Founding member, Kelvin Johnston honored in Australia Day Awards

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

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Kelvin Johnston, a founding member of local group Friends of Balmoral Cemetery has been recognized in the Griffith Australia Day Awards by Hon. Kevin Rudd MP Federal Member of Griffith and Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Kelvin was elected as first president of the Friends of Balmoral Cemetery when the group formed in September 2001 and continued in this role until 2009.

Kelvin was elected as first president of the Friends of Balmoral Cemetery when the group formed in September 2001 and continued in this role until 2009.

Current president Mr Norm Love said The Friends of Balmoral are all thrilled about the award and a number of members were also able to be part of the ceremony where Kevin Rudd presented the award.

The award was well earned, Norm said, as Kelvin’s drive and determination had been a big part of the establishment and continuation of the group over the last ten years. Kelvin was a big part of our establishment and in setting up good working relationship with Brisbane City Council, Federal and State members, Local Councilors, and local Police. He was also there to help organise working bees, sausage sizzles at Clean Up Australia Days and many other activities of the group over the past decade.

Norm Love (President) and Betty Siden (Secretary) congratulate Kelvin

Some of Kelvin’s achievements during this time included work with Council to implement a “gates closed at night policy”, better damage alert systems and Cemetery audits. Kelvin has addressed City Council meetings on the importance of security against vandalism in the Cemetery.

Kelvin was also involved in the Greater Brisbane Cemetery Alliance liaising with Government Departments for better laws to cover willful damage and vandalism to cemeteries. Success was seen last year after Kelvin and the Alliance successfully lobbied the then Queensland Attorney Hon Cameron Dick and new laws were passed in Parliament increasing the jail terms from 5 to 7 years for vandalism in cemeteries and war memorials throughout Queensland.

Kelvin continues to be actively involved in the group. His current project is a fundraising drive to restore the grave of Fred Dickson a barrister and acting judge whose decisions form the basis of some of our key industrial law today.

The Friends meet on the second Wednesday of each alternate month at the Morningside Services Club at 7.30pm. Their next meeting is on 7 February and anyone interested in joining the group is welcome


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The Friends of Balmoral Cemetery Inc (or FOBC) was established on 28 July 2001, to preserve and enhance Brisbane’s historic Balmoral Cemetery.


Friends of Balmoral Cemetery Inc. are grateful for the assistance of many individuals and organisations for their ongoing support and for some of the information contained in this website:


  • Brisbane City Council, City Cemeteries

  • State Library of Queensland

  • Descendants of those who were laid to rest at Balmoral Cemetery

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