Jacqueline was chosen as the recipient of our nation’s most prestigious award for young people, for her achievements as a Paralympic swimmer, motivational speaker and inspirational role model for people with disabilities.
Jacqueline, who was born with cerebral palsy, won a remarkable eight gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, becoming Australia’s most successful Paralympian at a single Games. Her achievements in London earned her the crown of Australia’s 2012 Paralympian of the Year.
Jacqueline’s indomitable spirit is not confined to the swimming pool. She is actively involved in the wider community, working with Swimming Australia as a motivational speaker to help other people with disabilities reach their potential. Jacqueline is an inspirational role model and positive proof that, with hard work and determination, anything is possible.
Jacqueline Freney received her award from Prime Minister Tony Abbott, in front of a large crowd gathered on the lawns outside Parliament House in Canberra, on Saturday 25th January 2014.
We would also like to acknowledge the gentlemen who received awards – starting with footballer, role model and youth advocate Adam Goodes who was named Australian of the Year 2014.
Adam Goodes was honoured with our nation’s top award for his leadership and advocacy in the fight against racism, both on the sporting field and off – a stance which has won him the admiration and respect of people around Australia.
The Senior Australian of the Year award went to 72 year old Fred Chaney AO, for his commitment to reconciliation and human rights. As founding co-chair of Reconciliation Australia and an early advocate for Aboriginal voting rights, Fred’s contribution has included helping establish the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia and his role as a Federal Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.
The recipient of Australia’s Local Hero award for 2014 is Tim Conolan. Tim was honoured for his work assisting sick children and their families. In 1998 Tim and his long-term partner Ana, established the charity TLC for kids to make a difference to children in hospital and undergoing medical treatment.
For more information about any of the award recipients, or to find out how you can nominate an outstanding Australian for next year’s awards, visit the website: www.australianoftheyear.org.au