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Australian of the Year Awards

You know what makes an Australian of the Year.
Just look around you.
See people who show courage, sacrifice and kindness.
They may not know you. But you know them.
Now it's time to show them.


Each year our nation celebrates the achievement and contribution of eminent Australians through the Australian of the Year Awards by profiling leading citizens who are role models for us all. They inspire us through their achievements and challenge us to make our own contribution to creating a better Australia. The Australian of the Year Awards provides all Australians with the opportunity to recognise someone who makes them proud.


Meet our 2022 Recipients


SA State Recipient Australian of the Year 2022
Professor Helen Marshall - Vaccination researcher
Professor Helen Marshall 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.

A key focus is the fight to stop meningococcal B. Helen is a lead investigator for the ‘B Part of It’ study, which assessed the effectiveness of meningococcal B vaccines on invasive meningococcal disease in Australian teens and young adults. The study is the largest of its kind globally and investigates the herd immunity impact of the meningococcal B vaccine.

Since 2004, Helen has published 211 peer-reviewed papers and been awarded 17 research grants totalling more than $33 million. She’s also been the recipient of three National Health and Medical Research Council Fellowships.

During the pandemic, Helen has provided advice about meningococcal B and COVID-19 to the South Australian Minister for Health and the Chief Public Health Officer.


SA State Recipient Senior Australian of the Year 2022
Mark Le Messurier - Educator, counsellor and author
Mark Le Messurier has devoted his life to improving the self-worth, wellbeing, mental health and life outcomes of young people. He focuses on who he calls the ‘tough kids’ – those who are struggling in some capacity. This includes children with disabilities, global developmental delays, disadvantage, disorders, neglect, or a combination of issues.

After a 20-year teaching career, Mark opened a private-practice consultancy to mentor children and teenagers who needed support beyond the school system, and to coach parents. His goal has always been to create environments that set children and adults up for success.

He’s authored numerous books for teachers and parents, including co-authoring What’s the Buzz? – a world-class social and emotional literacy education program. It’s become a standard course in the training of teachers, counsellors, psychologists, social workers, and youth workers in over 90 countries.

Mark’s generosity and consideration for others is profound, far reaching, and life changing. He’s helped many families and is a relatable role model and mentor.


SA State Recipient Young Australian of the Year 2022
Dr Trudy Lin - Special needs dentistry consultant 
As the youngest of only 20 practising specialists in Australia’s Special Needs Dentistry sector, Dr Trudy Lin provides oral healthcare to people with disability, psychiatric illness, and complex medical issues such as cancer. She also treats people experiencing homelessness and domestic violence.

Trudy’s passion for dentistry started as a child, after seeing the profound impact poor oral health had on her father’s life, including his physical, social and psychological wellbeing. From then on, she was set on specialising in Special Needs Dentistry to care for the most vulnerable people – a place she believed her profession could create the most positive impact.

Trudy has completed a research thesis on implementing a triaging tool to improve oral healthcare access for people with disability. This work has received multiple accolades, including the 2020 Australian and New Zealand division winner of the International Association of Dental Research Poster Competition.

Showing a strong work ethic and exemplary leadership skills, Trudy continues to dedicate her career to improving access to oral healthcare for all Australians.


SA State Recipient Local Hero 2022
Monique Bareham - Lymphoedema Advocate and Leader

Ten years ago, Monique Bareham received a cancer diagnosis. Like many people who go through cancer treatment, she was left with lymphoedema – a chronic, debilitating and incurable condition caused by damage to the lymphatic system.

Monique soon realised South Australia was the only state without a compression garment subsidy program. This meant many people living with lymphoedema were going without these necessary medical items.

Wanting to make a difference, Monique joined the Lymphoedema Support Group SA, now Lymphoedema Association SA Inc., and soon took on the role of president. After years of attending meetings, gathering personal experiences from people living with lymphoedema, and lobbying the state, the South Australian government announced a compression garment subsidy scheme in July 2020. Such a breakthrough would not have been possible without Monique’s efforts.

Monique remains tireless in her advocacy for the lymphoedema community across South Australia. She monitors the roll-out of the compression garment subsidy scheme to ensure availability and equity in its delivery.


