Nominees for the 2023 Tasmania Australian of the Year Awards Announced



Nominees for the 2023 Tasmania Australian of the Year Awards include health workers and volunteers, community leaders, a citizen scientist and a marathon runner.

They are just some of the 16 people in the running to be named the Tasmania Australian of the Year, Tasmania Senior Australian of the Year, Tasmania Young Australian of the Year and Tasmania Local Hero.

The 2023 Tasmania award nominees are:

Tasmania Australian of the Year

Adjunct Professor Gillian Biscoe AM - Health sector leader and founding director, Tasmanian Leaders (Hobart)

Professor Peter Dargaville - Neonatal specialist and creator of the Hobart Method (Hobart)

John Kamara - Humanitarian and co-founder, Culturally Diverse Alliance & African Communities of Tasmania (Hobart)

Professor Brett McDermott - Director, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Tasmania (Woodbridge)


Tasmania Senior Australian of the Year

Dr Scott Bell - Citizen scientist and environmentalist (Launceston)

Dr Frances Donaldson - Doctor, frontline COVID-19 worker and prisoner advocate (Hobart)

Trevor Snooks - Volunteer, Cancer Council Tasmania’s transport2treatment program (Burnie)

Wendal Pitchford - Aboriginal Frontier Wars advocate (Hobart)


Tasmania Young Australian of the Year

Meriem Daoui - Humanitarian and marathon runner (Kingston)

Lewi Taylor – Rock climber and cancer fundraiser (Howrah)

Elizabeth van Dongen - Campaigner for cystic fibrosis support (Hobart)


Tasmania Local Hero

Kristine Bull - Psychologist and founder, Brain Boot Camp (Devonport)

Amanda French - Founder, Dress for Success Hobart (Kingston)

Babajide Omojola - Community mentor (Clarence/Howrah)

Keith Parker - Volunteer ambulance officer and ammunition technical officer (Sheffield)


The Tasmania nominees are among 130 people being recognised across all states and territories.

The four award recipients from Tasmania will be announced on Friday 4 November in a ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hobart which will also be available to watch via ABC iView from 1:45pm (local TAS time).

They will then join the other state and territory recipients as national finalists for the national awards announcement on 25 January 2023 in Canberra. 

National Australia Day Council CEO Karlie Brand congratulated this year’s Tasmanian nominees, praising their leadership efforts.

“The 2023 Tasmania award nominees are leaders,” said Karlie.

“Some lead by example, some lead by helping others, some lead by using their skills and experience to forge new paths and improved services.

“They are an outstanding reflection of Tasmania’s heritage, diversity and future.”

20 Years Of Local Heroes

The 2023 Awards also mark 20 years of the Local Hero category. Introduced in 2003, the award acknowledges extraordinary contributions made by Australians in their local community.

In 2005, Tasmanian Ben Kearney was named Australia’s Local Hero. The environmental campaigner is credited with making Coles Bay the first ‘plastic bag free town’ in Australia. 

More details on Ben Kearney’s award here:  Ben Kearney, 2005 Australia's Local Hero




Nominee bios can also be viewed in pdf attached or on

Nominee photos can be downloaded from this link (note all photos provided by nominees):

Media contact: Nicole Browne 0414 673 762  or