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What to know about the Australian of the Year winners

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Taryn Brumfitt, Professor Tom Calma, Awer Mabil, and Amar Singh have been named Australian of the Year winners for 2023. Learn about their achievements and inspiring speeches.
What to know about the Australian of the Year winners

TARYN BRUMFITT – Australian of the Year

Brumfitt leads Adelaide-based organisation the Body Image Movement. She has directed documentaries and authored several books promoting body acceptance.

 

In her acceptance speech, Brumfitt called body shaming “a universal problem… We have been bullied and shamed into thinking our bodies are the problem… It is not our bodies that need to change, it is our perspective.”

PROFESSOR TOM CALMA – Senior Australian of the Year

Professor Calma is a Kungarakan Elder and a respected champion of the rights of First Nations people. He was a key figure in establishing the Close the Gap Campaign and has most recently co-authored a detailed model for a Voice to Parliament.

 

In his speech, he called the Voice an opportunity for “healing”, adding “policies are too often made for First Nations people, rather than with us”.

AWER MABIL – Young Australian of the Year

Mabil is a Socceroo and the co-founder of refugee support organisation Barefoot to Boots, which began donating football boots to refugee camps but now donates hospital equipment such as incubators. Mabil grew up in a refugee camp and arrived in Australia at age 10.

 

In his speech, he said he wanted to “give back… It fulfils my heart when I help people.”

AMAR SINGH – Local Hero

Singh founded the charity Turbans 4 Australia, which donates food and groceries to those in need and also promotes multiculturalism and religious tolerance. The charity has delivered supplies to victims of drought, floods, cyclones and lockdowns.

 

Singh said he had “fought to find his place in Australia… It’s my dream to see Australians from all faiths, religions and backgrounds treated equally.”

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