New Exhibition Commemorates 2016 Australian of the Year Finalists

Posted 17 December 2015 11:52am

National Museum of Australia Showcases Personal Objects

Champions for gender equality, the abolition of capital punishment, conservation, personal sacrifice for others, affordable health care and the building of youth self-esteem, are honoured in a new exhibition featuring the National Australia Day Council’s (NADC) 2016 Australian of the Year finalists.

The National Museum and the NADC today launched an exhibition of personal objects representing the experiences of the state and territory recipients for the 2016 Australian of the Year Awards.

National Museum director Dr Mathew Trinca, said the 2016 Australian of the Year finalists have chosen very personal and varied objects reflecting formative events in their lives and the people who helped shape them.

“It is an honour to feature objects from these extraordinary individuals at the National Museum and to share their inspirational stories with the nation,” said Dr Trinca.

National Australia Day Council CEO Jeremy Lasek said, “We are very proud to collaborate with the National Museum to bring together this exhibition to tell the stories of the eight incredible 2016 Australian of the Year finalists. They all have amazing stories worthy of the nation’s attention, and this exhibition is a wonderful way to tell their story.”

• Victorian barrister and death penalty opponent, Julian McMahon, has selected a portrait of Indonesian President Joko Widodo painted by Myuran Sukumaran. Sukumaran was executed in Indonesia in April 2015 following drug-related charges.

• Queensland’s Royal Australian Air Force group captain Catherine McGregor, campaigns for transgender rights and has chosen a childhood cricket bat given to her by her late father and a 'baggy blue' cap presented on her debut in the RAAF women’s cricket team.

• ACT equality advocate and former Chief of Army, David Morrison, has selected two miniature Australian First World War soldiers made from shrapnel recovered from the battlefields of WW1.

• Northern Territory youth worker, Will MacGregor, has chosen a carved female statue from Papua New Guinea as a reminder of the strong women who have shaped his life.

• Tasmanian conservationist, Jane Hutchinson, has selected her father's binoculars which she used as a child.

• Western Australian nurse and Australian Red Cross aid worker, Anne Carey, has chosen a sunhat that she wore while helping Ebola patients in Sierra Leone.

• South Australian burns surgeon, Dr John Greenwood, has selected a unique foam dressing and equipment used to culture a patient’s skin.

• NSW finalist and former Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, has chosen a black and white photograph of her and her identical twin sister, Jane, alongside a small metal charm which belonged to Elizabeth's mother, Margot.

Each year Australia celebrates the achievement and contribution of extraordinary people through the Australian of the Year Awards, by profiling leading citizens who are role models for us all. The Australian of the Year recipients will be announced in Canberra on Australia Day Eve – 25 January 2016.

2016 National Nominee Australian of the Year

Anne Carey

Medical warrior

A nurse, midwife and medical warrior, Anne Carey has spent her life helping others – even when it has been at great personal risk. Anne has provided health care for remote communities in hospitals a...

Where are they now? →

2016 Australian of the Year

David Morrison AO

Equality advocate

Few would expect a tough-as-nails Chief of Army to be recognised internationally for his commitment to gender equality, diversity and inclusion. But when former Lieutenant-General David Morrison order...

Where are they now? →

2016 National Nominee Australian of the Year

Elizabeth Broderick

Social change innovator

It takes a special person to bring together captains of industry, governments and Defence Force chiefs to address gender inequality. But that’s exactly what Elizabeth Broderick has done. As Sex Dis...

2016 National Nominee Australian of the Year

Jane Hutchinson


A committed conservationist, Jane Hutchinson was one of a handful of volunteers who started the Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC) in 2001. Since then, TLC has grown from a $50 bank account to a $30 mil...

Where are they now? →

2016 National Nominee Australian of the Year

Dr John Greenwood AM

Burns surgeon

Looking after 450 acute burns patients each year might seem like a full time job, but Dr John Greenwood has set his sights on excellent and affordable burn care for every patient around the world. A p...

Where are they now? →

2016 National Nominee Australian of the Year

Julian McMahon

Barrister and human rights advocate

A human rights advocate and fierce opponent of the death penalty, barrister Julian McMahon has a personal and passionate commitment to represent Australians in capital punishment cases abroad. Admitte...

2016 National Nominee Australian of the Year

Will MacGregor

Youth worker

Having experienced severe drug and alcohol problems in his youth, Will MacGregor understands the challenges facing many young people in the Northern Territory. After getting help for his addictions ...

Where are they now? →

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