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South Australian of the Year 2009

published  First Published: 21/11/2009
Article written by: News Reporter: Nigel Brookson
But the trauma specialist, whose extraordinary dedication and skills last night earned him the title of 2009 Advantage SA South Australian of the Year, is less comfortable dealing with such an honour.
A humbled Dr Griggs, 52, admitted the accolade initially sparked embarrassment rather than pride.
"The individual award is a little bit embarrassing. Everything I do is as part of a group or a team," he said.
"The award is an acknowledgement of the areas I've been lucky enough to work in, ranging from road safety through to the retrieval team, the hospital and the Defence Force."
Among his long list of achievements are the invention of a tracheotomy procedure now used around the world and helping establish the state's new aeromedical retrieval service, MedSTAR, which he now co-ordinates.
Advantage SA chairman Nigel McBride said Dr Griggs was a deserved recipient of the accolade. "Dr Griggs' extensive list of achievements is extremely inspiring," he said.
"He is a humble man that has given back so much to the community and this state as a whole."
He is the director of trauma services at Royal Adelaide Hospital. Dr Griggs has played an integral role in trauma and aerospace medicine, disaster recovery and road safety.
His proudest moments included working with a dedicated team of health and Defence personnel in disaster recovery operations after the Bali bombings in 2002, the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and the Samoan tsunami this year, saying: "It was great to be a part of a team that was doing a fantastic job."
The awards presentation was the first under the re-branded Advantage SA, formerly known as SA Great.
Engineer Julian O'Shea was named Young South Australian of the Year at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre awards dinner.
Mr O'Shea, 25, has represented Australia at international engineering conferences and recently finished a stint managing the West Head Gunnery Range in Flinders, Victoria - the Royal Australian Navy's premier training facility. "To be recognised in such a prestigious forum is a remarkable and humbling experience," he said.
Mr McBride said Mr O'Shea had demonstrated incredible leadership and an unwavering commitment to his Australian Defence Force role.


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