Alumni News Articles

Australian of the Year Awards announcement countdown begins - Two weeks to go!

11 January 2008

In two weeks time, at a ceremony in front of Parliament House Canberra on Friday 25 January, a new group of inspiring Australians will be announced as the recipients of the Australian of the Year Awards 2008.

The 32 finalists in the four award categories of Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia's Local Hero are a diverse group of achievers and community contributors.

The finalists, who all won their category at their State or Territory Awards, come from more than 3,000 nominations submitted by the public last year. The group includes an Academy Award nominated filmmaker who brings production to his home state, a world record sailor, arts leaders, a poverty fighter, musicians, a choirmaster, a Muslim community leader, health workers and medical specialists, an organ donation advocate and a man who lost everything to the drought and now helps others on the land.

"All the finalists are Australians we can be very proud of," said Tam Johnston, Australian of the Year Awards Manager, National Australia Day Council.

"They come from such a variety of backgrounds, but they all share a great pride in being Australian and also a sense of humility in their achievements or contributions.

"These great Australians really are a reflection of the diversity of our nation."

The finalists for the Australian of the Year Awards 2008 are:

AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR

NSW - Stephen Page - Indigenous arts (Lewisham)
VIC - Stuart Appleby - Sportsman and benefactor (Melbourne)
QLD - Lee Kernaghan OAM - Country music legend (Gold Coast)
SA - Scott Hicks - Filmmaker (Kent Town)
WA - Mark Bin Bakar - Indigenous arts leader (Broome)
TAS - Ken Gourlay - World record sailor (Launceston)
ACT - Lin Hatfield Dodds - Social justice advocate (Mawson)
NT - Professor Jonathan Carapetis - Researcher/Paediatrician (Casuarina)

SENIOR AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR

NSW - David Bussau AM - Micro-finance pioneer (Randwick)
VIC - Carrillo Gantner AO - Cultural leader (South Melbourne)
QLD - Brian Egan - Drought relief helper (Charleville)
SA - Professor Rob Morrison OAM - Science communicator (Bridgewater)
WA - Sister Patricia Rhatigan - Remote area educator (Broome)
TAS - Les Blakebrough - Leading ceramic artist (Hobart)
ACT - Professor Linda Reaby AM - Breast cancer awareness pioneer (Page)
NT - Joy Green - Mental health services pioneer (Casuarina)

YOUNG AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR

NSW - Casey Stoner - World MotoGP champion (Tamworth)
VIC - Daniel Adams - Poverty fighter (South Melbourne)
QLD - Lars Olsen - Orphans' champion (Hervey Bay)
SA - Niki Vasilakis - Musician (Semaphore Park)
WA - Simone McMahon - Organ donor advocate (Cloverdale)
TAS - Robyn McKinnon - Youth mentor (Longford)
ACT - Xian-Zhi Soon - High achiever (Acton)
NT - Simone Liddy - Groundbreaker (Nakkara)

AUSTRALIA 'S LOCAL HERO

NSW - Joyce Donovan - Human rights and health campaigner (Gerringong)
VIC - Jonathon Welch - Community choirmaster (South Melbourne)
QLD - Michael Meehan - Youth mentor (Victoria Point)
SA - Samantha Krollig - Rural community builder (Bowhill)
WA - Geraldine Webster - Community worker (Eaton)
TAS - Imam Sabri Samson - Muslim community leader (Old Beach)
ACT - Dr Peter Sharp - Indigenous health practitioner (Narrabundah)
NT - Peter Whelan AM - Medical entomologist (Casuarina)

The Australian of the Year Awards 2008 will be announced at a ceremony on the lawns of Parliament House, Canberra from 6:00pm (AEST), Friday 25 January, 2008.

The Australia Day Live 08 Concert will follow the awards from 8:00pm (AEST).

The concert will be broadcast live on the Nine Network and WIN Television at 8:30pm (AEST), followed by a delayed telecast of the Australian of the Year Awards ceremony at 10:30pm (AEST) on Friday 25 January 2008.

To view a full list of finalist biographies and photographs click here

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