Congratulations to our ACT finalists in Australian of the Year

Released 25/07/2017

I would like to congratulate the ACT’s finalists in the 2016 Australian of the Year Awards.  We are very fortunate to have such talented and giving members of our community.
These 17 outstanding finalists represent a wide cross-section of the community with achievements in science, animal welfare, social entrepreneurship, medical research, charity work, human rights, music and sustainable agriculture advocacy.
These 17 individuals are very worthy of our nation’s attention and have been nominated by their fellow Australians.
The Australian of the Year Awards offers an opportunity to recognise these great Australians and ultimately can give them a very high profile platform from which to advocate their cause.
The 2015 Australian of the Year Ms Rosie Batty has helped put the issue of family violence in Australia on the national agenda.  She has inspired those in abusive situations to speak up and for others passionate about this issue to advocate for resources to better tackle domestic violence. Ms Batty should be incredibly proud of all she has achieved so far.
Our 2015 ACT Australian of the Year, Glenn Keys, Senior Australian of the Year, Sandra Mahlberg, Young Australian of the Year, Patrick Mills and ACT Local Hero, Damian De Marco have been recognised throughout the year for their worthy contributions to this community and for the many lives they have touched through their work.
Our community is made far richer and stronger because these people and I am so pleased to see them recognised on a national stage.
I am looking forward to congratulating all the 2016 finalists in person when I present the finalists and the recipient with their awards in a ceremony at the National Gallery of Australia’s Gandel Hall on 2 November.
The recipients of the ACT Australian of the Year Awards will go on to represent the national capital in the Australian of the Year Awards which will be presented on 25 January on the lawns of Parliament House.
For more information on this year’s finalists go to

 The 2016 ACT Award finalists are:
Dr Alison Taylor and Dr Michael Archinal - Veterinarians (Holder and Red Hill)
David Morrison AO - Equality advocate (Griffith)
Dr Brendan Nelson - Cultural leader (Barton)
Dr Helen Watchirs OAM - Human rights advocate (Deakin)
Yvonne Cuschieri OAM - Cancer support pioneer (Queanbeyan)
Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery AC AO (Mil) CVO MC - Sustainable agriculture advocate (Yarralumla)
Professor Chris Parish - Medical researcher (Campbell)
Professor Greg Tegart AM FTSE- Scientist and technology advocate (Yarralumla)
Dr Kate Eisenberg - Doctor, science advocate and volunteer (Holt)
Sophie Hope - Multidimensional volunteer (Casey)
Leonard Weiss - Musician (Forrest)
Nipuni Wijewickrema - Social entrepreneur (Chifley)
Peter Cursley - Newborn care champion (Farrer)
Fiona Kirk - Charity founder (Greenway)
David Richards - Volunteer Fundraiser and Christmas enthusiast (Forrest)
Yanping Zhang - Medical researcher (Bruce)

- Statement ends -

Section: Andrew Barr, MLA | Media Releases

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