Dr Noel Hayman

Associate Professor Noel Hayman, has spent that last 20 years working to improve Indigenous health, particularly improving the control of diabetes and immunisation rates.

He has developed successful Indigenous focused initiatives and projects, including improved access to mainstream health services, improved infant nutrition, and a teaching unit for the University of Queensland.

As Queensland's first Indigenous doctor he laid the pathway for other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslander's to follow in his footsteps. And over the years he has tirelessly worked to recruit more Indigenous doctors.

This year Noel was named the Queensland Australian of the Year. The state-level award recognised Noel's long term commitment to Indigenous Health.

"It makes me very proud that people think I am worthy of a nomination," he said.

Noel is the clinical director of Inala Indigenous Health Centre on Brisbane's south side.

The Queensland Government last year announced that he would head the new Southern Queensland Centre of Excellence in Indigenous Primary Health Care.

"This has been a vision of mine for the past three years," he said.

The new centre will combine research and teaching with health care. Noel sees it attracting anyone who needs to upgrade their skills in Indigenous healthcare, including GP registrars, Fellows from the College of Physicians and primary healthcare workers.

Noel's grandfather was a Wakka Wakka man and his grandmother was Kalkadoon, born near Cloncurry. They met and married at Purga Mission near Ipswich.