Women won each of the 2021 Australian of the Year Awards, as announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the National Arboretum in Canberra on January 26.
Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann is the 2021 Senior Australian of the Year, while Tasmanian Grace Tame is 2021 National Australian of the Year. Isobel Marshall, 22 is the 2021 Young Australian of the Year, and Rosemary Kariuki is the 2021 Local Hero.
Chair of the National Australia Day Council, Danielle Roche OAM, congratulated the 2021 Australian of the Year Award recipients.
“Grace, Miriam-Rose, Isobel and Rosemary are all committed to changing attitudes in our society and changing lives,” Ms Roche said.
“They are strong, determined women who are dedicated to breaking down barriers and advocating for people’s rights – particularly the rights of women and children.”
Dr Ungunmerr-Baumann: Aboriginal Elder
Dr Ungunmerr-Baumann, 73 is an Aboriginal elder from Nauiyu and a long-time activist for the inclusion of visual art in every child’s education. She established the Miriam Rose Foundation in 2013 to bridge the gap between Aboriginal culture and mainstream society.
Ian Yates, Chief Executive of COTA Australia, said in a statement that Dr Ungunmerr-Baumann was a worthy recipient of her award.
“Dr Miriam-Rose has worked tirelessly to connect Aboriginal children with the culture and land to which they belong,” Mr Yates said.
“She is also helping to break down the walls between Aboriginal culture and mainstream society. She has taught us about the importance of really listening.
“Dr Miriam- Rose was the Northern Territory’s first fully qualified Aboriginal teacher, an art consultant for the Department of Education, a member of the National Indigenous Council, and founder of the Miriam Rose Foundation.”
Senior Australian of the Year Finalists
There were seven other finalists for the 2021 Senior Australian of the Year Award, including Patricia Anderson of ACT, Isabel Reid of NSW, Aunty McRose Elu of QLD, Professor Richard Bruggermann of SA, Brian Williams of Tasmania, Bich Cam Nguyen of Vic, and Dr Richard Walley of WA.