The 2021 Queenslander's of the Year will be announced on Tuesday night with the nominees ranging from conservationists to mental health fighters, a Torres Strait Island advocate and a nurse who treats cancer patients.

All 16 nominees are more than deserving to recognise their incredible work, like Annabel McKay, a nurse, educator and a new mother from Brisbane in the running for the QLD Young Australian of the year.


Clinical nurse at Mater Health Service, Annabel McKay has been nominated for Queensland Young Australian of the Year, 2021. Picture: Josh Woning
Clinical nurse at Mater Health Service, Annabel McKay has been nominated for Queensland Young Australian of the Year, 2021. Picture: Josh Woning


Ms McKay, 29, was nominated for her compassion when caring for vulnerable cancer patients while teaching aspiring practitioners, all while dealing with profound deafness.

"I lost both my grandparents when I was quite young, my grandmother had a cancer diagnosis and I saw the battle it had on herself and the family and people around her," Ms McKay said.

"You ride the rollercoaster with the patients for sure but you take a lot of inspiration from them … they're probably the most inspiring people I have had to fortune to come across," she said.

This award would add to Ms McKay's Pride of Australia Medal for Care and Compassion, Australian Nurse of the Year, and the Professor Catherine Turner Medal for Excellence in Nursing.

"Overwhelming is probably the most accurate description, it brought a tear to my eye actually its incredibly humbling and I actually don't know who nominated me so it's very grounding," she said.

The awards will begin at 6pm on Tuesday night at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and will be streamed on Facebook via the Australian of the year page.

You can read about the other nominees on the Courier Mail website.




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 orang-utan (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)


Originally published as Every finalist in Qld Australian of the Year awards