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Australian Of The Year Announcement -

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(generated from captions) Across Across the country it's the

first time I'm not standing for the

one-dayer. I've had the privilege

of representing our kn tri on the

sporting arena and now I'm thrilled

to give the opportunity to chair

the national Australia Day council.

The Australian of the Year award

recognises people in our community

that goes above and beyond, giving

themselves self-lessly to our

community, nation and world. In its

50 year history the award

recognised great Australians and

over the next hour we will meet our four recipients for 2009.

Hello, welcome to this exclusive

presentation of the Australian of

the year awards on Nine in 2009. I

would like to acknowledge the

custodians of the land on which we

gather. I acknowledge their

traditional wisdom and living

culture. For the last five decades

the Australian of the Year Awards

have recognised outstanding

citizens spanning our great and

diverse country, people who go

above and beyond for their cause,

community and our world. During the

awards' history we've been inspired

by the work of those honoured who

come from household names to unsung

heroes and this year is no

different. It certainly isn't. To

announce the national recipients in

the four categories, it's our

pleasure to welcome once again the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

APPLAUSE and Cheers.

APPLAUSE. I don't think I need to

say happy Australia Day, you seem

very happy already! Can I say this,

to Australians one and all, it's

acknowledged the first Australians

on whose land we meet and whose

cultures we honour and celebrate as

the oldest continuing cultures in

human history. Think about that for

a moment, the oldest continuing

cultures in human history. Our deep

link with deep antic which ty and

we uniquely in Australia have the

opportunity to share that heritage

with our Aboriginal brothers and

all Australians. sisters. What a great privilege for

I was told recently that in the

traditional welcome to country, in

many parts of the country, the

welcome translates a bit like this:

the welcome says "we offer you the

fruits of our land for all that you

need to live". The food, the water,

the berries, all that you need to

live. We have much to learn from

that intrinsic spirit of generosity

and welcome. As a kid growing up in

a country town in Australia I

remember in that small country town

of one or two hundred people a

similar spirit of generosity. When

people came to the town for the

first time or when some left that

spirit was there which said,

"What's ours is yours because

you're part of our community". You

know something, it's drawing on

that great spirit and those great

qualities, those great Australian

qualities which we will need all

the draw on in the year ahead.

These deep Australian qualities,

qualities of courage, qualities of

resilience and qualities of

compassion. These are great

Australian values and you see them

large in Australian heroes past,

and today and those of tomorrow. We

see them in our volunteers, those

out there fighting fires as we

speak. We see them in our troops in

the field in Afghanistan, standing

in the line of duty. We see them in

those who staff our hospitals and

care for the sick and the dying.

These are great Australian values.

And we see them also writ large in

the lives of those whom we will

honour in just a moment, those who

have become finalists in this great

Australian of the Year contest. In

the year ahead my message is

simple: it will be tough but if we

as a country draw teep and extend

out the hand - deep and extend out

the hand of support and friendship

of those who need it then we as

Australians and as a nation will

come through. To all of you

gathered here in the nation's

capital, to all of you

participating in the great

celebration that is Australia Day,

can I say, this great nation

recognises that we are all in this

together. The challenges which lie

ahead, we are all in this together.

APPLAUSE Businesses, unions,

indigenous Australians, non-

indigenous Australians those from

diverse communities governments at

all levels, federal, State and

Local, whatever the world throws at

us in this year ahead, remember the

core truth: we are all in this

together and together we will come

through this year more resilient

than we have been even in the past.

Happy Australia Day.

Our first award tonight is

Australia's Local Hero,

acknowledging people making a real

difference in their community, the

real heart of our country. At this

point we acknowledge Jonathan Welch,

Australia's Local Hero for 2008 as

he hands the baton over to one of

our state finalists tonight.

Australia's Local Hero. From NSW: Dr Jamal Rifi.

Prime Minister, if you'd like to Prime Minister, if you'd like

start with the recipient of our

first award. I sense there's

support for the ACT candidate there.

CHEERING Is that local home town

faiftism! Australia's Local Hero

for 2009 is Graeme Drew. APPLAUSE.

his nephew Nathan was swept away.

