A multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, didgeridoo player and renowned classical composer has been named 2023 Queensland Australian of the Year.
William Barton, 41, grew up on Kalkadungu country, Mount Isa, where he learned didgeridoo from his uncle.
The proud Kalkadunga man left school at 12 to concentrate on music and by age 17 had performed with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
Mr Barton has released five albums on the ABC Classics label including Heartland with Veronique Serret, featuring the words of William's mother Aunty Delmae Barton.
He will join recipients from other states and territories for the national awards on January 25, alongside Queensland's Senior Australian and Young Australian of the Year winners.
Former gardener Claude Lyle Harvey, 77, spends his retirement travelling around Australia to increase awareness of child protection and raise funds for Bravehearts, a not-for-profit dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse and assisting survivors.
Over the past 17 years, he has pushed his lawnmower "Moyra" tens of thousands of kilometres around the country, bringing in more than $1.5 million.
Talei Elu, 30, is a Saibai Koedal (crocodile) woman from the Torres Strait Islander community of Seisia in Cape York.
She used her government experience and people skills to help her community, including educating people about the importance of voting and organising free feminine hygiene products, baby necessities, and beauty and self-care items.
Charity founder Melissa Redsell was named 2023 Queensland Local Hero.
Ms Redsell drew on personal experience to start A Brave Life, which provides essentials such as baby supplies, emotional nurturing and paths to education and employment.
In 2022, 45-year-old Melissa had delivered more than 8000 baby bundle care packages.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk personally congratulated each of the 2023 recipients.
"We are proud to recognise these extraordinary Queenslanders whose positive impacts are improving lives and society on a daily basis," she said.
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.