Hamill honoured for service with a Bremer Star
DAVID Hamill's glittering career in public life suggests that he reached for the stars.
He certainly attained great heights, and now he has a star of his own at Bremer State High School, the centre of learning that launched him on a path to success in education, politics and now as a company director.
Mr Hamill, 58, was honoured to be the inaugural recipient of the Bremer Star award, which will be presented annually to a former student who has gone on to achieve greatness in their chosen field.
Mr Hamill was Labor's Ipswich MP from 1983 until 2001 and held the ministerial portfolios of transport (1989-95) and education (1995-96), before becoming treasurer (1998-2001).
He recently spent nine years as chairman of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and remains on the board. He also serves on other company boards.
Talk to Mr Hamill and there is a deep appreciation for the grounding he received as a student at Bremer High, when it was located in its former Blackstone Rd site in Eastern Heights.
The new school is now situated in Warwick Rd, Ipswich but the old school values still remain.
"Bremer High delivered to me great educational opportunities and an environment that supported participation," Mr Hamill said.
"In my school time I wasn't so much the sports person but I was involved in debating...in the school musical...I was school captain.
"I was provided with the opportunity to work within a school community which I think was a good foundation for my later career.
"I made a lot of friends, and they have been lifelong friends."
The late Alan Bell was the principal of Bremer High in Mr Hamill's time at the school from 1970 until 1974.
He remembered fondly a genial headmaster who, despite having health issues, was a uniting force for good.
"It was Year 12 and there was a holiday excursion where other teachers couldn't go.
"Despite his health, Alan and his wife went on that excursion. We were Year 12s and we were determined to try and make his load as light as it could be.
"It forged a tremendous bond between us and the principal. We respected him a lot. He was a lovely fellow and we all became very fond of him indeed.
"It was people like Alan Bell who brought humanity to the school, were great role models and great educationalists as well.
"That has been the strength of Bremer High."
Mr Hamill was delighted to be the first Bremer Star recipient.
"I was surprised when I was contacted, very touched by it and very honoured," he said.
"To be the inaugural recipient is very special indeed...and very humbling."
Amongst his former roles, Mr Hamill was chairman of the Board of the Queensland Museum and a member of the governing body of the University of Queensland.
He holds a PhD from the University of Queensland where he is also an adjunct professor. He is a Rhodes Scholar. Mr Hamill became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2009.