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Two Queenslanders enter Construction Hall of Fame

4th November 2010

Two major players in the Queensland construction industry were honoured this week, being inducted into Queensland University of Technology (QUT)'s Construction Hall of Fame.

John Hull, company director of J F Hull Holdings and the late John Petrie, who ran a construction business in the 1800s, both received the Distinguished Constructor Award.

Mr Petrie received the award posthumously, with his great-great-great-grandson - also named John Petrie - accepting it on his behalf.

The Petrie name is well known in Brisbane for a reason - the family were among the first free settlers in the Moreton Bay area.

The late John Petrie's construction firm was involved in the completion of Brisbane General Hospital and the Houses of Parliament during the 1860s depression when other firms defaulted. During the boom of the 1880s his firm built many of Brisbane's major churches and landmarks including Customs House and the General Post Office.

Eventually Mr Petrie was elected to three terms as Lord Mayor.

Although still in the prime of his career, John Hull has already made his mark on the modern landscape of south-east Queensland. His firm (at times in alliance with other construction companies) has worked on the Smout Highway, the Deagon Deviation, the Calliope Bridge, the Maroochy River Bridge and the Pacific Motorway upgrade at Daisy Hill, among other projects.

It was not just the practical achievements of these men which were honoured.

"The significant difference between this and other awards is the focus on the integrity of the recipient, in addition to the lifetime of achievement on which it is based," said Professor Martin Betts, executive dean of QUT's Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering.

Professor Betts was one of ten judges on the judging panel for the award, which was chaired by John Hornibrook.

"Now in its thirteenth year the Distinguished Constructor Award has become highly regarded in the industry and the professions as a major construction award," Professor Betts said.

QUT established the Distinguished Constructor Award and Construction Hall of Fame in 1998. Previous recipients include the late Sir Manuel Hornibrook, Jack Hutchinson, the late Sir Leslie Thiess, the late Sir John Holland AC and Walter Sommer OAM.

"The Construction Hall of Fame provides a permanent place for students, staff and visitors to appreciate the endeavours of the leaders of the Queensland Construction Industry. It comprises images and information on the achievements of all those selected," he said.

The Hall of Fame is located at QUT's School of Urban Development. The award ceremony took place in a neighbouring building (S Block) at the Gardens Point campus on Tuesday November 2.

Media contact: Michaela Ryan, QUT media officer, 07 3138 4494 or

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