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10 Questions - Peter Coaldrake, chair of QPAC

Summer Reading

Peter Coaldrake, former QUT Vice-Chancellor, current chair of the board of QPAC, steps up to answer InQueensland Summer Reading’s 10 questions

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1. Did anything good come out of 2020?

The progress of vaccine research is the standout positive.  Others might nominate the US election outcome. The larger challenge which arises from the latter is to better understand the sobering factors which underlie the apparently continuing rise of authoritarian and populist tendencies across various parts of the Western world.

2. What’s your favourite Christmas memory?

Decorating the Christmas tree, each year adding a decoration for each family member and new member. With seven grandchildren five years and under, our Christmas tree is now very well adorned.

3. Are you a summer or a winter person?

Winter in Queensland.

4. How do you stay resilient during periods of change, like the year just gone?

By reminding ourselves how fortunate so many of us are.

5. Who were your heroes of 2020?

The bushfire and health workers, and the vaccine research teams (including that at UQ).

6. Your secret ambition?

To be an orchestral conductor.

7. Favourite end-of-year holiday spot?

Berlin, for the cold winter and beautiful music.

8. What are you hoping for next year?

The containment of COVID and more constructive politics.

9. Hot Christmas dinner, or cold?

Growing up in the stifling summer heat of Queensland’s central west, at Aramac, Christmas dinner always featured roast lamb and vegetables followed by plum pudding, with the Cox family at Tuaburra station. For sentimental if not practical reasons, the choice is hot.

10. People/businesses to watch in 2021?

Matt Kean, the NSW Minister for Energy and the Environment. What an inspiring example he is setting for politicians of both sides in leading national debate and taking serious constructive measures to address climate change.

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