Nominees for the Queensland 2023 Australian of the Year Awards Announced

Qld Australian of the Year nominees announced
Photo of Qld Australian of the Year nominees

Wednesday 9 November 2022

Nominees for the 2023 Queensland Australian of the Year Awards include tradies talking about mental health, a man pushing his lawnmower for child protection, friends helping homeless people by the box, a Torres Strait Islander helping her home community and the inventor of an artificial heart.

They are just some of the 19 people in the running to be named the Queensland Australian of the Year, Queensland Senior Australian of the Year, Queensland Young Australian of the Year and Queensland Local Hero.

The 2023 Queensland award nominees are:

Queensland Australian of the Year
Daniel Allen and Edward Ross - Social entrepreneurs, carpenters, founders TradeMutt and TIACS (Morningside & South Toowoomba)
William Barton - Multi-instrumentalist, composer, vocalist, producer
Dr Daniel Timms - Inventor of the BiVACOR titanium heart (Brisbane)
Dr Barbara Woodhouse - Oral and maxillofacial surgeon, medical pioneer (Redcliffe)

Queensland Senior Australian of the Year
Claude Lyle Harvey OAM - Child protection campaigner and Bravehearts fundraiser (Gold Coast) Jay Larkins - Disability advocate and founder, Brisbane Paralympic Football Program (Keperra) Father Michael Lowcock OAM - Indigenous advocate and founder, North West Queensland Indigenous Catholic Social Services (Mount Isa)
Betty Taylor - Campaigner and founder, Domestic Violence Prevention Centre and Red Rose Foundation (Ormiston)

Queensland Young Australian of the Year
Madelyn Jones and Gali Blacher - Co-founders, The Good Box (Kedron)
Talei Elu - Community organiser (Seisia)
Sam Hughes - Mental health fundraiser (Maleny)
Jeremy Hunt - Co-founder, The VacSeen Project (Toowoomba)

Queensland Local Hero
Brett and Belinda Beasley - Founders, Jack Beasley Foundation (Parkwood)
Peter Davis - Founder, Blood Bikes Australia (Springfield Lakes)
Melissa Redsell - Founder, A Brave Life (Warner) Michael Sanford - Mental health advocate and founder, Bunyarra Wellbeing Co. (Maidenwell)

The Queensland nominees are among 130 people being recognised across all states and territories.

The four award recipients from Queensland will be announced on Tuesday 15 November 2022 in a ceremony at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in Brisbane, which will also be available to watch via ABC iView from 6:30pm (local Brisbane time).

They will then join the other state and territory recipients as national finalists for the national awards announcement on 25 January 2023 in Canberra.

National Australia Day Council CEO Karlie Brand congratulated the Queensland nominees on their recognition.

“The 2023 Queensland nominees are making extraordinary contributions to their state and to people’s lives,” said Karlie.

“From medical advances to community development, they are all inspiring.”


20 Years Of Local Heroes
The 2023 Awards also mark 20 years of the Local Hero category. Introduced in 2003, the award acknowledges extraordinary contributions made by Australians in their local community.

Queensland has twice been represented in the Australia’s Local Hero category:

• 2006 Toni Hoffman, patient advocate

• 2015 Juliette Wright, social entrepreneur and founder of GIVIT


Nominee bios can also be viewed from

Nominee photos can be downloaded from this link (note all photos provided by nominees):

Media contact: Nicole Browne 0414 673 762 or