Mick Brilliant, Beaudesert battler and local legend

MICK BRILLIANT and his wife Helen overcame adversity and now volunteer six days a week at BeauFM.
MICK BRILLIANT and his wife Helen overcame adversity and now volunteer six days a week at BeauFM.

2017 Australia Day Awards nominee Mick Brilliant is the president of BeauFM and works at the radio station six days a week for no pay.

Mr Brilliant said he learned about resilience at an early age after surviving a fatal car crash when he was 18.

He said police told his parents that two boys were involved but one was in the morgue and the other in the hospital and they weren’t sure who was who.  

“Christopher was driving and he died but I was thrown out of the car and nearly lost my right leg,” he said.

Soon after, the young South Australian policeman met and married his wife Helen, with whom he has two children.

“She was 16 and I was 19 when we met in a country town and had our first date at a circus,” he said.

“We’ve been married 40 years and I would be lost without her.”

After serving in the South Australian Police Force for 15 years, Mr Brilliant developed post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It was an incredibly dangerous job, with fights every night, horrific car accidents and 11 to 12 domestic violence calls every night,” he said.

“I’ve been shot at, stabbed and I’ve had to carry babies from their homes in my arms after they died from cot death.”

“After 15 years of service I left the police force to work as an undercover private investigator, which I did for another 12 years.”

Mr Brilliant said the challenges he had faced since moving to Queensland did not slow him down or stop him from wanting to serve his community.

“Five years ago I lost my left leg to vascular disease and gangrene,” he said.

“In the end I asked them to cut the leg off because I was in excruciating pain and didn’t sleep for two years because of it.

“I also have a disease called COPD which has left me with only 20 per cent lung capacity, but you can’t just sit at home and watch the grass grow so I’ve thrown myself into making BeauFM a great radio station.”

BRILLIANT idea: Mick Brilliant said no matter how hard life gets, you can still go out and do something for your community.

BRILLIANT idea: Mick Brilliant said no matter how hard life gets, you can still go out and do something for your community.

Mr Brilliant said he had been in Beaudesert for two years and intended to stay.

‘We’re not going anywhere, we’re very happy in Beaudesert and we know lots of people,” he said.

“We are renewing this radio station with a specific format, the only radio station of its kind in SE Queensland, and we really want to help promote local businesses.”

“Helen, myself and our programme manager Paul Flory are the three musketeers and we’ve worked very hard between the three of us.”

*Nominations for the 2018 Citizen Awards are open until November 10 at your local library, Council Customer Service Centre or at scenicrim.qld.gov.au/grants-funding-and-awards.