REVEALED: 50-41 of Ipswich’s Top 50 Most Influential list

WELCOME to Ipswich's Top 50 Most Influential list 2018.

HERE at the QT we started talking about doing this list about 18 months ago. And what a very different list it would have been at that time.

For obvious reasons it got put on the back burner.

There's no doubt that former mayor Paul Pisasale would have taken the top spot had we released this list during his term.

The top 10 would have been filled with the former councillors and perhaps some senior council staff.

But fast forward to today and the leadership of our city has a very different face.

The departure of our elected officials has paved the way for other people to take on leadership roles and influence the future of Ipswich.

Here's how we formed this list.

We asked our readers and other notable people around Ipswich for suggestions on whose names should be included.

We narrowed that down to just over 100 names.

Our panel of judges then gave scores to 50 people on this list. They gave 50 points to the most influential person, 49 points to the second most influential person and so on.

These points were totalled and the person with the most points got the top spot.

We asked the judges to consider who were the people influencing Ipswich right now. While there are many people in our city who have laid the foundations over the past few decades for how it looks today, we were looking for the list of those who are influencing the city today and therefore shaping its future.

Each judge has a different perspective on Ipswich - whether it be through the business community, politics, education or social endeavours.

It's important to reinforce that putting together a list like this is not scientific. It's subjective and no doubt you'll have your own views on who should (or shouldn't) be on it and where they should rank.

A different panel would have resulted in a different top 50 to some extent.

It's also important to reinforce that this is not a list of who is in power, not necessarily who deserves power, or who we wish was in power.

Some use their power for good - others not so much, depending on your point of view.

It's also important to note that we did include the names of all of our most recently serving councillors and former mayor Paul Pisasale. We left it to the judges to determine whether or not they thought our former councillors still exercised influence over Ipswich.

We'll release more of the list online each day right up to Saturday.

Tell us what you think by emailing

Positions 50 to 41

50 Brett Kitching

Brett, an Ipswich boy through and through has been the General Manager of the Ipswich Turf Club since 2004 during which time he served as president of the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce for four years until 2013. Brett has worked tirelessly over many years to finally secure a long awaited $13+ million upgrade of the Ipswich Turf Club, a club that holds the biggest provincial race meeting in Australia when 20,000 + people descend on the Ipswich Cup.

Brett Kitching at the Turf Club development.
Brett Kitching at the Turf Club development. Cordell Richardson


49 Greg Lyons

Music was in the blood for the man everyone around town knows as 'Jacko'. After earning his stripes as one of the original Bundamba Skating Rink DJ's, he worked in sales at 4BH, QFM and in the 1990's Star 106.9 which years later became River 949. He also worked as the promotions manager there. Now a part of the furniture at Ipswich Jets, Jacko has been the Promotions and Marketing Manager for the popular club for many years. He started the Lost Ipswich Facebook page which he still manages. Lost Ipswich has more than 18,000 followers. A former RAAF member, he is heavily involved in the community, passionate about Ipswich and its history.

Greg Jacko Lyons oversees the upgrade of the Ipswich Jets Leagues Club
Greg Jacko Lyons oversees the upgrade of the Ipswich Jets Leagues Club Rob Williams


48 Shayne Neumann

Shayne stands to be one of the nation's most powerful politicians if Bill Shorten wins the next election. Shayne is an Ipswich-born Labor politician representing the electorate of Blair. First elected in 2007 during the Kevin Rudd-led Labor resurgence, Shayne has again been elected in 2010 (scraped through with a minor swing against), 2013 (picking up a small swing for) and again in 2016 where he technically made Blair a safe seat with 58.88% per cent of the vote. Following the 2016 election, Shayne was appointed to Bill Shorten's Shadow Cabinet as the Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. During his time in Parliament Shayne has served on a number of House of Representatives and Joint Standing Committees. He was Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Committee from October 2010 to May 2013 and currently serves on the Joint Standing Committee on Migration.

Shayne Neumann.
Shayne Neumann.


47 Qim Kauwhata

Thousands of people across Ipswich rely on Qim's efforts every month to feed themselves and their families. Qim is the manager of the Lion and the Lamb food distribution centre in Darling St. She led a rebuild of the centre last month after heartless thieves destroyed all the centre's food stock.

Ipswich Food Barn managing director Qim Kauwhata
Ipswich Food Barn managing director Qim Kauwhata Rob Williams


46 Gary Kellar

Gary was appointed acting CEO of Ipswich in Oct 2017. Gary came to the role highly recommended and is highly respected in local government circles. Gary was CEO at Logan City Council for 26 years and more recently has been involved in consultancy roles for governance, operational effectiveness, systems reviews, business planning and executive mentoring and development. Gary has prepared a governance review of Ipswich City Council including 19 recommendations to be adopted by council. Gary is currently on council advisory panels in a consultancy capacity and is working with acting CEO Charlie Dill one to two days a week.

Gary Kellar.
Gary Kellar. Contributed


45 Peter McMahon

Peter's commitment to the Ipswich community is without question, having been awarded an OAM in 2015 for his service to the community of Ipswich through senior roles within the Ipswich Show Society and Ipswich Hospice Care, along with his tireless work teaching children how to swim. Peter is also a past president of the Ipswich City Rotary Club and founded the TuffKidz Triathlon and Swim Australia.

Peter McMahon
Peter McMahon Rob Williams

44 Gabrielle Borggaard

Gabrielle Borggaard has been the CEO of the Domestic Violence Action Centre across Ipswich and Toowoomba since 2008. She has a passion for co-creating a sustainable, ethical, innovative social services sector with a strong focus on developing useful and viable partnerships with other key stakeholders. Her career spans the human services; from the Domestic and Family Violence Sector, the Child Protection Sector, Family Support and Therapeutic Counselling for individuals, men, women, relationships and families as well as experience in the Disability Sector. During the past eights years of her work in the social services sector, she has specialised in the management of not for profit organisations, programs, teams and organisations with a strong focus on justice and equality for women and elimination of domestic and family violence. Gabrielle has been involved in numerous co-design projects with both government and non-government bodies, has been on a variety of working groups relating specifically to improving services for women, children and young people experiencing or witnessing domestic and family violence as well as consulted on strategic directions for funding streams and national alliances.

Gabrielle Borggaard.
Gabrielle Borggaard. David Nielsen


43 James Long

James has turned the old TAFE building into Limestone 88, which houses Pumpyard, McNamara and Associates lawyers, Ungerman Brothers, Moore Personal Training and Dovetails restaurant. He's a vocal player on the business scene.

James Long.
James Long. Cordell Richardson


42 Ross Llewellyn

Founder of the RLM group, one of SEQ's biggest car dealerships employing many staff, including across the service division. Many a mechanic can say they started working at RLM, as the company prides itself on taking on local apprentices.

Ross Llewellyn
Ross Llewellyn

41 Peter Ferrando

Peter has held various roles within Aquatec Maxcon including Project Manager, Alliance Manager, Project Director and most recently, as the Queensland State Manager. Over the past nine years as the Queensland State Manager, Peter was responsible for overseeing the operations within the Head Office. His role encompassed all stages of major projects from expressions of interest and proposal submissions through to design, delivery and the administrative role across all Companies within the Aquatec Maxcon Group. He has been with the company for almost 18 years.

Aquatec Maxcon's Peter Ferrando
Aquatec Maxcon's Peter Ferrando

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