Despite a tenacity that helped put sexual abuse and workplace sexual harassment on the national agenda in 2021, 27-year-old Grace Tame says she never set out to be an agitator.
"My instinct is not to be confrontational," Ms Tame said.
"The spotlight is not what I enjoy. If I could, I would definitely take that back."
Likening her Australian of the Year tenure as 365 days of picking at an old wound, on the eve of the announcement of a new winner, the sexual abuse survivor and advocate is cautious about issuing advice to her successor.
"There's no one-size-fits-all means of achieving change," Ms Tame said.
"Where they share their story and how they share their story that's theirs. Just be authentic."
A new recipient will be announced on Tuesday, with Canberra-born basketballer Patty Mills among the state and territory finalists in the running.
The 2022 winner will follow a stint which breathed new life into the awards, with Ms Tame's nomination widely agreed to have been a bold choice by the judges.
National Australia Day Council chief executive officer Karlie Brand said society should be eternally grateful for what she's done for the awards, for the community and for survivors.
"Grace is just so powerful," Ms Brand said.
"She's set up a platform for the awards that is impressive."
Accused of being too politically vocal by critics, the quick witted, social media savvy Ms Tame has defied expectations of what Australian of the Year entails.
Her age and appearance, as well as the emotion and eloquence in which she has described being sexually abused by a Tasmanian school teacher, has captured the attention of the country and provided a fandom and following unmatched by previous recipients.
Alongside the adoring audience, Ms Tame said she's had to deal with the uglier side of public life, with trolls and tormentors reaching out regularly in attempts to bring her down.
"I do try to make light of it sometimes on social media," she said.
"Someone called me 'scum of the year' the other day and I was like, 'Oh well, there you go, I guess I need to extend the trophy room'.
"But unless you're a psychopath, the things people say about you really do chip away."
Ms Tame said she hadn't sought the limelight and was looking forward to some time out of the headlines.
Having just gotten engaged to her long-term boyfriend Max Heerey, Ms Tame said her focus would now be on the not-for-profit organisation the pair established together.
The Grace Tame Foundation's overarching aim is a future free of the sexual abuse of children and others, Ms Tame said.
"We're pursuing that goal through structural change.
"But also looking at ways that we can reform our education, teaching kids about grooming.
"When I was trying to explain what happened to me when I was 15, I didn't have the vocabulary.
"I didn't even know what the word 'boundaries' was in the context of anything. Whereas now I can say and identify what boundaries are very easily.
"You don't have to be making headlines to be making change.
"I am hoping for a little bit more peace and a little bit more quiet."