Artist, community role model, father of seven children and foster father to four more, Bowen dad Gary Prior, was recently awarded the 2016 Queensland Father of the Year.
Passionate about teaching his children the value of giving back to the community and educating them about their Indigenous heritage and culture, the doting father and grandfather has dedicated his life to helping young people find their purpose in life.
Described by wife Janeen as a father to the fatherless, Gary is actively engaged in his local community in Bowen, teaching culture and traditional art in schools, mentoring children from broken families, and driving buses for local church youth groups.
He has also run a camp for young men coming out of juvenile detention to help them successfully transition back into society.
Gary’s passion for serving others and being a positive role model in the community has inspired his own children to pursue a life in service to others.
His eldest son is now a Police Liaison Officer in Townsville, while his second eldest is a Sport and Recreational Officer working with troubled children in the local community.
Never one to seek accolades, instead preferring to empower others to achieve greatness, Gary said he hoped to inspire more fathers to get in and support the mothers of their children and teach the next generation that it’s better to give than to receive.
Gary Prior was one of five regional finalists for the state-wide Queensland Father of the Year award.
Hosted by SU QLD, the Queensland Father of the Year award honours outstanding fathers for their exceptional commitment to raising their children, or for their exemplary contribution to the development of children in the community.
Congratulations to Cartia Moore, winner of the Apple iPad, for submitting a nomination and taking out the entrant’s prize.
Thank you to all who nominated father-figures around the state. To read our five regional finalists’ stories, visit qldfatheroftheyear.org.au/winners.