Our Ambassadors

Meet our Australia Day Ambassadors

Nasir Hussain

Diversity Advocate & President of Muslim Australian Connections of South Australia

Since migrating to Australia in 2006, Nasir has devoted himself to building bridges between Muslims and the wider Australian society.

Dr Felicity-ann Lewis

Community Leader & 2014 SA Australian of the Year

A dedicated, dynamic leader, Dr Felicity-ann Lewis is passionate about creating a better, healthier, more inclusive Australia

Chris Schacht

Former Senator & President of Volleyball Australia

Chris is a former President of the Australian Volleyball Federation and an elected representative to the Legal Commission of the “Federation Internationale de Volleyball”. He is also a board member of numerous worthwhile organisations.

Pat Rix

South Australian Local Hero, 2007

A respected artistic director with significant experience creating collaborative community and mainstage productions in South Australia, the United States and Southeast Asia.
Professor Jennifer McKay AM

Professor Jennifer McKay AM

Professor - Business, Law and Environment

Professor Jennifer McKay AM is an academic lawyer with a passion for research to celebrate some but reform other laws to achieve a sound and clean environment for future generations.
Christine Robertson

Christine Robertson OAM

Co-founder of Lost Pets of South Australia, Creator of Chipblitz program & SA State Recipient Local Hero 2023

Christine co-founded the Lost Pets of South Australia charity in 2013 to reunite lost pets with their families. The volunteer organisation uses social media and its connections with the RSPCA and other animal welfare groups to get lost animals back home.
Professor Rob Morrison OAM

Professor Rob Morrison OAM

Scientist, former host of The Curiosity Show, SA State Recipient Senior Australia of the Year 2008

Rob has had a dual career as academic and science broadcaster and writer. He is currently a Professorial Fellow at Flinders University. He has written more 40 books and co-written 13 more on science and natural history.
Anthony Hart

Anthony Hart

Mental Health Advocate & Nominee South Australian Local Hero 2022

In November 2003, Anthony Hart made a significant attempt on his life. Through a remarkable stroke of luck, he clung onto life and survived. Since then, Anthony has been on a mission to empower men to identify and address challenges before they escalate into serious mental health issues.
Ingrid Kennerley

Ingrid Kennerley

Mental Health Advocate & 2019 South Australia Citizen of the Year

After her husband’s suicide, Ingrid displayed incredible strength and resilience, guiding her children through the tragedy, and maintaining her volunteering and support roles that are so vital to small communities.
Bill Denny AM BM

Bill Denny AM BM

Veteran, Community Advocate & SA Nominee Senior Australian of the Year 2022

Bill’s deep and long-standing commitment to the ex-service community has been demonstrated through his role as Chair of the RSL ANZAC Day Committee, Chair of the ANZAC Day Commemoration Council and as founder of the ANZAC Eve Youth Vigil.
Dr Gill Hicks AM MBE

Dr Gill Hicks AM MBE

Motivational Speaker for peace South Australian of the Year 2015 & Australian of the Year Finalist 2015

Gill Hicks is considered to be one of the most thought provoking, powerful and life affirming speakers in Australia and the UK. She is globally known as a survivor of the London terrorist Bombings on July 7th, 2005. 
Dr Robert ‘Bob’ Irving

Dr Robert ‘Bob’ Irving

Veterinarian & SA Nominee Senior Australian of the Year 2019

Since 1996, veterinarian surgeon Dr Bob Irving has spent half of each year travelling to Aboriginal remote communities in the Anangu-Yankunyjatjara-Pitjantjatjara (AYP) lands in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory to treat sick animals, mostly dogs. 
Professor Helen Marshall AM

Professor Helen Marshall AM

Vaccination researcher & SA State Recipient Australian of the Year 2022

Professor Helen Marshall AM is one of Australia’s most celebrated and recognised vaccination researchers. Specialising in vaccinology, public health and infectious diseases at the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute, Helen has been involved in game-changing studies that have had a global impact. 
Cate Fowler AM

