Catherine McGregor has apologised to the National Australia Day Council and David Morrison after calling Morrison a weak choice in an interview on Wednesday.
Speaking to the Star Observer -- a pro LGTBI online publication -- McGregor, who was the most senior transgender military officer in the world, said Morrison used her former name in media interviews following the awards ceremony.
“He’s on a steep learning curve when it comes to LGBTI and trans issues, he needs to learn a lot and rapidly,” McGregor told the Star Observer.
According to the media outlet, the Queensland Australian Of The Year also said she felt disappointed for the wider trans community when Morrison was named Australian Of The Year.
“I felt sad for two reasons, one was I like to win things,” McGregor said.
“I felt really sad that they (National Australia Day Council) did not have the courage to go with an LGBTI person.
“I thought it was time… it was a weak and conventional choice.
“I think I’ll die without seeing a trans Australian of the Year and I think that’s terribly sad.”
Shortly after the article was published online, McGregor took to Twitter to retract and apologise for her comments:
The National Australia Day Council responded to the apology in a statement released on Wednesday night.
"The National Australia Day Council Board (NADC) is very disappointed by the comments made today by the Queensland Australian of the Year, Catherine McGregor, and her apology is appreciated and accepted," the statement read.
"The Board stands by its decision to select David Morrison as the 2016 Australian of the Year as a champion of diversity and for marginalised communities in Australia, including the LGBTI community.
"The NADC looks forward to working with David, Catherine and all the 2016 Australian of the Year finalists, all remarkable Australians, to make our great nation even better."
McGregor also announced in her interview with the Star Observer she has resigned from her position in the ADF and will dedicate her time to trans advocacy and community work in her role as Queensland Australian Of The Year.