Another standard Sunday, decided to

go for a fish and we headed out to

a couple of spots, thought a bit

rough, so ended up in a place that

looked calm and safe. Nathan had a

snag in his line so he went down

closer to try to unjag it. There

was a ball sin Kerr on a dry rock,

he skwated to retrieve it and yes,

slipped on to the wet rock and slid

in. Before we knew it he was

dragged out behind the reef and

gone. The official search was

called off three days into it.

Everyone else said it's too late,

but Graham said no, we will keep

going, we will recover the body.

Dad kept searching and he found

Nathan's body on the 8th day. I got

one of my other family members to

go to them and tell them I found

him. Then, there's a lot of tears.

In the whole family. So it was a

hard time, yeah. So not long after

- So not long we decided to do a

lot about coastal safety, there's a

lot of lives lost along the West

Australia coast. We formed a trust

with the objective of coastal

safety sms. Then I thought of the

silent century, a cage on the rock,

with three floats, gives someone

three chances of rolling down the

floats to the someone in the water.

If we can give that person

flotation in the water, you greatly

improved the chances of survival.

We had two lives saved, one was a

schoolboy washed in and his mate

was on the rocks and rolled him a

couple of floats T boy grabbed it.

When we spoke to him him, he said

he was going down, this was only

after ten minutes in the water.

It's not just the silent century

system that saves lives, the they

tan Drew Trust provides life vests

for free. We bought 30 initially,

they were working good. People

would take them on the weekends, 6

or 8 on any one day, whole families

taking them out. The they tan Drew

trust instigated coastal safety

awareness for school kids, so dad

goes in the schools and educates

them on the dangerers. There's

60skuent students and you ask them

a basic question on rock fishing

and they don't know. After two

hours they know it. So we need to

do something to educate all of the

the children in Australia and that

is something I'm passionate about.

Graham is one of the driving forces

beheend the trust fund and it's

through his commitment that it

keeps going. In the whole of Alban

any, they're behind what he's doing,

everyone you speak to, he always -

they always have a good thing to

say about it. And what he's done is

unheard of, it's great. To me

Graham is a well-motivated, driven

and very, very sincere person. His

heart is really in the right place.


Minister, fellow Australians, I'm

honoured to recove this award of

Australia's Local Hero, thank you.

We're blessed that Australia has

some of the most beautiful

coastline in the world, beautiful

and dangerous. Our oceans are a

recreation, fishing is a national

past-time. However, even the most

exsperpsed fishermen have lost

their lives on our coast due to

inherent dangers. The loss of my

beloved nephew and many singular

events highlighted the need to

improve coastal safety. It is our

responsibility to make our

coastlines safer by educating young

Australians on the dangers and

teach them of water and rock safety.

It is my vision to have a silent

century system protecting us around

Australia on all dangerous rocks.

So all Australians can continue

with our beautiful coastline, enjoy

our coast, live to tell the tale. Thank you Australia.

Congratulations to Graeme Drew.

This is the 2009 Australian of the

Year Awards. After the break, our

young fineists. And later a magical performance by Geoffrey Gurumul Yunipingu. At only $1.95, you can wrap up a delicious bargain with the new Seared Chicken Mini Snack Wrap from McDonald's.

Welcome back to our national

capital as we join the Prime

Minister for the announcement of

the Young. The Young :

Kurt Fearnley and David Wirrpanda,

neither of whom can be with us tonight. Prime Minister.

And the Young for 2009 is Jonty Bush.

As CEO on the homicide victims

support group, 28-year-old Jonty

Bush has risen from a tragedy to

help others. Her sister was

murdered and 4 months later her

father brutally attacked. When I

saw his face bruiseed in the

hospital room, that was the first

time I realised that someone had

put him there. I spent time with...

I spent time with her down at the

hospital when they made the

decision obviously to turn off the

life support. Jonty's world was

shaken when her father's killer

walked free. I may have had grief, sorrow

sorrow and anger, but I still had

hope. After the acquittal, you lose

that. Jonty finally found a reason

to go on, when she began

volunteering to help other homicide

victims and set up the one-punch

can kill campaign. She helps others

in their darkest hours to get over

their traumas as best they can, to

help them cope with day-to-day

responsibilities. Jonty can bring

to that work a degree of empathy

and understanding that is beyond

her years in terms of life

experience. Amongst the hundreds

Jonty helped, the Lee family needed

her support when Nigel was punched

at a taxi camp to die moments later.

