• Drisana Levitzke-Gray, Jackie French, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Rosie Batty and Juliette Wright

    Drisana Levitzke-Gray, Jackie French, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Rosie Batty and Juliette Wright

  • Maurice Reilley and Melissa Moss

    Maurice Reilley and Melissa Moss

  • Ross and June Corey with Awards finalist Graham Mabury and his wife Merle

    Ross and June Corey with Awards finalist Graham Mabury and his wife Merle

  • Maree Guthrie....has aspirations!

    Maree Guthrie....has aspirations!

  • Kate Lundy, Alicia Murray with Rex and her husband Justin Holdforth with Abigail

    Kate Lundy, Alicia Murray with Rex and her husband Justin Holdforth with Abigail

  • Len Willett in front with Geraldine O'Neill, Olav Muurlink and John Paul Janke.

    Len Willett in front with Geraldine O'Neill, Olav Muurlink and John Paul Janke.

  • The Keys Team celebrate in their own irreverent way with Tim, Glenn, Ehren, Sian and Amelda

    The Keys Team celebrate in their own irreverent way with Tim, Glenn, Ehren, Sian and Amelda

  • Melissa Moore, Helen Everett and Helen Tonkin in front

    Melissa Moore, Helen Everett and Helen Tonkin in front

  • Cindy Young and Carolyn Ludovici

    Cindy Young and Carolyn Ludovici

  • Lyle and Vicki Dunne, Tim and Lara Kirk and Nicole Lawder

    Lyle and Vicki Dunne, Tim and Lara Kirk and Nicole Lawder

  • Chief Minister Andrew Barr

    Chief Minister Andrew Barr

  • Pip and Dick Smith

    Pip and Dick Smith

  • Classy always, Awards MC Stephanie Brantz

    Classy always, Awards MC Stephanie Brantz

  • Brendan Smyth, Malcolm Snow, David Marshall and Linda Henschke

    Brendan Smyth, Malcolm Snow, David Marshall and Linda Henschke

  • Sherrie Syrek, Tia Stevens, Eugenie Hickey, Angela Ballerini, Kerry Matthews, Belinda McPherson and Amy Currie from Australia Post

    Sherrie Syrek, Tia Stevens, Eugenie Hickey, Angela Ballerini, Kerry Matthews, Belinda McPherson and Amy Currie from Australia Post

  • Mark Keogh, Maree Guthrie and Melinda Hill

    Mark Keogh, Maree Guthrie and Melinda Hill

  • Tim Fischer and Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove

    Tim Fischer and Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove

  • Delaine Wilson and Rod Pedersen

    Delaine Wilson and Rod Pedersen

  • Jack Peris, Nova Peris, Scott Appleton and Destiny Peris

    Jack Peris, Nova Peris, Scott Appleton and Destiny Peris

  • Sam Loftus, Martin Dempsey, Jed Hussin and Nicholas Notaras

    Sam Loftus, Martin Dempsey, Jed Hussin and Nicholas Notaras

  • Mikaela Prentice and Katherine King

    Mikaela Prentice and Katherine King

  • Harriet Ober and Robyn Ober in front with Awards finalist Chantal Ober, Tom Ober and Tom Calma behind.

    Harriet Ober and Robyn Ober in front with Awards finalist Chantal Ober, Tom Ober and Tom Calma behind.

  • Awards finalist Eddie Robertson his wife Lottie and grandson Shemar Robertson

    Awards finalist Eddie Robertson his wife Lottie and grandson Shemar Robertson

  • Fiona Dolan and Karen Demster, carryi ng injuries that kept them on the sidelines.

    Fiona Dolan and Karen Demster, carryi ng injuries that kept them on the sidelines.

