You're invited to join us here on the evening of Monday November 2 to watch live as the recipients of ACT's 2021 Australian of the Year Awards are announced.
The awards presentation is scheduled to begin at 6pm AEDT and will run for about an hour.
The ceremony will be held at the National Gallery but will also be streamed live on The Canberra Times website. Australian Community Media is the official media partner of the 2021 Australian of the Year awards.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr will announce the ACT award recipients.
The 15 Canberrans in the running to be named the territory's Local Hero, Young Australian, Senior Australian or Australian of the Year include a 26-year-old who risked his life to enter a burning house and save an entire family during the 2020 bushfires, a leading educator in Canberra for more than 50 years and the man who led Australia's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ACT's only fully certified Auslan interpreter Amanda Dolejsi is nominated for the ACT Local Hero award.
Dolejsi has been a consistent face on television throughout 2020, first through the bushfire crisis and the through the COVID-19 pandemic where she has provided Auslan interpretation for government officials on a near daily basis.
She came out of retirement to assist both the ACT and federal government, her constant presence at press conferences has enabled Deaf Australians to have access to crucial information to navigate these significant challenges.
Dolejsi has also taught at Auslan at the Canberra Institute of Technology.
The award recipients in each category will then join other state and territory winners as finalists in the annual national Australian of the Year Awards announcement on January 25, 2021.
National Australia Day Council chief executive Karlie Brand said the ACT nominees shared a common focus on how their actions could help others.
"Whether it's through advocacy, volunteering, leadership roles or mentoring, the ACT award nominees are all playing a significant role in making a difference in the world," she said.
"They are incredibly inspiring - and the ACT community can be very proud of them."
The ACT nominees are ...
Australian of the Year - sponsored by Australia Post
Brigadier Alison Creagh AM CSC (Ret'd) - Outstanding Defence Ambassador
Caroline Hughes - Champion of Aboriginal culture
Professor Brendan Murphy - Former Chief Medical officer to the federal government
Patricia Turner AM - Advocate for Aboriginal health
Senior Australian of the Year - sponsored by the Department of Health
Kerry Allen - Educator and mentor
Patricia Anderson AO - Writer and advocate for the health of Australia's First Peoples
Dr David Headon - Historian, writer, TV presenter, cultural expert
Bev Orr OAM - Foster carer and community worker
Young Australian of the Year
Nathan Barnden - Rural Fire Service NSW volunteers
Tara McClelland - Advocate for the rights of young people
Sarah O'Neill - Volunteer youth worker
ACT Local Hero - sponsored by the Department of Home Affairs
Amanda Dolejsi - ACT's only certified Auslan interpreter
Timothy Miller - Founder of Lids4Kids
Chiaka Moneke - Support and advocate for victims of domestic violence
Jessica Peil - Community volunteer
You can read more about each of the nominees and their efforts and achievements here.