The accomplishments keep coming for Ipswich’s Ash Barty who has been named Queensland’s Young Australian of the Year for 2020.
The tennis ace received the prestigious honour in Brisbane on Monday night, with her father Robert accepting the award on her behalf.
In accepting the award on behalf of his daughter, Mr Barty described her year as “amazing”.
“If someone would have said to me at the start of the year that your daughter’s going to be number one in the world, then I would have said, ‘Wake up to yourself she’s not that good’. But she’s just done some incredible stuff,” he said.
Mr Barty said he and his wife Jodie were particularly proud of how their daughter conducts herself off court.
“I had to go to Cairns with her recently to help some young indigenous kids get into sport, and she said to me up there when we jumped on the plane to come home, ‘Dad I could do this every day, this is what really matters. This is great stuff, this is so much better than playing tennis’,” he said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Barty had come a long way.
“From humble beginnings as a young tennis player from Ipswich to the top of the tennis world, her professionalism on and off the court, her dogged determination, her talent and skills are second to none,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Ash is an inspirational young Queenslander and a fantastic role model for other young Queenslanders, and is highly deserving of this special commendation.”
The 2019 season has been particularly fruitful for Barty who won four singles titles, including the French Open, and ended the year as the world’s number one player with victory in the season-ending WTA finals.
In October, she received ‘The Don’ Award for being the Australian sportsperson who through their performance and example has most inspired the nation over the past 12 months.
Barty is among good company in receiving the award with anti-bullying and suicide prevention educator and social entrepreneur, Rachel Downie, chosen as Queensland’s Australian of the Year for 2020.
Barty will now be in the running to be named Young Australian of the Year 2020 on Australia Day.