Former Coast nurse Anne Carey is in the running to be crowned Australian of the Year on Monday.
Former Coast nurse Anne Carey is in the running to be crowned Australian of the Year on Monday. Michael Duff/Australian Red Cros

Former Coast nurse Australian of the Year contender

A FORMER Sunshine Coast nurse who helped defeat Ebola in Sierra Leone will find out on Monday if her efforts have earned her the title of Australian of the Year.

Anne Carey, a qualified nurse who currently lives in Western Australia but has worked on the Coast, where her mother currently lives, was profiled by the Daily in December, 2014, after she returned from a gruelling stint in Sierra Leone.

Encased in full protective equipment, Ms Carey worked tirelessly in the Ebola-ravaged, war-torn country to help overcome the Ebola plague that swept the nation, alongside her fellow Red Cross volunteers.

Having previously worked in Darfur, South Sudan and Papua New Guinea, Ms Carey is no stranger to crisis, but the thought of possibly becoming an overnight ambassador for the next 12 months will be a test of a different kind.

"I've been surprised and totally shocked (at the nomination and then winning the WA honour)," Ms Carey said.

"It's a big ambassador role with it. I'm just enjoying the ride at the moment."

She said her and her partner Donald had discussed the possibilities if she did win, although she was still strongly playing down her chances and expectations.

"Hopefully, if I'm lucky enough to win, I'll be able to do the best I can," Ms Carey said.

Ms Carey said if successful, she'd be dedicated to inspiring others to "stop being controlled by fear and take a step towards compassion and courage" when dealing with those less fortunate, as well as drive action to tackle workplace bullying.

"Our nation needs to stand up for things," she said.

Ms Carey will come up against other nominees from around the country when the winner is announced on Monday.

Previous  Winners:

2014: AFL superstar Adam Goodes

2013: Media mogul Ita Buttrose

2008: Country music star Lee Kernaghan

2004: Former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh

1998: Olympic legend Cathy Freeman

1988: Solo yachtswoman Kay Cottee



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