The Australian of the Year 2016 has announced the list of finalists. Eight outstanding Aussies have been nominated for the Australian of the Year Awards this year.
The Awards ceremony will be held on the eve of Australia Day at an exclusive party on the lawns of Parliament House. This year, around 3000 nominations were received across its four categories which are Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia’s Local Hero. One finalist from each state and territory was selected last year.
Catherine McGregor is a senior cricket commentator, former Army Lieutenant Colonel and a political adviser. She is also the most senior transgender military officer in the world. McGregor told Daily Mail, “It’s sinking in now that the process has started. I’m feeling a bit overawed.”
Elizabeth Broderick is a former sex discrimination commissioner and a gender equality advocate. She is also an adviser to the United Nations, the World Bank and NATO. Broderick has forced corporates to take the issue of gender equality seriously and has asked for a greater focus on domestic violence. Likewise, she is an advocate of paid parental leave, Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Jane Hutchinson, a lawyer and a keen conservationist told Daily Mail, “It’s really humbling to be here. It’s enormously exciting, we all feel part of something really important and special.” According to Sydney Morning Herald, Jane heads the Tasmanian Land Conservancy organisation that protects around 65,000 hectares of habitat for threatened wildlife.
Anne Carey is a heroic medical nurse who has travelled to Sierra Leone in Africa to treat Ebola victims. She has also been to Papua New Guinea and Sudan. Carey is an advocate for victims of bullying and refugees.
David Morrison is a former Lieutenant-General whose mission is to promote gender equality in the armed forces. Morrison led a campaign to end sexism and disrespect towards women in the force. He spent 36 years of his life with the Army, Daily Mail noted.
Will MacGregor, is a youth worker from the Northern territory. A former drug addict himself, MacGregor now runs a 20-bed facility supporting young people battling drug and alcohol abuse. He told Sydney Morning Herald that if he would serve as Australian of the Year, he’ll focus on youth drug and alcohol issues.
Julian McMahon, a Melbourne-based barrister, is an advocate of human rights. He has pleaded on high profile cases like the Bali 9 duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran and Van Nguyen.
John Greenwood from South Australia is a surgeon who heads the only mobile burns unit in Australia. He has now focused his attention to improve burns care worldwide. Sydney Morning Herald noted that Greenwood has a record of attending to as many as 45 burns patient in a 36-hour shift. He managed this with the help of a registrar and a nurse.
The Australian of the Year Award is the highest honour bestowed on an Australian citizen from any walk of life. We have eight remarkable finalists with significant contributions to their professions and to the community. So, it is just a matter of time till we know, who the Australian of the Year 2016 is.