Award winner 'blown away'

GLADSTONE man Nathan Woods is Queensland’s new Father of the Year – but he reckons the recognition of the people who know him well, particularly his family, is the biggest accolade he could ever get.

Mr Woods was named Central Queensland Father of the Year last month and was so "blown away’’ by that award, he figured going to the Queensland finals would be the right thing to do, despite by his calculations, not being anywhere in the running for the prize.

"Mate it was totally unexpected, truly, winning the CQ (Award) was a bit of a trip-out, but to win it for Queensland is just unbelievable,’’ Mr Woods said.

"But the biggest thing for me was the initial nomination by people who know me and work with me.

"It’s nice to get the accolades, but really it’s about getting foster kids and their carers noticed that is more important."

Mr Woods has a full-time job as a school cleaner, but still has time for his extended family of wife Janine and their five children – four of whom are fostered.

The Woods have brought into their family nearly 30 foster children, giving those kids a taste of a loving and full-time family.

"All I hope this (winning the award) does is make more people aware of the plight of some of these kids and the work carers do for them," he said.

"There’s heaps of kids, many in the Gladstone region, that circumstances have transpired against.

"And if it (the publicity surrounding the award) gets one person to think about fostering a child then it is worth it. To help just one child is worth it."

The Woods do get a bit of a holiday out of the award with a five-night family holiday at Sanctuary Cove, where the Father of the Year ceremony was held.

But the kids will have to wait until school holiday time, as Nathan is back at work on Monday at Gladstone State High School.

"It’s back to reality, back to normality on Monday," he said.

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