Australian of the Year Awards

In these challenging and unprecedented times, the generosity, kindness, courage and resilience of Canberrans always shines through.  Do you know someone who goes above and beyond, demonstrating our great Australian spirit? They could be a quiet achiever, a leader in their field, a household name or an unknown hero. It’s up to you to nominate our next ACT Australian of the Year.

You know great people. You know their stories.

Be great and nominate at

Nominations close 31 July 2020.

2020 ACT Australians of the Year

Four inspiring and outstanding Canberrans were announced as the ACT’s Australians of the Year on Monday 28 October, and will now represent the community at the national awards on 25 January 2020.

The ACT’s 2020 Australian of the Year award winners (left to right) Julia Rollings, Madeline Diamond, Sue Salthouse and Katrina Fanning.
The ACT’s 2020 Australian of the Year award winners (left to right) Julia Rollings, Madeline Diamond, Sue Salthouse and Katrina Fanning.

The 2020 ACT Australian of the Year is women’s rugby league pioneer Katrina Fanning.

Following a successful rugby league and management career, the Wiradjuri woman, 2014 Canberra Woman of the Year and ACT NAIDOC Person of the Year, was appointed to the Canberra Raiders Board of Directors in 2019. Katrina is passionate about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people creating their own solutions.

The 2020 ACT Senior Australian of the Year is leader and disability advocate Sue Salthouse.

A horse-riding accident at age 45 led Sue Salthouse into a new life in a wheelchair – where she experienced first-hand the systemic inequality facing people with disabilities.

Having been committed to social justice all her life, Sue was determined to bring about positive change. First invited to work for Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA), she began advocating for the right of people with disabilities to accessible housing, economic security and the chance to contribute to society.

Sue now runs a consultancy company specialising in disability rights advocacy and works in the disability sector. She has also worked extensively with a number of organisations to develop leadership training projects for women, and actions to combat domestic violence.

The 2020 ACT Young Australian of the Year is sustainability advocate Madeline Diamond.

Madeline is the founder and leader of Trash Mob, a youth-led community group that holds clean up initiatives and advocates for waste free solutions. As Executive Officer of SEE-Change, she also engages young people to take grassroots environmental action and provides opportunities for them in the sustainability space.

The 2020 ACT Local Hero is foster carer Julia Rollings.

Julia has been a foster carer in Canberra for over two decades – supporting 50 babies, children and young people through difficult periods in their lives. As a volunteer crisis carer, and adoptive mother of seven children, she is a passionate advocate for children’s rights and carer support and wellbeing.

The Australian of the Year Awards celebrate the achievements and contributions of people who go above and beyond for their communities and challenge us to make our own contribution.

If you know someone who is making an outstanding contribution to the Canberra community, then nominate them for the Australian of the Year Awards. Nominations are open year-round and one nomination is all it takes for someone to be in the running.

For more information on the Australian of the Year Awards visit