Richard Ireland

Richard Ireland

2013 College Recipient. College of Business, Law and Governance

Richard Ireland is Governing Director of the Ireland family business group.

Joining the family dealership business in 1981, Mr Ireland is a Director of eleven associated family companies.

Having worked in the group since he left university, he eventually became Dealer Principal for the company's Mitsubishi, GMSV, Isuzu Truck, Holden and HSV franchises. He has been on the Boards of both the Motor Traders Association of Qld and the Australian Automobile Dealers Association – Qld, as well as many committees representing dealers' interests within franchise groups.

In his motor industry career, Mr Ireland has twice been recognised with a Holden Grand Master Award; Received a Mitsubishi Motors Distinguished Dealer Award; And received two Isuzu Excellence Dealer Awards;

In 2022 he was recognised with his family by the Australian Automobile Dealers Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Presented to the Ireland family, Francis MBE, Ron OAM, Tony, David & Richard OAM for involvement in industry bodies, committees, dealer councils and extensive contributions to their local community over 99 years since foundation of the family business.

Outside the family business, Mr Ireland has extensive community interests. He is President of the Far North Queensland Youth Assistance Fund Inc., established to assist disadvantaged youth in Far North Queensland to live a normal life and take advantage of education, sporting and youth club activities available to them.

He is a past president and past secretary of the Rotary Club of Cairns, and an active Rotarian for more than 30 years and in 2004 he was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship to recognise his work in Rotary and the Community.

Mr Ireland was a foundation Director and Shareholder as part of the group that started Cairns Taipans Basketball Pty Ltd - now a community owned NBL Club.

In 2005, Mr Ireland became chair of the Marine & Tropical Science Research Facility (MTSRF) Interim Board and became Chair of the subsequent Reef & Rainforest Research Centre Limited, which has managed and delivered one of the world's most comprehensive tropical environmental research portfolios, through both the MTSRF program and the Tropical Ecosystems Hub of the National Environmental Research Program. Retiring from the RRRC in 2014, he continues his interest in observing their ongoing work.

Mr Ireland was Deputy Chair of Advance Cairns, the peak independent non-government Advocacy and Economic Development Organisation for Tropical North Queensland, from 2012 to 2018.

In 2018 In recognition of his contribution to Advance Cairns, he was announced as their first-ever Life Member.

In June 2020 The Queen's Birthday Honours List, Australian Honours, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet announced has receipt of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), for service to the community of Cairns through a range of roles.

Mr. Ireland attended the Townsville Campus of JCU graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1982. At that time he enjoyed the close proximity of that campus to the Queensland bush and wildlife around Townsville and, can see the same benefits being enjoyed by today’s students at the Cairns Campus. Mr Ireland is also a member of the JCU Cairns Campus Founders Committee, consequent to the support by the Ireland family in its foundation.

Updated April 2023