Past Award Finalists and Recipients
Australian of the Year
State Finalist Australian of the Year 2012
Human rights campaigner
Kay Danes is a volunteer humanitarian who has spent many years working in Australia and overseas raising awareness and understanding of human rights and social justice. While working for a security company in Laos 11 years ago, Kay and her husband were unlawfully detained over a dispute between one of their clients and the Laotian Government. The couple endured almost a year in a Laos prison where they were interrogated, tortured and their human rights violated before diplomatic efforts secured their release. In the decade since her ordeal, Kay has been a volunteer consultant to the National Human Rights Commission of Australia, the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties and the Secretary to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. She has also promoted cross-cultural initiatives to help solve health and crime problems in troubled communities. In 2008, Kay was appointed as the Australian liaison officer for the American charity The Childlight Foundation for Afghan Children. In 2010 she was appointed an Ambassador for the Peace for the Children charity, which helps victims of war. Kay is a member of her local Rotary Club and an esteemed member of the Australian defence community, having served on various committees providing welfare, support and other services to defence force units and their families.