2015 Tasmanian Australian of the Year Recipients Announced
2015 Tasmanian Australian of the Year - Rodney Croome AM (South Hobart)
2015 Tasmanian Senior Australian of the Year - Professor Henry Reynolds (Richmond)
2015 Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year - Adam Mostogl (Queenstown)
2015 Tasmanian Local Hero - Mary Kay (Smithton)
The Premier of Tasmania, The Hon Will Hodgman MP, has announced the 2015 Tasmanian Australian of the Year Award recipients at a ceremony at the Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart this evening.
Rodney Croome AM has been named 2015 TasmanianAustralian of the Year for his nation-leading work as an equality activist.
Walking into a Hobart police station with his partner in 1994, Rodney Croome confessed to a serious crime: homosexuality. Rodney’s actions, reported the world over, were a major catalyst for the campaign to decriminalise homosexuality in Tasmania which Rodney took all the way to the High Court of Australia and the United Nations.
A champion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights in Tasmania and throughout Australia, Rodney has spent the past 26 years campaigning for decriminalisation, anti-discrimination protections, and the recognition of same-sex relationships and families, including marriage equality. He has also worked tirelessly to end discrimination and improve educational and health outcomes for LGBTI people, particularly those in rural and remote communities.
The National Convenor for Australia Marriage Equality, Rodney has made many personal sacrifices in the face of hostility and ignorance, challenging homophobia in schools and in the police service, removing stigma and normalising relationships for same-sex attracted couples. Rodney embodies intelligence, courage, tenacity and vision and his life’s work has transformed Australia and improved the lives of thousands of LGBTI people and their families.
HistorianProfessor Henry Reynolds has been awarded 2015 Tasmanian Senior Australian of the Year.
A pioneering historian, 76 year old Henry Reynolds is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on the history of Australia’s Indigenous people. Henry’s seminal book, The Other Side of the Frontier, published in 1981, was the first to see history from an Aboriginal perspective.
An outspoken public intellectual, Henry was the first academic historian to champion Aboriginal land rights. Fighting for reconciliation at a time when it was not popular, Henry was not deterred by the backlash and his courage, tenacity and commitment inspired a generation of Aboriginal and white Australian activists to persevere in their campaign for Aboriginal land and other rights.
Henry’s oral history project in the 1970s connected him with Eddie Mabo and greatly contributed to the High Court’s recognition of land rights. Henry’s 20-plus books have not only won a string of awards, they have encouraged young historians to embrace Aboriginal history, have enriched the nation’s understanding of our past and have pointed the way to a better future.
The 2015 Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year is 26year oldQueenstown resident Adam Mostogl.
In any given week, Adam Mostogl might be helping young entrepreneurs to kick-start their companies, stimulating small businesses to challenge the status quo, challenging communities to understand their potential or teaching hundreds of students to embrace innovation to solve the problems of the future.
Focused on empowering the community to create change, Adam established illuminate SDF in 2009 and partners with many organisations, including the University of Tasmania and the Australian Maritime College, to inspire young people to embrace their creativity, identify business solutions to simple problems and recalibrate their approaches to learning.
Based in Queenstown, Adam is heavily involved in the Queenstown Heritage & Arts Festival as well as the local football club. Living by his motto that “if you want something done for the community, you need to get out and do it”, Adam inspires young people to realise their potential, unleash their creativity and seize the opportunities, because, as he says, “the world is ready.”
Mary Kay has been awarded 2015 Tasmanian Local Hero for her work as a volunteer radio operator.
Each morning at 6am, marine radio operator Mary Kay bids boaters good morning. Mary, who has operated the Smithton Coast Guard radio for 18 years from her home, starts each day forecasting weather reports and taking positions from boaters and fishermen out on the waters of the Bass Strait. She does the same again at 8am and 5pm and is available throughout the day to record positions, announce weather warnings and engage in a bit of banter. Mary receives around 5,000 calls a year, answering the distress signals of fishermen and sailors, helping the police and coastguard with rescues, notifying customs of suspicious activities and saving lives.
Mary’s ‘job’ brings many challenges, as it’s not always smooth sailing around Circular Head and on any given day in summer she takes up to 50 calls. Mary’s calm voice echoes across the airwaves day in and day out and while her job is purely voluntary, she's paid in satisfaction and lives saved.
National Australia Day Council CEO, Jeremy Lasek, said the Tasmanian Award recipients are four truly inspirational Australians.
“The Tasmanian Award recipients all deserve our congratulations and thanks for the inspirational work they do. Without them Tasmania, and indeed Australia, would be a very different place to live,” said Mr Lasek.
The Commonwealth Bank is a major sponsor of the Australian of the Year Awards.
“For more than 35 years, we have been pleased to support the Australian of the Year Awards - a national program that recognises outstanding individuals. Each year we are inspired by the calibre of recipients from each State and Territory. We congratulate this year’s recipients from Tasmania and wish them all the best for the national awards,” said Commonwealth Bank CEO, Ian Narev.
For more information on the Australian of the Year Awards visit the Honour Roll.