Outstanding Canberrans celebrated at 2020 ACT Australian of the Year Awards

Released 28/10/2019

Four exceptional Canberrans were announced as the 2020 ACT Australians of the Year at a ceremony at the National Gallery of Australia tonight.

The Australian of the Year Awards recognise and celebrate people who go above and beyond for their communities and it was an honour to recognise their contribution this evening.

I would like to thank everyone who was nominated for their commitment to improving the lives of the people of Canberra and Australia and for making our community such an inclusive, progressive and vibrant place to live.

The 2020 ACT Australian of the Year is Katrina Fanning for her contribution as a pioneer of women’s rugby league and for her passion for supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Following a successful ruby league and management career, Katrina, 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 and is Chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body.

The 2020 ACT Local Hero is Julia Rollings, for her work as a foster carer.

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 ACT Young Australian of the Year is Madeline Diamond, sustainability advocate and founder of Trash Mob.

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

A horse-riding accident at age 45 led Sue into a new life in a wheelchair – where she experienced first-hand the systemic inequality facing people with disabilities. She now runs her own consultancy company and is a tireless advocate for people with disabilities to enjoy equal opportunities and rights.

Congratulations to our four worthy recipients, who will go on to represent our community at the Australian of the Year Awards on 25 January 2019. I wish them all the very best of luck and look forward to hearing more from each of them in their year as ACT Australian of the Year.

- Statement ends -

Section: Andrew Barr, MLA | Media Releases

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