Past Award Nominees and Recipients
Australian of the Year
2018 NSW Australian of the Year Nominee
Walter MikacState: New South Wales
Gun control campaigner and children’s champion
After his wife and two young daughters were gunned down at the infamous Port Arthur massacre in 1996, Walter Mikac showed incredible strength of character to fight for tighter gun control. His lobbying of the Australian Government led to a national buyback scheme with more than 640,000 weapons surrendered. Australia has not had another mass shooting since Port Arthur. A year after losing his family, Walter and a small group of friends established the Alannah and Madeline Foundation in honour of his daughters, to help protect children from violence and bullying. In the last 20 years, Walter and the Foundation have reached more than two million school children and their families, with programs in one third of Australian schools and 1,500 public libraries. The Foundation also supports 10,000 children in refuges and foster homes every year. With unshakable positivity and quiet determination, Walter has used his personal tragedy to make Australia a safer place for everyone, especially children.