Alumni News Articles

Tasmanian Australian of the Year recipients 2013 announced

19 November 2012

Tasmanian Australian of the Year recipients 2013 announced

Tasmanian Australian of the Year 2013 - Andrew Hughes 

Tasmanian Senior Australian of the Year 2013 - Anna Crotty

Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year 2013 - Holly Barnewall 

Tasmanian Local Hero 2013 - Gwen Egg

Adventure teacher, Andrew Hughes has been named Tasmanian Australian of the Year 2013 in recognition of his inspirational work with school students.

Andrew Hughes has combined his two great passions: inspiring students from diverse backgrounds, and building awareness of the importance of our natural world.

Seven years ago, Andrew developed the innovative teaching program Expedition Class, where primary students follow him into the wilderness by satellite link and interact live as he tackles challenging landscapes and situations.

Andrew has also developed the high school expedition program Skullbone in which students are re-engaged, linking curriculum to their own real adventures on expeditions.

Andrew began in 2006 by kayaking 5,000 km through rough seas and crocodile-infested waters from Hobart to Cape York. Since then he has undertaken more extraordinary adventures, including surviving on a desert island, and exploring coastal and internal Papua New Guinea.

Having started the programs at significant personal and financial expense, he has built support through the Bookend Trust and several patrons, including author Bryce Courtenay.

Andrew is the 2012 Power of One Awardee, and is a key part of the award-winning Bookend team recognised by the Tasmanian Government, the United Nations Association of Australia, the Banksia Environmental Foundation, and named Australian Geographic's Conservationist of the Year.

Anna Crotty has been awarded Tasmanian Senior Australian of the Year 2013 for her commitment to human rights. As a human rights lawyer and trade unionist, she has sought tirelessly to redress the discrimination and inequity that she

encountered during the course of her working life.

After she retired, and still appalled by the plight of 21 million homeless people in north-west Afghanistan and Pakistan, Anna set up Tents4Peace. A grassroots community group, Tents4Peace can quickly mobilise resources to supply emergency life- saving shelter in response to critical situations anywhere in the world.

Tents4Peace has no political or religious affiliations and is sensitive to the need to honour the cultural integrity of those who it assists.

The organisation has achieved international recognition and support due to its practical and immediate method of providing basic emergency aid.

Since Anna established the organisation in 2005, it is estimated to have saved more than 11,000 lives.

Anna has served on many boards and committees related to conflict resolution, environmental issues and discrimination – for which she was awarded a Tasmanian Human Rights award by the Governor-General Quentin Bryce in 2011.

Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year 2013, is 27 year old teacher, Holly Barnewall. Growing up on Flinders Island, Holly Barnewall knows first-hand the difficulties students face as they must move away to

complete their final two years of high school.

Holly finished her schooling off the island, and then trained interstate as a teacher before returning to teach at Flinders Island District High School.She was determined to help students bridge the gap more successfully and has worked tirelessly to make a difference to young people’s lives on the island.

Her list of achievements is extraordinary – not only has she rewritten the English, SOSE and arts programs to be more relevant and exciting, she has developed a transition subject to help young people live alone.

Holly is also very active in extracurricular projects, such as providing ‘drug-free’ after-school and weekend activities, and connecting students to support services.

To give young people a taste of the outside world, Holly has organised an international exchange program with the school.

At the age of just 27, Holly has already achieved much, and was recognised with a University of Tasmania’s Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Award for 2012.

Gwen Egg has been awarded Tasmanian Local Hero 2013 for her commitment to preserving the natural environment. Gwen Egg established Southern Beaches Landcare/Coastcare to try to minimise the impact of encroaching residential

development. A passionate and practical environmentalist, Gwen has been a Landcare force in Tasmania for more than 20 years.

Thanks to Gwen, joint management plans are now in place for more than a dozen council reserves, 23 kilometres of coastal reserves and two small offshore islands, testament to her foresight and persistence.

She was the group’s convenor for its first 15 years and now, as its secretary, is still a guiding force in its work which she encourages to be strategic, informed and collaborative.

Her approach has led to strong partnerships with government, natural resource management bodies, community groups, schools and the public.

A well-known fibre artist and teacher, she understands that the future of the environment lies with the young.

Gwen uses her art to raise environmental awareness, sharing the Landcare ethic in local schools through artist residencies, workshops, festivals and exhibitions.

Her achievements and commitment were recognised recently when the Australian Government awarded her the 2012 Individual Landcarer Award.

The Tasmanian award recipients will join recipients from the other States and Territories as finalists for the national awards announced on 25 January 2013 in Canberra.

Program Director for the National Australia Day Council, Tam Johnston, said the Tasmanian award recipients are amazing Australians committed to their passions.

“The Tasmanian finalists are all extraordinary people following their passions and making the world a better place for it," said Ms Johnston.

The Commonwealth Bank has been the Major Sponsor of the Australian of the Year Awards for more than 30 years. Chief Executive Officer Ian Narev congratulated the Tasmanian award recipients.

“The Commonwealth Bank is proud to acknowledge the Tasmanian award recipients. You are now national finalists in the Australian of the Year Awards and should be very proud of your achievement.

“While you have each been inspiring in your own way, you all share one common quality – you continue to selflessly improve the lives of others. Congratulations to you all and enjoy your time in Canberra in January” said Mr Narev.

For more information on the Australian of the Year Awards visit the Honour roll. 

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