Financial Counselling Australia CEO Fiona Guthrie, was also recognised with an Order of Australia Honour.  

Within the sector, Karyn is renowned for her passion and drive, which is being put to good use in her work as CEO of Micah Projects in Brisbane.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated Karyn, she said: “Karyn’s honour recognises her work supporting people who are homeless and her work in mental health support.”

Karyn was a Founding Member on the Australian Alliance to End Homelessness and Inaugural Director of Common Ground Queensland.

Michael Yau was recognised with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his service to the multicultural community and to engineering.

Mr Yau was the founder and President of the Hong Kong Association of Queensland for 10 years and has represented multicultural communities. He has held roles such as Chairperson of the QEII Hospital and District Health Community Council and Co-Chair of the Southside Multicultural Health Advisory Group.

Helga Biro has been awarded the medal of the order of Australia in the general division (OAM). Helga was Executive Director of Cairns Centacare and also a manager at SkillShare, a volunteer mentor at Ngulpa Ngulpa Women’s Business, Cultural and Wellbeing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation, a member of the Board of Justice and Care with the Catholic Diocese, as well as for the Queensland Council of Social Service. 

Financial Counselling Australia CEO Fiona Guthrie, was also recognised with an Order of Australia Honour. Fiona Guthrie has worked tirelessly to build the financial counselling profession, raise the profile of the sector and increase access to financial counselling for those in the community who are in financial difficulty. This is appropriate recognition of the valuable work that Fiona has undertaken to support financial counsellors and ultimately improve outcomes for people who are experiencing financial difficulty.

A full list of the Queen’s Birthday 2017 Honours List is available on the Governor-General’s website at www.gg.gov.au

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