Alumni News Articles

Who'll be our 2007 Aussie of the Year? One week to go until Australian of the Year Awards announced

18 January 2007

Who will be honoured as Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia 's Local Hero?

The field of 39 finalists in the four award categories includes Nobel Laureates, a Paralympic champion, a mathematics genius, an environmentalist, indigenous health and education advocates, a philanthropist, a safe driving advocate, community contributors, a man who saved his town from floods waters and an entire town.

The finalists, who all won their category at their State or Territory Awards, come from more than 3,200 nominations submitted by the public last year. Four of the finalists are indigenous Australians; 13 of the finalists are women and 31 were recognised for non-profit, community or civic contributions.

The National Australia Day Council said the finalists in this year's awards are from varied backgrounds but are all inspirational Australians.

"The finalists in this year's awards are a source of pride and inspiration for all Australians," said Tam Johnston, Australian of the Year Awards Program Manager, National Australia Day Council.

"Their achievements, leadership and community contributions are underlined by that very Australian attribute of humility.

"They all do what they do with an unassuming manner, whether they are household names or the person next door."
The finalists for the Australian of the Year Awards 2007 are:

Australian of the Year

ACT Mr Michael Milton OAM - Speed skier and Paralympic champion
NSW Prof Tim Flannery - Scientist, environmentalist, writer
VIC Mr Philip Wollen OAM - Philanthropic humanitarian
QLD Mr David Conry - YoungCare founder
SA Prof Terence Tao - Mathematics genius
WA Prof Barry Marshall & Emeritus Prof Robin Warren - Nobel Laureates, scientists
NT Ms Raymattja Marika - Indigenous teacher, linguist
TAS Dr John Tooth OAM BEM - Dementia care pioneer

Senior Australian of the Year

ACT Dr Kaye Price - Indigenous education advocate
NSW Mr Bernie Banton AM - Asbestos victims' advocate
VIC Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC DBE, Philanthropist
QLD Dr Clem Jones AO - Civic leader
SA Mr Phillip Herreen - Disability mentor, safe driving advocate
WA Dr Kenneth Collins AM, Community contributor
NT Ms Patricia Anderson, Indigenous health advocate
TAS Mr Frank Hesman OAM BEM, Community contributor

Young Australian of the Year

ACT Mr John Van den Dungen - Youth leader
VIC Mr Duncan McLean - Entrepreneur, charity founder
QLD Miss Tania Major - Indigenous youth advocate
SA Mrs Laura Long - Regional advocate
WA Mr Darren Lomman - Innovative engineer, disability advocate
NT Ms Katharina Fehringer - Musician, youth leader
TAS Mr Michael Smith - Youth worker

Australia 's Local Hero

ACT   Mrs Beverley Orr - Foster carer
NSW Mr Michael Stringer ESM OAM (metropolitan) - Emergency services volunteer
          Mr Len Wallace (regional) - Men's supporter
VIC    Mr Shanaka Fernando (metropolitan) - Social challenger 
          Dr Bernie Jenner (regional) - Paediatrician
QLD  Mr Ross Sharman (metropolitan) - Wildlife rescuer
          Ms Carole Caswell (regional) - Respite care founder
SA     Ms Pat Rix (metropolitan) - Inclusive arts pioneer
          Mrs Wendy Gambling (regional) - Sports leader
WA    Ms Yvonne Bali (metropolitan) - Health campaigner 
          Mr James Hamersley (regional) - Town saviour
NT     Mr Frank Fotiades (metropolitan) - Community leader 
          Ms Carmel Hattch (regional) - Paediatric nurse
TAS   Mr Allan Crawford (metropolitan) - Residential support provider
          The Beaconsfield Community (regional) - Community spirit

As the NSW Young Australian of the Year Award was relinquished by Iktimal Hage-Ali in December 2006, there is no finalist from NSW in this category for the national awards.

"We have seven extraordinary young Australians who are finalists for the national award and any of them would be a source of great pride and inspiration should they be selected as the nation's Young Australian of the Year 2007," said Ms Johnston.

The Australian of the Year Awards 2007 will be announced at a ceremony on the lawns of Parliament House, Canberra from (AEDT), Thursday 25 January, 2007 .

The Australia Day Live 07 Concert will follow the awards from (AEDT).

The awards ceremony will be broadcast on Network Ten at (AEDT) on Australia Day, Friday 26 January and again at (AEDT) on Sunday 28 January, 2007 .

The Australia Day Live 07 Concert will be broadcast live by Network Ten from (AEDT) on Thursday 25 January, 2007 .