A brief flurry left the 31-year-old

bar manager dead. It's senseless,

it overtakes you. My brother was

the nicest guy you could meet. She

was always there when you needed

help, eyou would ring her up, she

would talk to you, regardless of

how busy she was. The one-punch can

kill campaign was born from a few

families' experiences where they in

quite rapid succession we had a few

acquittals in Brisbane, again, from

the concept that one punch wouldn't

kill, that the jury had accepted

that the offender could not have

foreseen what was going to happen

and indeed shouldn't be held

criminally responsible. So the idea

emerged that could we create

community education. If we can

educate the 12 jurors in a room

that one punch can kill, then they

will never acquit again, they will

always convict. So we can bypass

the laws and target the community.

The media latched on to the words,

judges started to use it, it

started to come up in people's

every day vernacular and I think

that's when we knew we were on to

something, it was obviously

something people identified with.

She's a dynamic individual, an

extraordinary young woman really.

She has a breath of maturity well

beyond her years. She's going to

make a huge difference to many

people in her lifetime and it's

been a privilege from my point of

view personally and from the

government's to have been involved

with her and to know her. I think

her courage and her wisdom are

amazing, what she has achieved now

is only the drop in the ocean of

what she will moving forward:

APPLAUSE. CHEERS. Prime Minister

and fellow Australians... CHEERING

Thank you for this honour. On

behalf of the thousands of

Australian families who who have

lost someone they love through

violence, who, like me, thought

that this could never happen to

them, I accept the award for Young

Australian of Year 2009. I wish for

all Australians the faith, courage

and strength to pursue your dreams

in 2009. Thank you. APPLAUSE AND



JONTY BUSH. We will take a break

now and return with our Senior

Australian of the Year and our

Australian of the Year and Gurrumul

on this stage shortly. SONG: # We are, we are

# We are, we are # Fresh food people # We are, we are # We are the fresh food people # Australians

# Are fresh food people # We are fresh food people # Fresh food people # Australians... # VOICEOVER: Australians are truly the world's fresh food people.

# The fresh food people # We are, we are... # But sometimes, you can't grow it or pick it or catch it. Mum, I found it! And that's where we come in. Avocadoes. # Woolworths The fresh food people. #


Welcome back. Coming up soon, a

very special performance from

Gurrumul, NT Australian of the Year

for 2009. And now for the Senior

Australian of the Year. As we move

to announce this year's recipient,

we acknowledge David Bassau for his

contribution for the role for 2008.

Senior Australian of the year, from

Prime Minister.

And the Senior Australian of the

Year for 2009 is Pat Lam - Pat La

Manna. Pat is a self-made

businessman and filan thorough pift

who grew up in hardship in Italy. I

think because I went through a bad

time myself when I was I understand

what hunger is all about and I

understand what it's like not to

have clothes or shoes. It was

difficult, but we got through and

after the war my dad decided to

call Australia home, so I started

my fruit shop in 1953. That's where

I met my wife, she was my shop

assistant. I worked for him when I

was 15, probably fell in love with

him the second day. I thought if

this guy doesn't marry me, I'll be

a spinster for the rest of my life.

We finished up after a number of

years with 25% of the Australian

banana industry. It he came to me

in 1971 and he said he was thinking

of starting up a club in the market.

I said that would be a difficult

job. But I'm a determined person,

when I say no, it makes me more

determined. I first met Pat 36

years ago at the first meeting of

the Lions Club of the market and he

was just full of joy and energy. We

we've been going now for 36 years

and without a doubt it's been the

best Lions Club in Australia for

fundraiseing. Of course it's the

spring board for Pat and his many

charitable endeavours. Pat funded a

lot of our projects and supplied

for the last five years all the

vegetables and supports us with the

operations for the children. If

anything comes up in the community,

Pat would say I think we should get

the kids for this. So he's an

intragal part of the children's

foundation. Pat is always smiling,

he's never stressed out, always had

a smile on his face, really good.

