Paul White, pictured here in his Rockhampton rugby league glory days, is a nominee for the 2018 Queensland Australian Of The Year Award.
Paul White, pictured here in his Rockhampton rugby league glory days, is a nominee for the 2018 Queensland Australian Of The Year Award. Frazer Pearce

Ex-CQ league star in line for a major award

FORMER Rockhampton police officer and league star Paul White has been named as a nominee for the 2018 Queensland Australian of the Year Award.

Mr White, who played representative league for Central Queensland for 10 years and is now the Brisbane Broncos CEO, joins Queensland Origin hero Johnathan Thurston, homeless women's advocate Rochelle Courtenay and pioneering maternal fetal surgeon Dr Glenn Gardner as the award nominees announced this week by the National Australia Day Council.

Mr White became Broncos CEO in 2010. His 2018 Queensland Australian of the Year Award nomination reads:

"The no-nonsense bush policeman turned chief executive officer of the Brisbane Broncos, Paul White is known as an unstoppable force.

"Under Paul's leadership, the Brisbane Broncos have broken records for revenue, membership, sponsorship and attendances. The club's impact on the community is even more impressive.

"These results were realised during Paul's harsh medical treatment for a brain tumour. Considered by many the number one sporting administrator in the country, Paul turned 'soldiering on' into an extreme sport.

"Despite the debilitating effects of his treatment, Paul has been unwavering in his commitment to help other people and communities reach their full potential.”

SUCCESSFUL: Under Paul White's leadership, the Brisbane Broncos have broken records for revenue, membership, sponsorship and attendances.
SUCCESSFUL: Under Paul White's leadership, the Brisbane Broncos have broken records for revenue, membership, sponsorship and attendances. DARREN ENGLAND

While Mr White never played for his country, Queensland or even NRL, he attributes much of his success to his rugby league career.

The decorated player with the CQ Comets and various club sides Mr White believes in giving life "a red hot crack”.

"I played for Central Queensland for 10 years, I never played NRL but god I had a wonderful career which serves me well today,” he told a gathering of Cathedral College First XIII players in Rockhampton last year.

"Don't be just fascinated by the NRL, be fascinated by what you can do locally as well.”

Mr White, who in 2015 was diagnosed with brain cancer, spoke to the gathering about how he was dealing with the chemotherapy.

"It's going pretty good. I've got a real good tolerance for the chemo, probably from the amount of poison I put into my body as a young man. I did enjoy a beer,” he said at the time.

"It's a pretty dramatic sort of drug with bad side effects. Although this week I feel a bit flat, I am getting through it.

"A positive attitude helps and if you stay busy, there's no time to feel sorry for myself.

"Everything is heading in the right direction, all the scans are positive. But anyone who has been on a cancer journey knows that there is no guarantee.”

While not living in Rocky any more, he was grateful for everything the city had provided him.

"It has been a constant in my life and I am very proud of what Rocky has given me,” he said. "No one ever puts Rockhampton down when I am around; I know how good this place is.”

The Queensland Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Local Hero Award recipients will be announced on Wednesday, November 8, at the Old Museum Building in Brisbane.

The Queensland Award recipients will then join other State and Territory recipients from around Australia in the national awards, which will be held in Canberra on January 25, 2018.



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