ACT Australians of the Year announced
Four inspiring and outstanding Canberrans were announced as the ACT’s Australians of the Year on Monday 29 October, and they will now represent our community at the national awards on 25 January 2019.
The 2019 ACT Australian of the Year is Virginia Haussegger AM for her contribution as a journalist and women’s advocate.
For over 25 years, Virginia Haussegger AM has built a career as a television journalist, writer and commentator. She is also a leading advocate for women, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2014 for service to the community, gender equity and the media.
The 2019 ACT Senior Australian of the Year is Dr Sue Packer AM, for her work as a child advocate and paediatrician.
Since starting her career as a paediatrician in 1972, Dr Sue Packer AM has worked tirelessly to advocate for the rights of children. Sue has been a leader in child abuse prevention and treatment and a champion of the importance of early childhood environments for the developing brain.
The 2019 ACT Young Australian of the Year is Hannah Wandel for her work as a change agent for young rural women.
Concerned by the challenges faced by young women in regional Australia, Hannah Wandel founded Country to Canberra to help break down the barriers to success. In 2018, Hannah travelled over 32,000kms to 80 bush communities nationally, reaching over 3,500 teenage girls to run gender equality, leadership and empowerment workshops.
The 2019 ACT Local Hero is David Williams, disability advocate.
David Williams encourages people with intellectual disabilities to speak up for themselves, rather than relying on others to speak on their behalf. David founded the Confident Speakers program 22 years ago, providing participants with a structured communication course and personal mentoring, to help their voices be heard.
The Australian of the Year Awards celebrate the achievements and contributions of people who go above and beyond for their communities and challenge us to make our own contribution.
If you know someone who is making an outstanding contribution to the Canberra community, then nominate them for the Australian of the Year Awards. Nominations are open year round and one nomination is all it takes for someone to be in the running: https://www.australianoftheyear.org.au/