2022 Australian of the Year (SA) Finalists:
Philip de Pinto - Co-founder of Living Without Limits Foundation
Dr Samantha Pillay - Surgeon, entrepreneur, author and educator
Natasha Stott Despoja AO - Gender equality advocate and inaugural Chair of Our Watch


2022 Senior Australian of the Year (SA) Finalists:
Peter Clark - Director of Monarto Safari Park
Bill Denny AM - War veteran and RSL South Australia Ambassador
Dawn Jennings - Foster carer


2022 Young Australian of the Year (SA) Finalists:
Kyle Chalmers OAM - Olympic swimming champion
Bianca Nilsson - Founder of Renegade Records
Zoe Simpson - Founder of Mount Gambier Hay Run


2022 Local Hero (SA) Finalists:
Anthony Hart - Founder of Invigor Wellbeing
Sarah Tinney - Founder of the Marilyn Jetty Swim
Raelene Wlochowicz - Founder of the Playford Women's Shed


Meet our 2021 Recipients

SA State Recipient Australian of the Year 2021
Tanya Hosch - Leader, Changemaker and Visionary

Tanya Hosch is the first Indigenous person and second woman appointed to the AFL executive. She has held leadership roles in sport, the arts, culture, social justice and public policy. One of the pre-eminent Indigenous leaders pursuing constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Nations people, Tanya’s principled leadership is transforming the AFL – advancing women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, gender-diverse Australians and the entire community.

Tanya championed the first Indigenous player statue of Nicky Winmar and instigated a review of anti-vilification policy within the code. She helped secure an apology for Adam Goodes from the AFL and delivered a new industry framework to help prevent racist treatment of players.

Tanya also helped found advocacy organisation The Indigenous Players Alliance. She drove a new respect and responsibility policy enabling women to seek redress for unacceptable behaviour, and a world-first gender diversity policy for a contact sport. In 2020, she drove a hugely successful social media campaign aimed at informing and protecting Indigenous communities from COVID-19.


SA State Recipient Senior Australian of the Year 2021
Professor Richard Bruggemann - Disability Advocate

At 76 years old, Professor Richard Bruggemann is continuing to make a difference to the lives of people living with an intellectual disability. Throughout his career, he has provided expert advice to governments on disability services, legislation, inclusion and rights.

He is a dedicated volunteer, has sat on more than 20 non-government boards and committees, and is a prolific writer on topics of concern for the disability community. This year, he was called on by the South Australian Government to join the special taskforce investigating the tragic death of cerebral palsy sufferer, Ann Marie Smith.

Richard was also appointed to a new government role to assess the temporary orders to protect people living with a cognitive or mental impairment from the spread of the COVID-19 virus. His ongoing leadership has helped create a community service system that helps people with intellectual disability and their families enjoy a better quality of life.

Young Australian of the Year 2021
Isobel Marshall - Social Entrepreneur

At just 18 years of age, Isobel Marshall co-founded TABOO with school friend Eloise Hall, to help women around the world by breaking down stigma around menstruation and providing greater access to hygiene products. Isobel and business partner Eloise, crowdfunded $56,000 to launch their range of products in August 2019.

TABOO sells high quality, ethically sourced, organic cotton pads and tampons to an Australian market, with 100 per cent of net profits going to One Girls – a charity providing education programs for girls and women in Sierra Leone and Uganda. Locally, Isobel and TABOO have partnered with Vinnies Women’s Crisis centre, providing free access to pads and tampons for women who require emergency accommodation in South Australia.

Recognising period poverty is not just a big city issue, they also support the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council. Isobel is also a full-time student at the University of Adelaide, where she is studying a Bachelor of Medicine (MBBS) and a Bachelor of Surgery.


SA State Recipient Local Hero 2021
Russell Ebert OAM - Respectful Relationships Advocate

Former footballer Russell Ebert OAM is a legendary figure with the Port Adelaide Football Club. A four-time winner of the Magarey Medal, awarded to the best and fairest player in the South Australian National Football League, he’s considered one of the club’s greatest players of all time.

Today, Russell continues to give back to the club and the South Australian community through his leadership of the club’s Power Community Ltd (PCL) youth programs. He is particularly passionate about PCL’s Power to End Violence Against Women (PTEVAW) program, which he delivers to Year 10 students around the state. Developed with Centacare Catholic Family Services and the South Australian Department for Education, PTEVAW challenges gender-based attitudes and promotes respectful relationships and an end to domestic violence. The program has reached more than 5,000 students since starting in 2016. Russell is also a passionate supporter of children living with disabilities and is a fundraising ambassador for disability services organisation, Novita.


2021 Australian of the Year (SA) Finalists:
Jennifer Howard - CEO and Founder of Safe Pets Safe Families

Dr Joy O'Hazy - Doctor and Initiator of Birthing Kits
Professor Nicola Spurrier - Chief Public Health Officer, Paediatrician and Physician

2021 Senior Australian of the Year (SA) Finalists:
Dr David Squirrell - Advocate for the Vision Impaired
Pamela Catcheside - Mycologist
Peter Mungkuri OAM - Artist and Cultural Leader


2021 Young Australian of the Year (SA) Finalists:
Alicia Beik - Businesswoman and Migrant Activist
Holly Scott - Road Safety Advocate
Tori Marshall - Founder and Director of Lift Up Voices

2021 Local Hero (SA) Finalists:
Craig Scott - President of Goodwood Saints Football Club
Melanie Tate - CEO and Founder Puddle Jumpers Inc
Rodney O'Brien - Kaurna Cultural Advisor


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