Griffith Clinical Educator and Sports and musculoskeletal physiotherapist Nick Marshall has won the 2020 QLD Local Hero Award category of the Australian of the Year Awards.

The recognition also means Nick could win the national award for his category when it is announced on Australia Day eve.

Nick completed his Masters of Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy at Griffith in 2013 and now works at the Griffith Health Clinics on the Gold Coast campus.

“I am incredibly lucky in the role I have at Griffith to be a Physio… entrusted with treating our elite athletes, in particular the Swimming Australia athletes within Michael Bohl’s swim squad,” he said.

He has an unwavering desire and dedication to include those with special needs and disability in the community, including driving initiatives with groups like Gold Coast City Council to install beach matting for wheelchair access.

“I’m incredibly motivated in getting the best out of people, and making them a better version of themselves,” he added.

“This may be something as simple as aiding them when they’re injured, but it can also include teaching them some new skills, (like) how to use empathy as your default or how to create a better inclusive community.”

Nick Marshall and some young charges in the Albatross Nippers program

To encourage better participation in surf lifesaving, Nick also created the all-inclusive program, Albatross Nippers, which has now been rolled out at other local beaches.

“I really enjoy getting to know people and finding out where I can make a difference, however small that may be.”

Luke Yokota

Nurse and Griffith alumnus Luke Yokota was also nominated for the 2020 QLD Young Australian of the Year Award.

Men currently make up only 10 per cent of the nursing population and when he told loved ones his chosen career path was nursing, he faced some resistance.

Luke now works in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Queensland’s Princess Alexandra Hospital.

His story is a testament to using challenges to diversity as a driving force to succeed.

Other Griffith graduates also nominated include:

  • Professor Emeritus Ian Lowe AO, Griffith University DUniv (2006): Nominee – 2020 QLD Senior Australian of the Year
  • Mr Norman Cramp, GCert Public Administration (1995): Nominee — 2020 NT Senior Australian Of The Year
  • Mr Craig Tobin, B Commerce (2016): Nominee – 2020 QLD Local Hero
  • Ms Astrid Jorgensen,M Music Studies (2011): Nominee – 2020 QLD Young Australian Of The Year.