UPDATE @ November 9, 6.10am: Queensland Origin hero Johnathan Thurston has been named Queensland’s Australian of the Year for 2018.
The NRL legend was awarded the honour for using his profile to help others, particularly Indigenous people, reach their potential.
Thurston champions ARTIE, Achieving Results Through Indigenous Education, is the face of Synapse’s campaign to prevent acquired brain injury in the Aboriginal community, and is an ambassador for the Apunipima Cape York Health Council’s anti-ice campaign and Queensland Reconciliation Awards.
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In 2017, Johnathan helped launch the $9.5 million NRL Cowboys House, a home for 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from remote north Queensland.
“Johnathan’s qualities of humility, sportsmanship, leadership and loyalty are admired both on the football field and off, making him an inspiring role model for Indigenous people and a great Australian,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a statement.
Dr Dimity Dornan AO was recognised as the 2018 Queensland Senior Australian of the Year, whilst Phillip Thompson was awarded 2018 Queensland Young Australian of the Year and Philippa ‘Pip’ Russell the 2018 Queensland Local Hero.
The Queensland Award recipients will now go on to join a cohort of 32 State and Territory recipients from around Australia in the national Awards, which will be held in Canberra on 25 January 2018.
EARLIER @ November 8, 7.00am: Queensland Origin legend Johnathan Thurston and local Gold Coaster Grant James Pforr are among 16 nominees who will tonight learn if they’ve taken out the top gongs at the Queensland Australian of the year awards ceremony.
The Queensland Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Local Hero Award recipients will be announced at the Old Museum Building in Brisbane tonight.
National Australia Day Council CEO, Ms Jenny Barbour, said the Queensland nominees are among 130 great Australians being recognised at the state level in the Australian of the Year Awards.
“The Australian of the Year Awards allow us to recognise and celebrate the achievements of outstanding Australians – people making extraordinary contributions to our society,” said Ms Barbour.
“The Queensland Award nominees are all involved in causes and issues close to their hearts, are selfless in their actions and contributions to assist others or have taken action when help was needed most. Their outlook and efforts have inspired those around them and make them Australians to be proud of.”
The Queensland Award recipients will go on to join a cohort of 32 State and Territory recipients from around Australia in the national Awards, which will be held in Canberra on 25 January 2018.
The 2018 Queensland Award nominees are:
2018 QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR
Rochelle Courtenay – Homeless women’s advocate (Sandgate)
Dr Glenn Gardener – Pioneering maternal fetal surgeon (Brisbane)
Johnathan Thurston – NRL player and Indigenous mentor (Townsville)
Paul White – Sports administrator (Bardon)
2018 QUEENSLAND SENIOR AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR
Aunty Faye Carr – Aboriginal elder (Ipswich)
Carmel Crouch – Disability advocate (Sunshine Coast)
Dr Dimity Dornan AO – Hearing health specialist and bionics advocate (Brisbane)
Dr Barry Kirby – Humanitarian doctor (Carool)
2018 QUEENSLAND YOUNG AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR
Courtney Crack – All abilities dance teacher (Corinda)
Olivia Hargroder – Advocate for people with Down Syndrome (Brisbane)
Tamara Richardson – Youth ambassador (Rockhampton)
Phillip Thompson – Veterans’ champion (Townsville)
2018 QUEENSLAND LOCAL HERO
Aguek Nyok – Community superman (Coopers Plains)
Grant James Pforr – Community champion (Gold Coast)
Philippa ‘Pip’ Russell – Children’s entertainer and innovator (Brisbane)
Luke Terry – Social entrepreneur (Toowoomba)