Cate Fowler AM

Theatre Producer, Director & SA Nominee Australian of the Year 2010

Cate is a theatre producer and director specialising in professional performance work for children and family audiences. She founded Windmill Performing Arts which provides high-quality performance experiences to inspire and enrich the learning and imagination of children. Under her direction Windmill quickly became the number one company in Australia for children’s and family theatre. 
Lynn Hill

Lynn Hill

Healthy Ageing Advocate & Co-founder of Dragon Boat racing for survivors of breast cancer

A retired Rotarian, Lynn also assists with promoting awareness of Ovarian Cancer. Lynn won the Council of the Ageing (COTA) Every Generation award in 2009 and 2012 for promoting involvement in physical activity for the over 50’s.
Michael O’Connell AM APM

Michael O’Connell AM APM

Consulting Victimologist & SA Nominee Australian of the Year 2020

Michael strives to ensure victims have a voice and attain voice recognition (i.e., they are heard, and their views respected). He lectures and writes in the field of victimology and holds degrees in social science and public policy and administration.

Craig Scott

Inclusion Advocate & South Australian Citizen of the Year 2021

Craig has been President of the Goodwood Saints for the past six years. His vision and guidance have seen the development of a female football program that now boasts 7 teams and was instrumental in the setting up of the Inclusive football team back in 1992, which ensures players with integration difficulties – including mental and physical disabilities – are entirely integrated within the club. 

John Raymond Shepherd AM

Former Executive Director, Operation Flinders; currently Senior Consultant, The Sapling Connection & General Manager, LBI Foundation

John spent twenty-five years within major branches of the S.A. Police Department. Formerly the Executive Director of the Operation Flinders Foundation, which runs a world leading wilderness adventure program for young offenders and young people at risk.

Holly Scott

Road Safety Advocate & SA Nominee Young Australian of the Year 2021

In July 2017, 22-year-old Holly Scott was in a car accident that nearly claimed her life. After waking from a 15-day coma to a broken body, having two broken legs, shattered pelvis, fractured vertebras, broken hip and tailbone and a brain injury, affecting her speech, balance and vision.  Holly has used this traumatic experience to educate others about the devastating effects of car accidents.
Kate Swaffer

Kate Swaffer

Civil Rights Campaigner for older people and people with dementia & SA Australian of the Year 2017

Kate Swaffer (MSc, BPsych, BA, Ret. Nurse) is a civil rights campaigner, poet, author, and researcher.
Samoda Silva

Samoda Silva

Recipient Award for Leadership in Languages and Cultures 2021

Samoda speaks four languages; English, Sinhala, Italian and Japanese, which in combination made her the recipient of the 2021 Australia Day Council Leadership in Languages Award. Samoda was also a recipient of the Order of Australia Association Student Citizenship Award in 2020 for her contributions to her school and local community. 

Major-General (Retd) Vikram Madan OAM VSM

Retired Major General in the Indian Army, Chair of Multicultural Aged Care Inc & Ambassador for Oz Asia Festival

As a member of SAMEAC for 8 years Vikram had a wonderful opportunity to work closely with almost all the multicultural communities. He devoted his time, resources and energies on a voluntary basis to encourage, nurture and promote multiculturalism in South Australia. 

Mark Le Messurier

Educator, Counsellor, Author & SA State Recipient Senior Australian of the Year 2022

Mark Le Messurier has devoted his life to improving the self-worth, wellbeing, mental health and life outcomes of young people. He focuses on those he calls the ‘tough kids’ – those who are struggling in some capacity.

Stephen Hedges

Recipient of South Australia’s Award for Active Citizenship 2022

Stephen Hedges has become an acknowledged expert on the lifecycle of the Little Penguin colony on Victor Harbor’s Granite Island. He has made an outstanding contribution to penguin research, first as a tour guide for more than 20 years, and then as a research assistant with Flinders University, and the BirdLab, for almost 10 years.  

Samela Harris

South Australian Journalist, Critic, Columnist, Author and Blogger

A newspaper career spanning three continents and forty years delivered Samela to the Journalist’s Hall of Fame. 

Peter Goers OAM

Media Personality – 891 ABC, SA State Recipient Local Hero 2011

Since 2003 Peter has hosted his multi award winning Evening show on ABC Radio Adelaide, across SA and into the Silver City of Broken Hill. 

