Mel in running for Queensland Australian of the Year Awards

Published 10:30am 9 November 2022

Mel in running for Queensland Australian of the Year Awards
Words by Kylie Knight

A Brave Life founder and Warner resident Melissa Redsell has been named as a nominee in 2023 Queensland Australian of the Year Awards, with the finalists to be announced next week.

The list of nominees was released this morning ahead of a ceremony at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre during which award recipients in the four categories from Queensland will be announced on November 15.

The winners will then join other state and territory recipients as national finalists for the Australian of the Year Awards on January 25, 2023, in Canberra.

Melissa was nominated in the Queensland Local Hero category and does not know who put her name forward.

“I’m totally shocked to realise that out of Queensland I was selected in the top four in that category. I feel very humbled and honoured to be nominated,” she says.

“All the nominees are all amazing and all doing amazing things in their community for Queensland. It’s an honour to sit alongside them as a nominee.

“I’m very much looking forward to the award ceremony and hearing everyone else’s stories, to celebrate the work that we do and the work they do in the community as well.”

Melissa says the nomination is not just for her but recognition of the work her entire team does to help young mothers.

“It’s for the whole team behind me and also the young and vulnerable mums in the community that don’t have a voice. It’s an honour to represent them and give them a voice,” she says.

A Brave Life provides practical and emotional support to young mothers dealing with domestic violence, poverty, trauma, relationship breakdowns, unplanned pregnancy and homelessness. It provides essentials such as baby supplies, emotional nurturing and paths to education and employment. 

Mel in running for Queensland Australian of the Year Awards
Melissa as a young mother with her daughter Breanna in 1995.

The 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.

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