2015 Winners

The 2015 Queensland Father of the Year is:

Ben Tullipan

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Australia’s worst injured survivor of the 2002 Bali Bombing, Ben Tullipan, lost both of his legs and sustained significant burns to 63% of his body. Despite being just five metres from the van which housed the bomb, Ben survived, even after medical professionals initially believed he was too injured to survive.

Eager to rehabilitate, Ben began to play golf which helped develop his balance, co-ordination and stability, all skills he would need to regain his independence. Never one to focus on himself, Ben soon began volunteering with the Queensland Amputee Golf Association. It was not long before Ben was President of the association. In this role, he has worked tirelessly to encourage and motivate fellow amputees, many of whom are also fathers, to regain their self-worth and build friendships with one another.

While Ben’s passion for helping others is evident, his greatest passion in life is his family. He is an active and caring father to his two children. Wife, Kerrie, will attest that he is a prominent part of his children’s lives; driving them to school and after-school sports; walking them to class; attending awards ceremonies and sports carnivals; and being their biggest supporters.

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Regional Winners

Robbie Radel1-2

Sunshine Coast & Wide Bay

Robbie Radel

Biggenden dairy farmer and father to 6 children, Robbie Radel, has maintained his farm despite declines in milk prices, long droughts and three floods which resulted in heavy damage to his property. In the worst of these three floods, Robbie’s milking machine was destroyed by one-and-a-half metres of water that swept through his milking shed, covering everything with mud.

However, in the face of such hardship, his commitment to his family and community has never faltered. He still finds time to volunteer with a host of clubs and groups in his area, including Apex and Little Athletics. According to his friend, Darren, and many others, Robbie is rarely seen without his wife, Michelle, and children by his side. He is respected in the community and is always willing to lend a helping hand. In addition to managing his dairy business and spending quality time with his children, he always makes time to help at community events, cooking a steak on the BBQ, serving behind the bar or selling raffle tickets.

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Brisbane

Ron Longhurst2-2Ron Longhurst

Father of 4 and grandfather to 4 with a fifth on the way, Ron Longhurst has successfully balanced a life dedicated to helping others in need with meeting the needs of his much-loved family. When he is not spending time with his family, Ron serves as a Youth Worker for The Salvation Army Youth Outreach Service in Fortitude Valley. For the many young people that utilise the services of the Salvation Army Youth Outreach Service, Ron is a father figure with a genuine love for his work and the people he serves.

Not only does he work full-time but he also volunteers two Sundays each month at Wacol Prison, encouraging inmates and speaking hope into their lives. Regardless of his often hectic schedule, Ron mentors young people and has previously volunteered at the Victory Community Service for 7 years in a managerial role. To those who know Ron personally, all acknowledge his character and servant heart.

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Andrew Holden1-2North Queensland

Andrew Holden

Due to one of the toughest droughts in history, Grazier and Hughenden resident, Andrew Holden, had to sell hundreds of head of his cattle to keep his business afloat. But according to his wife, Juanita, his family were always his number one priority. Maintaining his signature consideration for others, Andrew has been actively involved with the work of Aussie Helpers, an Australian Charity for Farmers in Hardship, even while his own farm was struggling.

Andrew has also spent the last 4 years confined to a wheelchair. However, he has never let this prevent him from caring for his 5 children. Five surgeries over the last 12 years has proven challenging, but Andrew has risen to the challenge, showing grit and determination to support his family through this time.

Being wheelchair-bound has not kept Andrew from assisting with community activities in his beloved hometown, including the Hughenden Show. He is truly a remarkable father and a valued member of the Hughenden community.

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Central Queensland

Stephen Gellatly1-2Stephen Gellatly

Any father of 5 children under the age of 6 deserves a medal and our praise, but local Emerald Baptist Church Pastor, Stephen Gellatly, takes it all in his stride. Stephen was recently diagnosed with cancer. Despite this difficult news, he remains actively involved in his children’s lives, providing them an example of how to overcome adversity. He currently teaches Religious Education in the local schools, loving this opportunity to share something he is passionate about.

According to wife, Deborah, Stephen is consistent in his love for his children and understands the importance of building strong relationships with them from an early age. He relishes one-on-one time with each of his children and makes sure he always makes time for them, regardless of his circumstances.

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Graham Andrews2-2Southern Queensland

Graham Andrews

Devoted dad, Graham Andrews balances a full-time job and sport coaching commitments with tending to his 25 year old son, Trent. Trent has spastic quadriplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, and is unable to do anything for himself. Requiring constant care and attention, Graham spends all his available time at home with Trent, giving his wife, Annette, a welcome break. Graham is dedicated to the wellbeing of his wife and three children, and is known for always providing a helping hand to those in need throughout the community.

To include Trent in family activities, everyday outings can become very difficult. But Graham volunteers to stay home with his son when necessary in order to make it easier for the rest of the family. Graham’s mother-in-law can attest to his generosity as he is regularly helping her with home maintenance and repairs.

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Ben Tullipan1-2South East Queensland

Ben Tullipan

Australia’s worst injured survivor of the 2002 Bali Bombing, Ben Tullipan, lost both of his legs and sustained significant burns to 63% of his body. Despite being just five metres from the van which housed the bomb, Ben survived, even after medical professionals initially believed he was too injured to survive.

Eager to rehabilitate, Ben began to play golf which helped develop his balance, co-ordination and stability, all skills he would need to regain his independence. Never one to focus on himself, Ben soon began volunteering with the Queensland Amputee Golf Association. It was not long before Ben was President of the association. In this role, he has worked tirelessly to encourage and motivate fellow amputees, many of whom are also fathers, to regain their self-worth and build friendships with one another.

While Ben’s passion for helping others is evident, his greatest passion in life is his family. He is an active and caring father to his two children. Wife, Kerrie, will attest that he is a prominent part of his children’s lives; driving them to school and after-school sports; walking them to class; attending awards ceremonies and sports carnivals; and being their biggest supporters.

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Congratulations to all six finalists. You are all highly-deserving nominees and an inspiration to fathers across the state.