Ralph Clarke

Industrial Relations Consultant, former Government Minister & Councillor for City of Adelaide

Ralph was elected to the South Australian Parliament in 1993 and held many portfolios and positions during his political career. 

Professor Richard Bruggemann

Disability advocate & SA State Recipient Senior Australian of the Year 2021

At 76 years old, Professor Richard Bruggemann is continuing to make a difference to the lives of people living with an intellectual disability. 

Ian Smith

Veteran, historian, author

Ian retired from the Army in 2012 and has since been active within the veteran community. In June 2022 he launched a well-received book about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from South Australia who have served in the Australian armed forces, titled “For Love of Country

Kaitlin Purcell

2021 Inspiring South Australian Women’s Award Recipient - Commendation Emerging Leader

Kaitlin has supported the introduction of women’s football across many regional communities as well as inspire many to connect with this code. Kaitlin established the second league to exist under the Great Southern Football League for females and received 2018 Female Coach of South Australia from North Adelaide Football Club.

Monique Bareham

Lymphoedema Advocate & SA State Recipient Local Hero 2022

At 51, Monique Bareham is described as a ‘powerhouse’ lymphoedema advocate, yet thirteen years ago her world was shattered by a cancer diagnosis. Like many who endure cancer treatment, she was left with lymphoedema. Her symptoms were immediate and severe enough to end her career. Realising South Australia was the only state without a compression garment subsidy scheme and limited public clinics, Monique set about righting this wrong.

Dr Trudy Lin

Young South Australian of the Year 2022

Dr Trudy Lin is one of only 25 specialists in Special Needs Dentistry in Australia providing oral healthcare to people with disability, psychiatric illness, and complex medical issues such as cancer. She also treats people experiencing homelessness and domestic violence.  

Anthony Fioravanti

Superintendent - State Intelligence Branch

Superintendent Anthony Fioravanti is currently the Officer in Charge of State Intelligence Branch.  His career has spanned nearly 42 years and career highlights have included 18 years in the Special Task and Rescue Group and previous postings as the Officer in Charge of Barossa Yorke Local Service Area, South Coast Local Service Area, Western Adelaide Local Service Area, Eastern Adelaide Local Service Area, STAR Group, Traffic Support Branch and Western District.

Dr Peter Cahalan

Strategist in the tourism and cultural sector

Dr Peter Cahalan has recently retired after a long career in museums and the tourism industry.

Taryn Brumfitt

Body image advocate

Taryn’s mission is to teach people the value and power of loving their bodies. A Film Director, Author, International keynote speaker and founder of The Body Image Movement, she gained global attention in 2013 when her unconventional ‘before and after’ personal photos went viral.

Joel Bayliss

Reconciliation advocate

Joel Bayliss is a strategic agency representative for Reconciliation SA. Joel is a proud Aboriginal man who has lived on Kaurna land his whole life.

Hon Rev Dr Lynn Arnold AO FAICD

Former CEO of Anglicare and former SA Premier

Entering Parliament in 1979 Lynn held various portfolios, culminating in Premier of South Australia. After leaving politics Lynn received a PhD from the University of Adelaide. 

Wayne Anthoney OAM

Actor, theatre director and teacher

Wayne trained as a scientist at Adelaide University, graduating in 1962, and worked with early computers until opting for a different career path in 1974.

Edgar Agius OAM

President, Maltese Community Council

Edgar is currently President of the Maltese Community Council of South Australia. In the mid-90s Edgar served as President and coordinator of the Maltese Language and Folk Dancing School of Adelaide, organising cultural floor shows.

Our Ambassadors

Our Ambassadors are inspirational and deeply respected community leaders within South Australia.

These individuals embrace communities, share insights from their varied lived experiences, reflect on who we are as a nation and celebrate our diversity.

The benefits of having an Australia Day Ambassador at Australia Day celebrations include –

  • The opportunity for local community to meet and listen to Australians who have distinguished themselves by their contribution to their country
  • They are a drawcard for regional celebrations
  • The chance to hear stories of the Ambassador’s achievements which illustrate the many opportunities Australia offers
  • The opportunity to reinforce the diversity of achievers in Australia