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Each year, the Australian of the Year Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements and contributions of outstanding Australians across four categories (including Australian of the Year). The following are the 2018 state and territory finalists.

Senior Australian of the Year

Rewarding Australians aged 65 and over who continue to achieve and contribute.


Dr Graham Farquhar AO, prize-winning biophysicist, Australian Capital Territory

Dr Catherine Hamlin AC, pioneering surgeon, New South Wales

Kathy Guthadjaka, educator and pioneering academic, Northern Territory

Dr Dimity Dornan AO, hearing health specialist and bionics advocate, Queensland

Barbara Spriggs, campaigner to prevent abuse of aged care patients, South Australia

Tony Scherer, organic farmer, Tasmania

Professor Paul Zimmet AO, scientist and diabetes specialist, Victoria

Kathleen Mazzella OAM, women's health champion, Western Australia

Young Australian of the Year

Profiling exceptional young Australians aged 16 to 30.


Zack Bryers, youth and outreach worker, Australian Capital Territory

Macinley Butson, scientist and inventor, New South Wales

Kevin Kadirgamar, refugee and migration lawyer, Northern Territory

Phillip Thompson, veterans' champion, Queensland

Kyran Dixon, role model for Indigenous youth, South Australia

Dr Jessica Manuela, dentist helping Indigenous communities, Tasmania

Georgie Stone, campaigner for transgender youth, Victoria

Samantha Kerr, sportsperson. Western Australia

Australia’s Local Hero

Acknowledging extraordinary contributions made by Australians in their local community.


Suzanne Tunks, supporter and fundraiser for sick children, Australian Capital Territory

Eddie Woo, mathematics teacher, New South Wales

Bettina Danganbarr, anti-domestic violence campaigner, Northern Territory

Pip Russell, children's entertainer and innovator, Queensland

Andrew Costello, charity founder and community champion, South Australia

Judi Adams, breast cancer fundraiser, Tasmania

Mat Bowtell, engineer and prosthetic limb innovator, Victoria

Peter Lyndon-James, addiction treatment specialist, Western Australia

How are the winners chosen?

The awards operate in several stages. They start at the community level, with nominations being invited from the public. State and territory selection panels choose finalists in each of the four award categories, announced from October to November each year.

The final stage is when the board of the National Australia Day Council chooses the national recipients, announced on the eve of Australia Day each year.

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