RAAF Group Captain and transgender advocate Catherine McGregor has been named the Queensland Australian of the Year for 2016.
McGregor, who is the world’s highest ranking trans military official, was presented with her award by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk after being selected from a group of four nominees including humanitarian Lucy Strickland, journalist Peter Greste, and human rights activist Debbie Kilroy.
Gp Capt McGregor has served three tours of duty and since announcing that she would transition to identify as female in 2012, has used her public profile to help raise awareness and understanding of trans issues in the community.
“I hope I’m worthy of the trust emplaced in me by my fellow Queenslanders and by the committee,” McGregor told the audience at the Queensland State Library when accepting her award.
“You’ve honoured me, but more importantly, you’ve honoured the ADF of whom I’m a member. Also you’ve given great hope to a very, very small minority of Australians, those who are transgendered and intersex – a widely misunderstood group in our community. If I can give them any visibility and hope in the coming year, then that will be an enormous gift to me, one which I can’t repay.”
2016 Queensland Australian of the Year, Catherine McGregorQueensland’s Australian of the Year 2016 recipients have just been announced! Congratulations diversity champion Catherine McGregor AM, 2016 Queensland Australian of the Year, Philanthropist Tim Fairfax AC, 2016 Queensland Senior Australian of the Year, Orange Sky Laundry’s Nic Marchesi & Lucas Patchett, 2016 Queensland Young Australian’s of the Year, and land rights activist Michael Ross, 2016 Queensland Local Hero. See you in Canberra in January! ABC TV
Posted by Australian of the Year Awards on Friday, 30 October 2015
McGregor later told AAP that the award signified the changing attitudes of Australians.
“The Queensland I was born into could not have accepted me as the trans woman I am,” McGregor said.
“An awful lot has changed since then, and is still changing in an amazing way. To win this award would be an incredible milestone and shows the change in attitude to transgenderism.”
McGregor will now join the other Australian of the Year winners from each state in Canberra for the announcement of the national Australian of the Year award on 25 January 2016.
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