Tasmania nominees announced for 60th anniversary of the Australian of the Year Awards

Posted 9 October 2019 9:00am

The nominees for the 2020 Tasmania Australian of the Year Award include a plastics pollution researcher, an anti-slavery advocate and a 94-year-old film and television pioneer.

They are among 16 Tasmanians in the running to be named the state's Local Hero, Young Australian, Senior Australian or Australian of the Year as the nation celebrates the 60th anniversary of the awards.

The 2020 Tasmania award nominees are:

2020 Tasmania Australian of the Year

  • Associate Professor Dawn Aitken – Osteoarthritis researcher (Hobart)
  • Dr Britta Denise Hardesty – Researcher in plastics pollution (Hobart)
  • Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas – Marine research scientist (Hobart)
  • Melody Towns – Anti-slavery advocate (Hobart)

2020 Tasmania Senior Australian of the Year

  • Lola Greeno – Visual artist and designer (Launceston)
  • Dorothy Hallam – Film and television pioneer (Tasman Peninsula)
  • Sarah Parry – Sail trainer and youth mentor (Hobart)
  • Dr Graeme Stevenson – Landcare activist (Somerset)

2020 Tasmania Young Australian of the Year

  • Matthew Etherington – Soccer coach and mental health advocate (Hobart)
  • Will Smith – Social justice activist (Launceston)
  • Madeline Wells – First Nations advocate, protector and defender (North West Tasmania)
  • Grace Williams – Filmmaker, law student and human rights advocate (Hobart)

2020 Tasmania Local Hero

  • Betsy Hanson – Community choir leader (Sandford)
  • Simon Reade – Composer and musical director (Hobart)
  • Dr Charles Rose – President of UTAS Cricket Club (Hobart)
  • Thomas Windsor – Advocate for men's health (Hobart)

The nominees are among 128 people being recognised across all states and territories as part of the program, which began in 1960.

The four award recipients from Tasmania will be announced on Friday 18 October 2019 at Government House, Hobart.

They will then join the other state and territory recipients for the national awards ceremony at the National Arboretum in Canberra on 25 January 2020.

National Australia Day Council CEO Karlie Brand said the Tasmania nominees represented the diversity of great Australians inspiring others through their contributions.

"The 60th anniversary of the Australian of the Year Awards is a particularly special time to be nominated," said Ms Brand.

"The 2020 Tasmanian nominees are great examples of the many different ways in which people are helping shape our communities to create a better nation."

Media contact: Nicole Browne 0414 673 762 or nicole@mediaopps.com.au