2020 QLD Australian of the Year Award recipients announced

14 Nov 2019

The 2020 Queensland Australian of the Year Awards have been announced in a ceremony at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre this week. 

Congratulations to UQ alumni Adjunct Assistant Professor Nick Marshall and Peter Dornan AM, who have been announced as 2020 QLD Australian of the Year Award winners.

The two UQ alumni recipients will join those from the other states and territories for the national awards ceremony at the National Arboretum in Canberra on 25 January 2020 – the 60th anniversary of the awards.

2020 QLD Local Hero

Adjunct Assistant Professor Nick Marshall
Founder, Albatross Nippers

Sports and musculoskeletal physiotherapist, Adjunct Assistant Professor Nick Marshall, has a passion for ensuring those with special needs and disability are included in the community.

An advocate for increased participation in surf lifesaving activities for many years, in 2015 Nick created the Albatross Nippers – an all-inclusive Nipper program at Nobbys Beach, helping children with special needs experience nippers with other children of similar ages. The program has expanded to multiple Gold Coast beaches.

In 2019, Nick's Albatross Nippers became the first group of special needs children in history to participate in a surf lifesaving carnival and competition.

Nick has also liaised with his local city council to install beach matting and free beach wheelchair access, and was instrumental in designing the online Surf Lifesaving Australia special needs module, teaching clubs across Australia to better interact, engage and develop programs at their beach.

Motivated solely by the desire to create a better, more engaged community, Nick's volunteer work inspires the Gold Coast community.

2020 QLD Senior Australian of the Year

Peter Dornan AM
Men’s health activist

Following a prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment, and after experiencing depression, incontinence and other side effects, sports medicine physiotherapist Peter Dornan AM put an ad in the newspaper, inviting fellow patients to meet. Since then, he has supported men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Peter's commitment to helping men share experiences and seek support has helped create a culture change in the treatment management for men with prostate cancer. Receiving a grant to research incontinence – a common consequence in men after prostate cancer treatment – he designed a successful program to treat the condition, and published a book used across Australian prostate cancer support groups. He also developed a nationally and internationally recognised program for managing patients with pelvic pain

Peter is a director of the Board of the Cancer Council of Queensland, for which he has helped raised significant funds. A successful writer and sculptor, he took up mountain climbing after prostate cancer recovery, successfully scaling Mount Kilimanjaro at age 60.

For full details on the 2020 Australian of the Year Awards click here.