Nominees for the 2023 Northern Territory Australian of the Year Awards Announced



First Nations leaders, suicide prevention campaigners, creative students, community leaders, a podiatrist and a dude with deadly hair skills.

They are just some of the 16 Territorians in the running to be named the NT Australian of the Year, NT Senior Australian of the Year, NT Young Australian of the Year and NT Local Hero.

The 2023 Northern Territory award nominees are:

Northern Territory Australian of the Year

Samuel Bush-Blanasi – Chair, Northern Land Council (Beswick Community)

Tyson Carmody – Founder, Kings Narrative counselling and coaching (Mparntwe)

Matthew Hull – Suicide prevention ambassador (Humpty Doo)

Gary Strachan – Founder, Deadly Hair Dude (Darwin)

Northern Territory Senior Australian of the Year

Barayuwa Mununggurr – Yolngu culture, community and country advocate (Bukudal Homeland)

Georgia Opdenbrouw – Domestic violence services advocate and volunteer (Darwin)

Bernard Tipiloura – Suicide prevention campaigner (Tiwi Islands)

Lesley Woolf – Nurse, health administrator and co-founder, Run With Dad (Darwin)

Northern Territory Young Australian of the Year

Meredith Batey – Podiatrist (Darwin)

Isabelle Craven – Student and creator (Palmerston)

Myra Fordham – Leadership and confidence coach, public speaker, author (Darwin)

Jahdai Vigona – First Nations community leader (Darwin)

Northern Territory Local Hero

Nicole Brown – Indigenous engagement consultant (Karama)

Isla Hooper – Student and artist (Larapinta, Alice Springs)

Sacha King – Social worker and founder, Two Two One Mental Health Charity (Darwin)

Samuel Weston – Former soldier, ex-prison officer, owner of Mad Snake Café (Parap)


The NT nominees are among 131 people being recognised across all states and territories.

The four award recipients from the Northern Territory will be announced on the evening of Monday 31 October 2022 in a ceremony at the Darwin Convention Centre which will also be available to watch via ABC iView from 6pm (local NT time).

They will then join the other state and territory recipients as national finalists for the national awards announcement on 25 January 2023 in Canberra. 

National Australia Day Council CEO Karlie Brand said this year’s Northern Territory nominees reflect the strong sense of community within the Territory.

“The Northern Territory nominees share a sense of care – for others, for community and for country,” said Karlie.

“They are all leaders, making a difference to others’ lives and to the Territory’s future.”

20 Years Of Local Heroes

The 2023 Awards also mark 20 years of the Local Hero category. Introduced in 2003, the award acknowledges extraordinary contributions made by Australians in their local community.

In 2019, the Northern Territory’s Kate and Tick Everett were named Australia’s Local Heroes for their advocacy against bullying through their foundation Dolly’s Dream.

For more information on the Australian of the Year Awards, visit



Nominee bios can be viewed on the homepage of

Nominee photos are available to download (note all photos provided by nominees): NT Nominee Photos

Media contact: Nicole Browne 0414 673 762 or 

Twitter: @AusoftheYear and #AusoftheYear
Facebook: @AustralianoftheYear