Alumni News Articles

Nation's finest in finals for Australian of the Year Awards 2011

26 November 2010

As the final round of state and territory Australian of the Year Award recipients were announced in Sydneylast night, the list of 32 Australian men and women vying for the 2011 Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia’s Local Hero titles is now complete.
 
For the past month, in capital cities around the country, everyday Australians and great achievers have been honoured for their contributions with a state level Australian of the Year Award. The state and territory award recipients will now be considered for the national awards and all will gather in Canberra for the announcement of the Australian of the Year Awards 2011 event to be held on the evening of Tuesday 25 January 2011 in front of Parliament House. 

Among the names now in the running for Australian of the Year 2011 are Tasmania’s long distance fundraising runner Deborah De Williams, Australian National University Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Chubb AC, Northern Territory Indigenous language expert Professor Michael Christie and Victorian philanthropist Simon McKeon.  (see list of all finalists at end of this release)

The Senior Australian of the Year 2011 could come from among names such as Queensland’s gay rights advocate Shelley Argent OAM, disability rights campaigner Professor Ron McCallum AO of NSW and Tasmanian water expert Professor Don Bursill AM. (see list of all finalists at end of this release)

Among the 16-30 year olds being considered for Young Australian of the Year 2011 are skin cancer crusader Clinton Heal of Western Australia, tireless ACT volunteer David Bresnik and Queensland’s solo sailor Jessica Watson. (see list of all finalists at end of this release)

Australia’s Local Hero 2001, an award which recognises the extraordinary achievements of contributions of people at a community level, could see people such as Sydney’s angel of The Gap Don Ritchie     OAM, Yirrkala Indigenous community leader Djapirri Mununnggirritj, Tasmanian police offer Snr Sgt Ian Edwards or Melbourne’s multicultural mentor Waleed Aly achieve national hero status. (see list of all finalists at end of this release)

Tam Johnston, Program Director for the National Australia Day Council, said the state and territory award recipients came from many different areas of contribution or achievement and many different backgrounds.

“Australians are making a difference in many areas and in many different ways, from world-leading scientific and medical breakthroughs to social rights and equality within our own society to bringing about change for the better within their own local communities,” said Ms Johnston.

“The finalists in all four award categories this year are extraordinary Australians who are simply doing what they believe needs to be done and is the right thing to do - they embody the great Australian values we all hold dear.

“In January, four of these people will be added to the roll call of Australians of the Year which began in 1960, but all the finalists will continue to make us proud.”

Ralph Norris, CEO Commonwealth Bank, offered his congratulations to all state and territory award recipients. The Commonwealth Bank has been the major sponsor of the Australian of the Year Awards for more than thirty years.

“The state and territory award recipients are making life better for others with their work and their contributions are something we can all be very proud of,” said Mr Norris.


Australian of the Year 2011 Finalists:
NSW  Professor Larissa Behrendt
VIC Simon McKeon
QLD  Assoc Professor Noel Hayman
WA Malcolm McCusker AO QC
SA  Professor Tanya Monro
TAS  Deborah De Williams
ACT  Professor Ian Chubb AC
NT  Professor Michael Christie

Senior Australian of the Year 2011 Finalists:
NSW  Professor Ron McCallum AO
VIC  Leslie Erdi OAM
QLD Shelley Argent OAM
WA Robert Vojakovic AM
SA Professor Don Bursill AM
TAS  Mary Parsissons
ACT  Marie Coleman PSM
NT Barry Abbott

Young Australian of the Year 2011 Finalists:
NSW Tara Winkler
VIC Angela Barker
QLD  Jessica Watson
WA Clinton Heal
SA  Vincent Buckskin
TAS Kirsty Albion
ACT David Bresnik
NT Kalinda Griffiths

Australia’s Local Hero 2011 Finalists:
NSW Donald Ritchie OAM
VIC Waleed Aly
QLD Dr Don Bowley
WA  Mary Victor O’Reeri
SA  Peter Goers
TAS Senior Constable Ian Edwards
ACT Alan Jessop
NT  Djapirri Mununggirritj

For more information on the Australian of the Year Awards 2011 finalists, click here