Queensland 2021 Australian of the Year Dr Dinesh Palipana has urged residents of the Scenic Rim, Logan and Redlands to nominate a worthy recipient for the 2022 awards.
Dr Palipana said his Australian of the Year award was unexpected.
"When it was first announced my mind just went blank," he said.
"Eleven years ago, being in an accident, waking up in ICU with my life falling apart, I had no idea that this is where I'd be today.
"I feel really grateful to everyone around me and people close to me because it's through their support that I've been able to get to where I am today.
"I think it holds you to a higher standard and it gives you the opportunity to give back to your community and this beautiful country.
"I came to Australia from Sri Lanka when I was 10 years old and I often take stock of how lucky I am to be here."
Dr Pilipana said he felt lucky to be the doctor for the Gold Coast Titans disability team and to have the opportunity to speak with players like Beaudesert's own Jamal Fogarty.
"I mainly work with the disability team," he said.
"The Titans have a really good program, they are so community minded and inclusive."
Dr Palipana said it was important for people to nominate for the Australian of the Year awards because most of the people who deserve it would never put themselves forward.
"One thing I realised during the award ceremonies is we have some people in the community doing amazing things and they are so humble," he said.
"Every single one of them was saying things like 'I'm just doing what I can' or I hope you win'.
"Today more than ever we need to recognise these people because we live in a world where we need to return to giving back to our community and our country."
Australian of the Year recipients can be community leaders, unsung heroes, quiet achievers or someone who has provided inspiration and encouragement to others.
Categories include Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia's Local Hero.
National Australia Day Council chief executive Karlie Brand said it was important for Australians to nominate people for the awards in order for their contributions and efforts to be recognised.
"By nominating someone for the Australian of the Year Awards, you're sharing their story more broadly so we can all celebrate what they've done," sshe said.
"While the national awards honour four people each January, we recognise 128 people around the country each year through the state and territory awards process.
"You don't need to personally know the individual you're nominating, you simply need to tell us what they've done and how they've impacted you or others.
"It only takes one nomination for someone to be considered for the Australian of the Year Awards and that crucial nomination could be yours."
Nominees must be: .
- A living person (posthumous awards cannot be granted)
- Australian citizens .
- Aged 16-30 for Young Australian of the Year .
- Aged 65 and over for Senior Australian of the Year
Find out more about the Australian of the Year Awards or nominate a deserving champion here.