NOMINATED: Child protection advocate Bruce Morcombe addresses a crowd supporting his crusade.
NOMINATED: Child protection advocate Bruce Morcombe addresses a crowd supporting his crusade.

Morcombes up for Aussies of Year

BRUCE Morcombe did not start the Facebook group calling for him to be Australian of the Year.

However, he said he was honoured with the sentiment and was "over the moon" to be a finalist for the Queensland title.

Mr Morcombe and his wife Denise make up one of the four finalists in the major category, up against a sports star, a human rights campaigner and a women's health champion.

There are a number of groups on Facebook that have supported the nomination of the Morcombes.

Mr Morcombe laughed but said he had no hand in the campaign.

"There may even be a Facebook group called 'nominate the Morcombes for Australian of the Year'," Mr Morcombe said.

"I'm not a Facebook member. Obviously I didn't set it up."

A Sunshine Coast person is a finalist in each of the four categories of the Queensland Australian of the Year Awards.

Mr and Mrs Morcombe have been recognised for their work as child protection advocates after their son Daniel was abducted almost eight years ago.

Last week's Day for Daniel saw about one million nationwide take part in the annual child safety day.

"Like any of the other nominees, you don't come to work to make a difference to win an award," Mr Morcombe said.

"A lot of people are surprised that we are very ordinary Australians.

"I just went to the plaza to get some milk and more than a dozen people came over and shook my hand and said, 'well done, keep up the good work'.

"That's a very dramatic change from a number of years ago."

Sunshine Coast anti-binge drinking campaigner Chris Raine is vying for the Queensland Young Australian of the Year, while on the other end of the spectrum Sunshine Beach playwright David Williamson is in the senior category.

Glasshouse Mountains knitter Karen Croke is a finalist for the Local Hero award.

The other nominees for the major award are sporting hero Preston Campbell, human rights campaigner Kay Danes and women's health champion Professor Ajay Rane.

The Queensland winners will be announced on November 17. Those winners will compete for the national awards on Australia Day.

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