Queensland Nominees Announced For 2021 Australian of the Year Awards




Twitter: @AusoftheYear and #AusoftheYear 

Facebook: @AustralianoftheYear 

The nominees for the Queensland Australian of the Year Awards include a rural woman fighting for men’s mental health, a nurse, a community fundraiser, two brothers helping endangered orangutans, a doctor and lawyer fighting to help people with disabilities, an advocate for people of the Torres Strait and a mother educating young people on road safety after her son’s devastating accident. 

They are among 18 people in the running to be named the state’s Local Hero, Young Australian, Senior Australian or Australian of the Year. 

The 2021 Queensland award nominees are: 

2021 QLD Australian of the Year 

Ronnie Benbow – Founder, CEO and Director of The Carers Foundation (Brisbane) 

Dr Rolf Gomes – Founder of Heart of Australia outback health service (Brisbane) 

Melissa McGuinness – Founder of YOU CHOOSE Youth Road Safety (Gold Coast) 

Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM – Advocate for doctors with disabilities (Gold Coast) 

2021 QLD Senior Australian of the Year 

Carmel Crouch – Disabilities advocate and founder of STEPS (Sunshine Coast) 

Aunty McRose Elu – Advocate for Torres Strait communities and climate change (Brisbane) 

Jeanette Johnstone – Creator of Teacher In A Box (Brisbane) 

Betty Taylor – Domestic violence prevention campaigner (Redland City) 

2021 QLD Young Australian of the Year 

Daniel and William Clarke – Conservationists for the endangered orangutan (Redland City) 

Annabel McKay – Nurse and educator (Brisbane) 

Dr Alexander Tedman – Pioneer of telehealth dermatology service (Sunshine Coast) 

D’Arcy Witherspoon – Founder of Down to Earth (Ipswich) 

2021 QLD Local Hero 

Leanne and Stuart Brosnan – Community and conservation champions (Bundaberg) 

Natasha Johnston – Founder and Director of Drought Angels (Chinchilla) 

Angela Mansey – Community advocate (Sunshine Coast) 

Mary O’Brien – Mental health advocate (Darling Downs) 

The nominees are among 128 people being recognised across all states and territories as part of the program, which began in 1960. 

The Queensland award recipients will be announced in a ceremony at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on the evening of Tuesday 10 November 2020. The ceremony will also be livestreamed via Facebook @AustralianoftheYear. 

The Queensland award recipients will then join the other state and territory recipients as national finalists for the national awards announcement on 25 January 2021. 

National Australia Day Council CEO Karlie Brand said the Queensland nominees were an extraordinary group of people all focused on helping others. 

“The Queensland nominees share a passion for helping others – they are all dedicated to making a difference in the world and their efforts are truly inspiring,” said Ms Brand. 


Nominee photos can be downloaded from australianoftheyear.org.au. 

Media contact: Nicole Browne 0414 673 762 or nicole@mediaopps.com.au