  • Sir Angus Houston and Tim Fischer

    Sir Angus Houston and Tim Fischer

  • Senior Australian of the Year Jackie French

    Senior Australian of the Year Jackie French

  • Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Australian of the Year 2015 Rosie Batty

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Australian of the Year 2015 Rosie Batty

  • Local Hero Juliette Wright

    Local Hero Juliette Wright

  • Kate Lundy and ACT Finalist Glenn Keys

    Kate Lundy and ACT Finalist Glenn Keys

  • Jeremy Lasek, Tony Abbott, the new Chairman of the National Australia Day Council Ben Roberts-Smith and Australian of the Year Rosie Batty

    Jeremy Lasek, Tony Abbott, the new Chairman of the National Australia Day Council Ben Roberts-Smith and Australian of the Year Rosie Batty

  • Jacqui Lambie

    Jacqui Lambie

  • Darren Tredgold, Damian Golden, Mair Roach, Belinda Beauman, Kelly Tredgold, Colin Thomas and Rossana Sorensen

    Darren Tredgold, Damian Golden, Mair Roach, Belinda Beauman, Kelly Tredgold, Colin Thomas and Rossana Sorensen

  • ACT Finalist Damian De Marco and Daniel Florent

    ACT Finalist Damian De Marco and Daniel Florent

  • Briony and Mark Scott

    Briony and Mark Scott

  • Bianca May and Liz Quinn

    Bianca May and Liz Quinn

  • Awards finalist Rosalie Kunoth-Monks

    Awards finalist Rosalie Kunoth-Monks

  • Awards finalist Hettie Johnston and her husband Ian Johnston

    Awards finalist Hettie Johnston and her husband Ian Johnston

  • Awards finalist Deborra-lee Furness and her daughter Ava

    Awards finalist Deborra-lee Furness and her daughter Ava

  • Australian of the Year 2014 Adam Goodes, Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Rachelle Towart

    Australian of the Year 2014 Adam Goodes, Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Rachelle Towart

  • Young Australian of the Year Drisana Levitzke-Gray and Prime Ministger Tony Abbott

    Young Australian of the Year Drisana Levitzke-Gray and Prime Ministger Tony Abbott

The Australian of the Year Awards 2015

25 January 2015

The Australian of the Year Awards make us proud. They make us aware too of a diverse group of Aussies doing exceptional things in a multitude of areas and disciplines brought together in our Canberra to be acknowledged and feted for their achievements. The one thing they all say whether winner or not that to meet the other finalists has a profound effect on them all and is a priceless collection of valuable contacts.

This year,  2015, will be remembered as the first time four fabulous women made history with a girl power sweep of The Australian of the Year Awards at Parliament House on the eve of Australia Day at the party that celebrates who we are and those who’ve made their significant contribution. 

Their causes and passions are different but each has made a major contribution to our society and came from a formidable field of finalists across the four categories that give recognition to our young, seniors, local heroes and of course the Australian of the Year who for 2015 is Rosie Batty. We will never forget her heartbreaking articulating of the scourge of domestic violence after the murder of her son and have watched as she emerged as the champion of the cause. This will be her year for Luke, to make a difference and change the way we deal with domestic violence.

Jackie French lives in the beautiful Araluen Valley and as an award winning writer, the current Children’s Laureate, director of the Wombat Foundation she is now the Senior Australian of the Year. Drisana Levitzke-Gray as the Young Australian of the Year and an advocate for the deaf gives voice to so many with Auslan, her first language while Social Entrepreneur Louise Davidson is the founder and CEO of GIVIT an online portal to get donated goods to those who need them and is Australia’s Local Hero. Go girls!

The before and after party of the awards was for all a great night on the lawns with an eclectic mix of people from across the country as guest joining finalists, politicians supporting their state finalists, VIP’s and music to pump up the crowd. Paul Kelly together with Vicka and Linda Bull a stroll down memory lane and the hypnotic beat of Sheppard’s Geronimo getting the jumping about underway.

And then came the day. Australia Day, where  barbecues, beers and the beach are the recipes for a truly Aussie celebration across the country as new citizens swear allegiance and make us take stock as they show how proud they are to be one of us. Then came the frenzy, a gobsmackingly odd ‘gift’ of a knighthood to the Duke of Edinburgh caught everybody by surprise. Probably him too! Overshadowing not just the Australian of the Year Award winner but the knighthood for Sir Angus Houston, a gentleman and the epitome of a deserving recipient. Congratulations Sir.