Alumni News Articles

South Australia's Australian of the Year Award recipients honoured

11 November 2009

Julian Burton OAM was tonight named South Australia’s Australian of the Year 2010 and presented with his award by the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR.

Mr Burton was recognised for his achievements in setting up the Julian Burton Burns Trust which is the first national community organisation solely committed to prevention, care and research associated with burn injuries.

Mr Burton was inspired to create the organisation in 2003 after suffering life-threatening injuries in the 2002 Bali Bombings. He was inspired to give back to the people who gave their time, skills and generosity in supporting not only him, but many others less fortunate than him. From his personal experience, Julian knew burn injuries were devastating both emotionally and physically.

Culinary icon Maggie Beer was named South Australia’s Senior Australian of the Year 2010 in recognition of a lifetime spent inspiring Australians to connect with great Australian produce, particularly from her home state. She and her husband, Colin, ran the famed Pheasant Farm Restaurant before Maggie opened an export kitchen for the production of preservative-free gourmet foods. In 1999, she opened Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop and went on to co-host the ABC cooking program, The Cook and the Chef.

South Australia’s Young Australian of the Year 2010 is 17 year old actor Danielle Catanzariti who has shown exceptional talent on stage and screen. At the age of ten, she scored the lead role alongside Toni Collette in Hey, Hey It’s Esther Blueburger and has since starred with Natalie Imbruglia in Elise and was handpicked by Cate Blanchett for the dark play Blackbird. In 2008 she received the AFI Young Actor Award.

South Australia’s Local Hero 2010 is volunteer firefighter Mike Coddington from Murray Bridge. Mike joined the Murray Bridge Country Fire Service Brigade in 1993 and for the past eight years has served as Brigade Captain. He has shown great leadership and commitment to improvement of the service in his community, increasing membership from eight to 24 active firefighters and upgrading the brigade to a Hazchem incident response team. He works more than 1500 voluntary hours each year and is a respected mentor for his group of firefighters and the broader community.

The South Australian recipients will now join recipients from all other States and Territories as finalists for the national awards to be announced on 25 January 2010 in Canberra.

Tam Johnston, Program Director for the National Australia Day Council, said all the South Australian award recipients will travel to Canberra for the national awards and to take part in the 50th Anniversary of the Australian of the Year Awards program.

“All the State and Territory award recipients will attend a special celebration event on 24 January before the announcement on 25 January,” said Ms Johnston.

“It will be a very special occasion and we look forward to sharing it with South Australia’s finest.”

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

“On behalf of the Commonwealth Bank, I would like to congratulate the South Australian recipients. Their hard work and achievements are an inspiration to the Australian community,” said Mr Norris.