A women’s rugby league pioneer, a foster carer, an alpaca therapy provider and a young woman helping drought-stricken farmers are in the running for 2020 ACT Australian of the Year awards.
Other awards include ACT Senior Australian of the Year, ACT Young Australian of the Year and ACT Local Hero. The winners will be announced in a ceremony on 28 October 2019 at the National Gallery of Australia.
ACT recipients will then join other state and territory recipients for the national awards ceremony at the National Arboretum on 25 January 2020 when the nation celebrates the 60th anniversary of the awards.
The four nominees for 2020 ACT Australian of the Year are:
- Katrina Fanning – a women’s rugby league pioneer for over 25 years. The Wiradjuri woman became only the third woman to be appointed to the Canberra Raiders Board of Directors this year. The 2014 Canberra Woman of the Year has lived and breathed rugby league, and following a successful career as a player, she was appointed as manager of the Indigenous Women’s All-Stars team. She has also been the Chair of the Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council and President of the Australian Women’s Rugby League Associations.
- Martin Fisk – the much-loved Canberran, Martin Fisk is the CEO of local organisation Menslink, which offers free counselling, mentoring and advice for young men and their families. In 2012, he designed the award-winning Silence is Deadly campaign, encouraging tens of thousands of young men to seek help during tough times. This year alone, Menslink has helped nearly 1,000 young men, up from around 150 at the beginning of the decade.
- Mary Kirk AM – a longstanding and dedicated advocate for women, children and midwifery, Mary Kirk has made a significant impact on maternal health and family support, both locally and internationally. As Director of Nursing and Midwifery and Executive Officer of the Queen Elizabeth II Family Centre from 1997 to 2019, Mary supported the establishment of a Scholarship and Research Fund for staff, partially funded by her board and consulting fees. Earlier this year, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
- Hugh Mackay AO – a prominent social research pioneer and psychologist, Hugh Mackay produced The Mackay Report for 25 years. A prolific writer, he has published books on social analysis, ethics, social psychology and communications. A believer in the intrinsic goodness of humanity, Hugh is a founding member of the St James Ethics Centre and is currently a patron of the Asylum Seekers Centre.
National Australia Day Council CEO Karlie Brand said the sixteen ACT nominees were leaders in their fields and in the community.
“The 60th anniversary of the Australian of the Year Awards is a particularly special time to be nominated,” Ms Brand said. “The 2020 ACT nominees are influencing our society and communities in many positive ways, focusing attention on those in need and helping to shape a better future for us all.”
For more information visit the Australian of the Year Awards awards.
2020 ACT Senior Australian of the Year
- Nils Lantzke – Nils and his therapy alpacas are known to many, as he visits Canberra hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, primary schools and wherever else they are needed.
- Dr Anne Martin AM – Anne is an Aboriginal education mentor who has helped thousands of Aboriginal university students complete undergraduate and postgraduate study.
- Sue Salthouse – Sue advocates for the right of people with disabilities to accessible housing, economic security and the chance to contribute to society.
- Samson Wong – Samson has been an unwavering champion for more than 37 years for migrants and refugees new to the ACT.
2020 ACT Young Australian of the Year
- Madeline Diamond is the founder of Trash Mob, a youth-led community group that meets every month to pick up rubbish in public areas in Canberra.
- Morgan Marshall is the former President of Robogals Canberra, part of an international organisation that empowers young women who are considering studies in engineering, robotics, computers and related fields.
- Emily Patterson is the driving force behind the 2018 Canberra Hay Runners Ball and Auction which provides much-needed support and financial relief to farmers in drought-affected areas.
- Tilleah Roselli is a passionate advocate for the CREATE Foundation, which represents children and young people in foster placements and residential care.
2020 ACT Local Hero
- Hannah Andrevski is the founder of Roundabout Canberra, which works with social services to provide pre-loved baby and children’s items to local families in need.
- Chris Endrey is a prolific and gifted songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist who has made a sustained creative contribution to Canberra’s arts community.
- Mandy Larsson OAM is the director of service delivery at Lifeline Canberra, a dedicated phone support service for callers in crisis who are unable to cope.
- Julia Rollings has been a foster carer for over two decades, supporting 50 babies, children and young people through difficult periods of their lives.