TWO men who led the disaster response and recovery following the devastating north west Queensland flood have been honoured for their commitment to the region.
Brigadier Stephen Jobson,who led the initial disaster response as Commander of Joint Task Force 646 and Nico Padovan who is deputy CEO and COO of the North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency have received Australia Day honours for their work.
Brig Jobson has named a Member (AM) in the military division of the Order of Australia for his exceptional service as Commandant Army Recruit Training Centre, Commander 16th Aviation Brigade and Commander Joint Task Force 646.
The citation states Brig Jobson has provided sustained exceptional leadership over his successive appointments. He led innovations in recruit training, by initiating preconditioning programs which reduced injuries, and enhanced army's cultural reform across a range of training institutions. His leadership revitalised army aviation and helped accelerate amphibious capability realisation for the Australian Defence Force.
Significantly, as Commander JTF646, his personal influence provided reassurance and inspired a hardened resolve across devastated communities during Operation Queensland flood assist.
Mr Padovan has been awarded a public service medal for outstanding public service in program and policy delivery, including supporting the recovery and reconstruction of the livestock industry in North Queensland.
Mr Padovan has served in the Australian Public Service for over 19 years following 16 years of military service. He has undertaken a range of roles, with a strong focus on policy development, business transformation and program delivery. His experience extends across a number of Australian government departments including the then Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, where most recently, he was responsible for national biosecurity and quarantine operations.
As the deputy CEO and COO of the North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency, he played a pivotal role in the recovery and reconstruction of the area after the monsoonal rain event that devastated North Queensland in February 2019.
The citation said he provided exceptional leadership in the immediate aftermath of the flooding event, which saw the widespread destruction of livestock, agricultural operations and infrastructure across more than 15,000 square kilometres.
He has engaged with individuals, businesses and communities to ensure the coordinated and timely delivery of government support measures, including overseeing the dispersal of over $100 million in financial assistance to primary producers, small businesses and not for profit organisations in Special Disaster Assistance Recovery Grants. He has also worked closely with stakeholders to develop and coordinate the delivery of a plan for the longer-term recovery and reconstruction of these areas.
Mr Padovan's effective collaboration in bringing together a wide range of government agencies with primary producers, small businesses and local communities is helping build a strong recovery plan and strengthened resilience for those in the region in dealing with future events.