* AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR
JAMES MUECKE AM
Adelaide eye surgeon James Muecke has dedicated his career to blindness prevention and ophthalmic research. In 2000 he co-founded the Vision Myanmar program and Sight For All, an organisation that offers collaborative research, education and infrastructure support to fight blindness caused by preventable diseases. With programs in Australia, Ethiopia and nine countries across Asia, Sight For All not only restores sight but alleviates poverty and improves the life expectancy of its patients.
* SENIOR AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR
PROF JOHN NEWNHAM AM
West Australian obstetrics professor John Newnham is a renowned authority on the prevention of pre-term birth, the leading cause of death and disability in Australian children up to five years of age. After leading the first study on the lifetime impacts of pregnancy, he developed a program that reduced by eight per cent the number of pre-term births in Western Australia. The program was rolled out nationally in 2018.
* YOUNG AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR
The Ipswich-born tennis player has risen through the world rankings and inspired fans with her indefatigable tennis style. Her calm, good-humoured nature has also lifted her head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to accepting defeat with grace.
* AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR LOCAL HERO
Former Northern Territory jackaroo Bernie Shakeshaft has helped more than 1000 of Australia's most vulnerable children through his BackTrack Youth Works Program. The program teaches young people the skills needed for life on a working property and is credited with helping decrease Armidale's youth crime rate by more than 38 per cent.
Australian Associated Press