The National Australia Day Council has announced the finalists for the Australian of the Year Awards 2016, including the prestigious Australian of the Year Award. Last year’s winner Rosie Batty has proven to be a worthy winner, increasing awareness of family violence and putting Domestic Violence on the national agenda. This year finalists for the top award include leaders in human rights, individuals working in science, health, medicine, arts and culture.
Finalists Australian of Year Award 2016
Elizabeth Broderick (NSW)
Former Sex Discrimination Commissioner
As Sex Discrimination Commissioner from 2007 to 2015, Elizabeth was single-minded in her determination to break down the structural and social barriers preventing women from reaching their potential. Elizabeth has fought for changes to the ASX (Australian Securities Exchange) Corporate Governance Principles to increase the number of women at decision-making levels. She developed the Male Champions of Change strategy, enlisting a ‘who’s who’ of powerful businessmen to tackle sex discrimination in the workplace. Her review of the treatment of women in the Australian Defence Force has led to large-scale cultural change.
Julian McMahon (VIC)
Barrister and human rights advocate
A human rights advocate and fierce opponent of the death penalty, barrister Julian McMahon has a personal and passionate commitment to represent Australians in capital punishment cases abroad. Admitted to the Victorian Bar in 1998, Julian has worked without payment for more than 13 years for Australians facing the death penalty. Julian’s clients include Van Tuong Nguyen in Singapore, George Forbes in Sudan and members of the Bali Nine – Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Catherine McGregor AM (QLD)
Captain in the Royal Australian Air Force
Catherine McGregor is a group captain in the Royal Australian Air Force and former lieutenant colonel in the Australian Army, who saw operational service in East Timor three times. In 2012, she announced that she was changing her gender and renaming herself Catherine. A well-known cricket commentator, author and political columnist, Catherine’s remarkably brave journey has not been without its challenges, but it has brought her great personal contentment and inspired others.
Anne Carey (WA)
Nurse and Midwife
Anne Carey has spent her life helping others – even when it has been at great personal risk. Anne has provided health care for remote communities in hospitals and clinics across Papua New Guinea, Northern Territory and Western Australia. As an Australian Red Cross aid worker in some of the world’s hotspots including Sudan, Kenya and most recently Sierra Leone, Anne has an impact on everyone she meets.
Dr John Greenwood AM (SA)
A plastic surgeon and the medical director of the Adult Burns Service at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, John cares for all adults with burns injuries in South Australia, the Northern Territory, western New South Wales and western Victoria – an area covering some 2.4 million square kilometres. John runs state-wide education services, heads the nation’s only mobile response unit for burns injuries in disaster scenarios, and was dispatched to Darwin in the aftermath of the 2002 Bali bombings.
Jane Hutchinson (TAS)
Jane Hutchinson was one of a handful of volunteers who, with $50 in the bank, started the Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC) in 2001. Since then, the TLC has grown into a $30 million organisation that protects 65,000 hectares of habitat for threatened flora and fauna. Jane has steered the TLC from a humble not-for-profit enterprise to a highly regarded organisation acknowledged for its important and innovative conservation work.
David Morrison AO (ACT) WINNER
Chief of Army
Recognised internationally for his commitment to gender equality, diversity and inclusion, Lieutenant General David Morrison posted an official Army YouTube video ordering troops to ‘get out’ if they couldn’t accept women as equals. The video went viral and David started a cultural shift that has changed Australia’s armed forces forever. Since then, the number of women joining the army has grown and the culture is more accepting of racial, ethnic and sexual diversity.
Will MacGregor (NT)
After finding help for his addictions and remaining sober for more than three decades – Will wanted to help others. Following consultation with Aboriginal elders and community leaders from across the Territory, Will started taking young people into the bush for days at a time to help them dry out and detox. Will focuses on natural healing, cultural respect and empowerment to help young people make positive choices and rebuild their lives.
While the people who win awards in the other 3 categories don’t enjoy as much attention from the media as the Australian of the Year, the finalists for Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia’s Local Hero, are no less inspirational and worthy of our respect for everything they have achieved.
FINALISTS SENIOR AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR 2016
Australians aged 65 and over who continue to achieve and contribute
- Professor Gordian Fulde (NSW) Doctor WINNER
- Jack Charles (VIC) Indigenous Elder
- Tim Fairfax AC (QLD) Philanthropist
- Graham Edwards AM (WA) Veteran’s Advocate
- Monica Oliphant AO (SA) Scientist
- Professor Ian Allison AO AAM (TAS) Glaciologist
- Professor Greg Tegart AM FTSE (ACT) Scientist and Technology Advocate
- Bob Shewring (NT) Repatriation Campaigner
FINALISTS YOUNG AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR 2016
Exceptional young Australians aged 16 to 30
- Melissa Abu-Gazaleh (NSW) Youth Advocate
- Robert Gillies (VIC) Social Enterprise Founder
- Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett (QLD) Social Entrepreneurs WINNER
- Catherine Hughes (WA) Immunisation Champion
- Arman Abrahimzadeh (SA) Domestic Violence Campaigner
- Zac Lockhart (TAS) Mental Health Advocate
- Nipuni Wijewickrema (ACT) Social Entrepreneur
- Benjamin Masters (NT) Musician and Impresario
FINALISTS AUSTRALIA’S LOCAL HERO 2016
Acknowledging extraordinary contributions made by Australians in their local community
- Dr Catherine Keenan (NSW) Youth Educator WINNER
- Rebecca Scott (VIC) Social Entrepreneur
- Michael Ross (QLD) Land Rights Activist
- Dr Stephen Langford (WA) Flying Doctor
- Claire Foord (SA) Stillbirth Educator
- Raymond Arnold (TAS) Artist and Entrepreneur
- Peter Cursley (ACT) Newborn Care Champion
- David Taylor (NT) Homeless Mentor and Arts Advocate
Winners in all four categories of the Australian of the Year Awards will be announced at a ceremony in Canberra on 25 January 2016.
For more information about any of the state finalists for the Australian of the Year Awards 2016 visit the website australianoftheyear.org.au