The awards, which start Queensland Week celebrations (June 4-11), recognise significant contributions and achievements in fields including the arts, business, community, sport, science and education.
Premier Beattie announced that the 2006 Suncorp Queenslander of the Year is pioneering medical researcher Professor Ian Frazer.
"Also Australian of the Year, Professor Ian Frazer has been hailed world-wide for his breakthrough vaccine to prevent cervical cancer and he is a most deserving recipient of this State honour," Mr Beattie said.
"The 2006 Suncorp Young Queenslander of the Year Award goes to accomplished Australian swimmer, Olympian Leisel Jones OAM. In 2005 Ms Jones was honoured with the most prestigious award in swimming when she was crowned the Female Swimmer of the World."
Mr Beattie today also announced a new Suncorp Community Spirit Award. It recognises outstanding dedication and contribution to the community, and goes to community fundraiser Shenee Lea Geerin.
"Although Miss Geerin is just 13, she has fought adversity and gone on to help so many people in need, being honoured with State and National fundraising awards along the way," he said.
"Each year I am so proud of the Queenslanders nominated in the Suncorp Queenslander of the Year Awards, and this year is no exception.
"While there can be only one award recipient in each catgegory, congratulations must go to all the nominees because the work that they all do has helped make Queensland what it is today.
"They are exceptional people who share one thing in common - they all make a difference to the lives of others.
"Whether it's helping or protecting those in need, inspiring others to achieve, or pursuing the advancement of knowledge, the Queenslanders who have been nominated make a very real difference in their communities and to the Smart State.
"Congratulations and well done to all our nominees."
Mr Beattie said Queensland Week was a time to celebrate Queensland's heritage, diversity and its achievements.
"There will be more than 100 events throughout the State this week, from the bush and the beach to the city, and it's a time to take stock of where we have come from and what lies in store for the Smart State."
Events feature food, music and culture, and include the SMART awards for business innovation (June 8), the Queensland Week Citizenship Ceremony (up to 500 people) and the Big Queensland BBQ (both June 11).
Visit www.queenslandweek.qld.gov.au for the Queensland Week program.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Premier's Office - 0400 767 490
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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