Honouring Queensland's Australians of the Year for 2020 - Peter Dornan, Nick Marshall, Ash Barty's father Robert, and Rachel Downie).
Honouring Queensland's Australians of the Year for 2020 - Peter Dornan, Nick Marshall, Ash Barty's father Robert, and Rachel Downie). contributed

Peter Dornan named Qld's 2020 Senior Australian of the Year

MEN'S health activist and official physiotherapist to the Wallabies, Kangaroos and Queensland Reds, Peter Dornan, has been named Queensland's 2020 Senior Australian of the Year.

After a prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment, and experiencing depression, incontinence and other side effects, Peter put an ad in the newspaper, inviting fellow patients to meet.

This began his far-reaching initiatives to support men with prostate cancer.

His commitment to helping men share experiences and seek support has helped create a culture change in the treatment management for men with prostate cancer.

After receiving a grant to research incontinence - a common consequence in men after prostate cancer treatment - he designed a successful program to treat the condition, in turn publishing a book used throughout Australia's 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 raise significant funds. He is a successful writer and sculptor and took up mountain climbing after prostate cancer recovery, successfully scaling Mt Kilimanjaro at age 60.

Qld Senior Australian of the Year Peter Dornan AM
Qld Senior Australian of the Year Peter Dornan AM contributed

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the field of sports physiotherapy has delivered two Queensland Australian of the Year Award recipients.

"Queensland's Senior Australian of the Year Peter Dornan has 50 years' practical experience in sport medicine. He co-founded the Queensland Branch of Sports Medicine Australia and is a foundation fellow of the Australian Sports Medicine Foundation," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"And Queensland's Local Hero Adjunct Assistant Professor Nick Marshall is the founder of the Albatross Nippers, an all-inclusive nippers program at Nobbys Beach on the Gold Coast, which enables children with special needs to join other children in nipper activities.

"The Albatross Nippers competed at this year's Queensland Surf Lifesaving Youth Championships, the first team of nippers with special needs to ever do so.”

Social entrepreneur Rachel Downie has been named Queensland's Australian of the Year for 2020, with tennis champion Ash Barty named Queensland's Young Australian of the Year.

Ms Palaszczuk congratulated the recipients on receiving the prestigious honours.

"As a teacher, Rachel Downie has seen bullying and cyberbullying become serious issues over the past 10 years, and when one of her students took his life as a result, she took action," the Premier said.

"Rachel created Stymie, an anonymous online reporting system that enables children experiencing bullying or other mental health challenges to seek support.

"Last year she spoke to more than 83,000 students about creating a culture of care in their schools, conducting workshops with students, staff and parents covering topics such as eSafety, cyberwellness, personal safety and boundaries.

"This is a critical issue in our society and one we must all work together on to combat. As a government, we're doing what we can and I'm incredibly proud of the work others like Rachel are doing in order to keep young people safe."

Ms Palaszczuk said Queenslanders should also feel proud of Barty, whose father Robert accepted the award on his daughter's behalf.

Barty has had a stunning 2019 season winning four singles titles, including the French Open, and ending the year as the world's No.1 player with victory in the season-ending WTA finals.

"From humble beginnings as a young tennis player from Ipswich to the top of the tennis world, her professionalism on and off the court, her dogged determination, her talent and skills are second to none," the Premier said.

"Ash is an inspirational young Queenslander and a fantastic role model for other young Queenslanders and is highly deserving of this special commendation.

"I commend these four outstanding Queenslanders on being named Queensland's Australians of the Year for 2020, and I wish them every success at the national awards in Canberra on the eve of Australia Day."

Sources include: www.australianoftheyear.org.au


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