Nominees for the 2024 ACT Australian of the Year Awards Announced




A disability employment ambassador, a woman saving our bees, volunteers, a singer-songwriter, multicultural advocates, a youth affairs leader, and a veterinarian providing care for pets and owners in crisis are among nominees for the 2024 Australian of the Year Awards for the Australian Capital Territory.

The 2024 award nominees are:

2024 Australian of the Year for the Australian Capital Territory
Dr Raymond Akhurst – Volunteer, St Vincent de Paul Society (Waramanga)
Dan Bourchier – Journalist, broadcaster, public speaker (Lyneham)
Joanne Farrell – Founder, Build Like A Girl (Bungendore)
Kurt Gruber – Co-founder, Worldview Foundation & WV Technologies (Canberra)

2024 Senior Australian of the Year for the Australian Capital Territory
Ebenezer Banful OAM – Volunteer, multicultural advocate (Curtin)
William Bush & Marion McConnell OAM – President & Vice President, Families & Friends for Drug Law Reform (Turner & Giralang)
John Feint – Volunteer and Founder, VINES Youth program (Gilmore)
Dr Amanda Scott – Advocate for community language learning, bilingualism, multiculturalism (Chifley)

2024 Young Australian of the Year for the Australian Capital Territory
Charlotte Bailey – Employment ambassador, Down Syndrome Australia (Belconnen)
Sophie Edwards – Singer-songwriter, gender equality advocate (Curtin)
Caitlin Figueiredo – Co-Chair, Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (Canberra)
Saad Khalid – Advocate for multiculturalism, young people, mental health (Canberra)

2024 Local Hero for the Australian Capital Territory
Julie Armstrong – Founder, ACT for Bees (Canberra)
Dr Eloise Bright - Founder, ACT Pet Crisis Support and the Tiny Veterinary Clinic (Evatt)
Sandipan Mitra – Volunteer, advocate for diversity, multiculturalism (Chisholm)
Selina Walker – Co-Chair, ACT Reconciliation Council (Ngunnawal Country/Canberra)

The ACT nominees are among 133 people being recognised across all states and territories.

The ACT award recipients will be announced on Monday 30 October 2023 in a ceremony at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, which will also be available to watch online at

They will then join the other state and territory recipients as national finalists for the national awards announcement on Thursday 25 January 2024 in Canberra.

National Australia Day Council CEO Mark Fraser AO CVO congratulated the ACT nominees on their recognition.

“The nominees for the Australian Capital Territory Awards personify the values of the Australian of the Year Awards with their exceptional contributions,” said Mark.

“They are diverse in their areas of dedication and how they make a difference, which demonstrates we all have a role to play in making Australia better and we are all part of the national story.”


Nominee bios on the following pages and can also be viewed from the homepage of

Nominee photos can be downloaded from this link: ACT NOMINEE PHOTOS