FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2017 VICTORIAN AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS
Human rights advocates, medical specialists, a community fundraiser, a footballer turned Motor Neurone Disease campaigner, veterans’ support advocates, a journalist and a lifesaver are among the finalists in the 2017 Victorian Australian of the Year Awards.
The Victorian Award finalists announced today are in the running to be named Victorian Australian of the Year, Victorian Senior Australian of the Year, Victorian Young Australian of the Year and Victorian Local Hero.
The 2017 Victorian Award finalists are:
2017 VICTORIAN AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR
Waleed Aly – Broadcaster and academic (Melbourne)
Paris Aristotle AM – Anti-torture and refugee advocate (Melbourne) Neale Daniher AM – Motor Neurone Disease campaigner (Melbourne) Maryanne Diamond AO – Accessibility activist (Melbourne)
2017 VICTORIAN SENIOR AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR
Trisha Dunning AM – Diabetes specialist (Bannockburn) Sabihe McDonald – Interpreter and community volunteer (Elwood) Lois Peeler AM – Indigenous educator (Nunawading) Professor Hugh Taylor AC – Ophthalmologist (Fitzroy)
2017 VICTORIAN YOUNG AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR
Jason Ball – Diversity and inclusion champion (South Yarra) Tarang Chawla – Anti-domestic violence advocate (Moorabbin) Dr Jessica Dean – Mental and sexual health crusader (Carnegie) Grant Monks – Kidney health ambassador (Melbourne)
2017 VICTORIAN LOCAL HERO
Chrissie Foster – Child sexual abuse advocate (Oakleigh)
Vicki Jellie – Community fundraiser (Warrnambool)
Simon Lewis – Lifesaver (St Kilda)
Scott and Chris May – Young veteran supporters (Pakenham, Berwick)
The Victorian Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Local Hero Award recipients will be announced on Wednesday 16 November at Government House in Melbourne.
The Victorian Award recipients will then join recipients from all other States and Territories as finalists for the national awards, which will be held in Canberra on 25 January 2017.
National Australia Day Council CEO, Mr Chris Kirby, said the Victorian finalists are among 131 great Australians being recognised as State and Territory finalists in the Australian of the Year Awards.
"The Australian of the Year Awards allow us to recognise and celebrate the achievements of outstanding Australians – people from all walks of life making extraordinary contributions to our society," said Mr Kirby.
“The Victorian Award finalists are an extraordinary group of people, committed to improving their communities, industries and the nation. From changing perceptions to saving lives at sea to ending violence and promoting acceptance, they are all true champions.”
Commonwealth Bank has been a major sponsor of the Australian of the Year Awards for 37 years.
“We are proud to support the Australian of the Year Awards, a national program that showcases the Australian spirit,” said Mr Ian Narev, Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Bank.
“Thank you to all of the State and Territory finalists, who have all made an important contribution to their communities through their achievements.”
Finalist bios attached with the media release or can be viewed on the Honour Roll.