A young woman who advocates for survivors of sexual assault, 26-year-old Grace Tame of Hobart, Tasmania has been named the 2021 Australian of the Year at a ceremony at Canberra’s National Arboretum this evening.
Ms Tame’s achievement marks the first time in the Award program’s 61-year history that a Tasmanian has been named Australian of the Year.
The 2021 Senior Australian of the Year went to 73-year-old Aboriginal activist, educator and artist Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM of Daly River in the Northern Territory; the 2021 Young Australian of the Year is 22-year-old social entrepreneur Isobel Marshall of Adelaide, South Australia; and the 2021 Australia’s Local Hero is 60-year-old advocate for migrant and refugee women, Rosemary Kariuki of Oran Park, NSW.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the Australian of the Year Award recipients, all of whom are women.
Chair of the National Australia Day Council, Danielle Roche OAM, congratulated the 2021 Australian of the Year Award recipients.
“Grace, Miriam-Rose, Isobel and Rosemary are all committed to changing attitudes in our society and changing lives,” Ms Roche said.
“They are strong, determined women who are dedicated to breaking down barriers and advocating for people’s rights – particularly the rights of women and children.
“They epitomise the Australian values of respect, tolerance, equality of opportunity and compassion. Because of them, others get a fair go.”
Ms Tame, Ms Marshall, Dr Ungunmerr Baumann AM and Ms Kariuki will attend the National Flag Raising and Citizenship Ceremony in Canberra on Australia Day morning, Tuesday 26 January, before returning to their home states.
The ACT nominees included Professor Brendan Murphy, the 2021 ACT Australian of the Year; Patricia Anderson AO, the 2021 ACT Senior Australian of the Year; Tara McClelland, the 2021 ACT Young Australian of the Year; and Timothy Miller of Lids4Kids, the 2021 ACT Local Hero.
The former Chief Medical Officer to the Federal Government, Professor Murphy was acknowledged due to his provision of expert advice to the Federal Government to close the international borders before the spread of COVID-19 – a decision which is believed to have saved tens of thousands of Australian lives.