Queensland Museum Medal winner 2021 named

09 November 2021

Queensland Museum Network is delighted to announce prominent Toowoomba local, Dr Dennis Campbell has been awarded the prestigious 2021 Queensland Museum Medal for his valuable contribution to Cobb+Co Museum. 

Queensland Museum Chairperson Professor Margaret Sheil AO said the Queensland Museum Medal acknowledges outstanding achievements and major contributions to individuals for excellence in museum research, collections, community projects and partnerships.

"Dr Campbell is a stalwart in the Toowoomba community and has played a significant role in the success of Cobb+Co Museum for more than 20 years,” Professor Sheil said.

“Dr Campbell has been a champion of Cobb+Co Museum and has worked tirelessly in the local community to promote the museum as a community space and premier tourist attraction, telling the story of the history of Cobb&Co, coaching and its place in the Toowoomba region.

“With the uncertainty surrounding travel and tourism, it has never been more important to promote local tourism and I cannot think of a more admirable recipient in 2021 for this medal.”

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch congratulated Dr Dennis Campbell for his passion and ongoing contribution to the Queensland Museum Network (QMN) through Cobb+Co Museum.

“The Queensland Government supports Queensland Museum as one of the state’s most important cultural and collecting institutions in preserving the legacies of our past and for exploring the possibilities of tomorrow,” Minister Enoch said.

“Today’s award acknowledges Dr Campbell as a Queenslander whose outstanding work continues to make an impact on Queensland’s cultural heritage for current and future generations.

“It is important during these uncertain and challenging times, that we celebrate the significant impact of an individual’s ability to make positive change in our local community, through the Queensland Museum Medal.

“This Government has a plan to drive change through our Creative Together 10-year Roadmap that will see Queensland renewed and transformed through arts, culture and creativity,” Minister Enoch said.

Queensland Museum Network CEO Dr Jim Thompson said it’s an honour to award Dr Campbell the Queensland Museum Medal and to recognise his ongoing commitment to not only Cobb+Co Museum, but the Toowoomba community.

“Dr Campbell is known throughout the Toowoomba region for his tireless work within the community both professionally and personally,” Dr Thompson said.

“With regards to his connection to Queensland Museum Network, Dr Campbell was pivotal in securing funding for the stage three expansion of Cobb+Co Museum in 2001, including championing the development of the creation of the National Carriage Factory, the largest display of coaches in Australia, which hosts hands-on workshops and demonstrations within the museum.

“In 2007, he was appointed trustee of the Queensland Museum Foundation in 2007 and more recently he has been instrumental in helping to attract funding for events and programming to the museum including the Toowoomba Arts Footprint – Artists in Residence program.

Dr Campbell said it was an honour to be awarded the 2021 Queensland Museum Medal.

“Thank you to Queensland Museum Network for this honour, I have a strong connection to the community of Toowoomba and the work I do with the Friends of Cobb+Co Museum is a way I can highlight just how amazing our city is,” Dr Campbell said.

“I am passionate about Cobb+Co Museum and its place in the Toowoomba region for the last 18 years I have felt strongly connected to the community and it’s an honour to be recognised.

“I believe the museum plays an integral role in keeping the Cobb&Co legacy alive, showcasing the history of this legendary 19th Century company and we have a duty to share this story with the world.”

Previous Queensland Medal award winners include:
  • Professor Ron Quinn AM - Director of the Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery (2003-2016) 
  • Dr Robert Raven – Australia’s leading arachnologist and Head Terrestrial Biodiversity and Principal Curator at Queensland Museum
  • Dr John Stanisic - Australia’s foremost expert on land snails
  • Dr John Hooper – Former Head of Biodiversity and Geosciences at Queensland Museum
  • Sir David Attenborough - English broadcaster, writer, and naturalist
  • Steve Irwin – ‘Crocodile Hunter’, conservationist and television personality 

Media - media@qm.qld.gov.au 
Christine Robertson, Senior Media Officer, 3153 4451 | 0417 741 710
Kylie Hay, Senior Media Officer, 3153 4450 | 0434 565 852