Alumni News Articles

Tasmania's Australian of the Year Award recipients named

23 November 2009

Bicheno’s Bruce Englefield was tonight named Tasmania’s Australian of the Year 2010 at a ceremony held in Hobart.

The award is recognition for Bruce’s dedication to saving the endangered Tasmanian Devil, which is being wiped out by a facial tumour disease. While on holiday to Australia, British-born Bruce fell in love with the animal and bought a wildlife park. Bruce is now devoting himself full time to the Devil Island Project, a conservation project that he has set up to help save the Tasmanian Devil. The award was also an early birthday present for Bruce, who turns 67 this coming Sunday. 

Tasmania’s Senior Australian of the Year 2010 is permaculture advocate Bill Mollison of Sisters Creek.
Known as the father of permaculture, 81 year old Bill has influenced the lives of millions of people all over the world. Bill studied environmental science and, in 1972, a Eureka moment led to the development of permaculture, creating stable productive systems that harmoniously work with nature, not against it. It has become accepted as a viable alternative to chemical-based agriculture. Bill continues to spread his message, teaching permaculture in almost every country.

Tasmania’s Young Australian of the Year 2010 is 22 year old Brad Smith of Legana.  Brad is a budding entrepreneur with his own business, Braaap. At just 18 he began producing arguably the best pit bikes available worldwide. Named Australian Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2008 in the Small Business Champion Awards, he is also the Mini Supercross Champion of Australia. Brad has built four mini motorcross tracks in Tasmania and wants to have mini tracks built near all local townships to keep young people off the streets.

Burnie’s Delwyn Polden was awarded Tasmania’s Local Hero 2010 for her dedication to children.  She is a dedicated and inspirational music teacher who encourages a love of music in all her students. Delwyn has three children of her own and is currently fostering three children long term. Over the years she and her husband, Rick, have fostered hundreds of children. A compassionate educator and open-hearted mother, 45 year old Delwyn has changed the lives of many children for the better.

The four Tasmanian award recipients will now join award 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 four of Tasmania’s 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 Tasmania’s finest.”

Ralph Norris, CEO Commonwealth Bank, offered his congratulations to the 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 all the recipients of the Tasmanian awards. Their hard work and achievements are an inspiration to the community,” said Mr Norris.

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