2013 Winners

The 2013 Queensland Father of the Year is:

Neil Thomson

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Neil Thomson is a father to eight, grandfather to 10, and foster dad to more than 100 children, including two permanent foster children. As well as being a father-figure to many, this inspirational dad has also the fulltime carer of his wife, who is battling chronic kidney disease and cancer. Neil runs a busy household, taking the children to athletics and cheerleading, while still remaining by his wife’s bedside when she regularly travels to Brisbane for treatment.

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Regional Winners

 

Southern QLD

Shane Hattersley

Shane HattersleyFather to two daughters, Shane Hattersley, can only walk using a stick after severely injuring his back in a workplace accident. Shane has spent the last 18 months in-and-out of hospital, having operations and treatments to reduce his severe pain. Despite his physical battles, he remains a committed and devoted father. A former police officer and Navy serviceman, Shane regularly volunteers at his children’s school, including helping with reading groups and coaching its rugby league team.

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Sunshine Coast / Wide Bay

Brent Crosby

Brent CrosbyFather of four, Brent Crosby, founded one of Australia’s biggest fundraising groups for the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave, Team Adem. This inspiring dad became a full-time carer for his son, Adem, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in January 2011, a week after his 17th birthday. Adem sadly passed away in May 2013, but Brent has continued his legacy by helping raise more than $250,000 to help other families going through the same struggles. 

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Brisbane South

Matthew Ames

Matthew AmesFather of four, Matthew Ames became a quadruple amputee in 2012 after suffering streptococcal toxic shock. Facing life without arms and legs, Matthew decided to be there for his family. This inspirational dad ‘walks’ his kids to school, supervises backyard cricket matches, swims in a little boat in the pool, and recently taught his eight-year-old son how to tie his tie. He talks to students at schools, encouraging them to never give up.

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Gold Coast / Logan

Rod Gordon-Smith

Rod Gordon-SmithRod Gordon-Smith is a father to three adopted children, two of whom have Down Syndrome. Before adopting his children, Rod was also a short-term foster dad to many kids. Despite challenging times, including numerous health conditions, Rod has invested into the community, including being treasurer for his children’s special education unit and helping with school fundraisers. Rod completed a four-year university degree as a mature-aged student and now teaches at Beaudesert State High School.

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Brisbane North

Aleem Ali

Aleem AliAleem Ali is a proud father of eight, including one foster child. After his 10-month old son, Jireh, was born with Down Syndrome, Aleem created a blog to share hope with other parents who face the same unexpected diagnosis. Aleem is passionate about social justice and has spent the past 20 years using his creative and entrepreneurial skills to help young people and marginalised communities. Aleem has developed various initiatives, including Stylin’UP, which is one of Australia’s largest indigenous hip-hop and R&B music and dance events.

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Central Queensland

Gary Hill

Gary Hill

Gary Hill, a father of five boys, is also a full-time carer for his wife who is battling cancer. While she spends lengthy visits at hospital, this incredible father strives to create a stable and loving household for his kids. When his family travels to Brisbane for his wife’s hospital treatments, Gary volunteers in the hospital’s school. Gary coaches his kids’ AFL team and volunteers for the Gladstone Mudcrabs Australian Football Club.

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North QLD

Neil Thomson

Neil ThomsonNeil Thomson is a father to seven, grandfather to 10, and foster dad to more than 100 children, including two permanent foster children. As well as being a father-figure to many, this inspirational dad has also the full-time carer of his wife, who is battling chronic kidney disease and cancer. Neil runs a busy household, taking the children to athletics and cheerleading, while still remaining by his wife’s bedside when she regularly travels to Brisbane for treatment.

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