Pat helps other charities by

fundraiseing with his council. He

has raised over $1. 5 million for

cancer research through his own

foundation. Over a number of years

I can't put into words the money

he's funded to children, and how

many lives. I would say that he's

helped thousands over his years of

community work in endless ways. I

think it is an addiction with him.

It's in him. He's always done it

and will always do it. He is an

immediately likeable guy, Pat. He's

always got a friendly smile on his

face. He's got bunding enthusiasm.

There's something very sperl and

deep about him, he has a very pure,

pure heart, I only ever felt that

before when I lived in Calcutta

with Mother Teresa. When as Pat

gets older, he has got worse in

challenging each of us to do more

for society. The things I do for

others, that's what everybody

should be doing. If others would be

generous and prepare to share, then

the world would be a better place

for all of uls. He has a willing

heart and one of the most generous

people of Australia. CHEERING and APPLAUSE.

Thank you, Prime Minister. 60 years

ago I fell in love with a wonderful

Australian girl, so I marry her!

CHEERING and a plauz. APPLAUSE. She

played a big role in my community

service and I would like you to

thank my beautiful wife Helen for

the wonderful work she does for

this country. APPLAUSE. Prime

Minister and fellow Australians, I

am extremely proud to be Senior

Australian of the Year. A special

thanks to my family and friends and

the Lions Club of the market and

the fresh industry people for

supporting me. Thank you Australia

for the privilege to be Australian

and the opportunity to serve.

Together we must build better

Australia for our future

generations and continue to be the

greatest country in the world. We

must be a role model to all nations.

God bless you, God bless the world and happy Australia Day.

Congratulations Pat La Manna,

Senior Australian of the Year. A

bit of a character I reckon. As we

make our way to the announcement of

Australian of the Year, the

recipient of the award from the NT

will purr form. Geoffrey Gurumul

Yunipingu, right after this break.

Welcome back on this Australia Day

eve. We're honoured to yoin the

Prime Minister to pay tribute to

some of our fellow Australians who made outstanding contributions to

our country and world. Heave less

than 12 months ago thousands of

indigenous and non-indigenous

Australians came together for the

National apology no the stolen

generation. It was a day we will

all remember as will our children

and their children. As we continue

to move forward in rek conciliation,

we grow in understanding respect,

and pride. In this historic year,

one voice captivateed all

Australians. He trafrled half the

way around the world in the past 24

hours to be with us. The NT

Australian of the Year, Geoffrey

Gurumul Yunipingu.

(guitar music ). SINGS IN HIS LANGUAGE.



Gurrumul, we are very honoured to

have you here performing to us on

this special day. Beautiful Hugh

sick. After the break we meet the

others Australians of the Year

announced the National Recipient for 2009. SONG: # We are, we are

# We are, we are # Fresh food people # We are, we are # We are the fresh food people # Australians # Are fresh food people # We are fresh food people # Fresh food people # Australians... # VOICEOVER: Australians are truly the world's fresh food people.

# The fresh food people # We are, we are... #

But sometimes, you can't grow it or pick it or catch it. Mum, I found it!

And that's where we come in. Avocadoes.

Welcome back to the Australian of

the Year Awards for 2009. We now

come to the announcement of the

Australian of the Year. But before

that, we take a moment to express

our gratitude and pride to musician

Lee Kernaghan who has worked

tirelessly over the past year as

ambassador for this award for 2008.

APPLAUSE and CHEERING The finalists: Prime Minister.

Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me

great pride to announce that the

Australian of the Year for 2009 is

Professor Michael Dodson. APPLAUSE

and CHEERING. Professor Michael

Dodson is a professor of law and an

advocate for the rights of

indigenous Australians. Born in

Kimberley, Nick suffered loss early

in his life. I don't remember

actually... Got to wear my big

brother's clothes out of them when

I grew into them. Both my parents

died when I was young. My father

died when I was 9 and I turned 10

and mum passed away and my mother

died two months after that. The

family was separateed simply

because well, the welfare wanted to

take them and put them in foster

places and our families fought very

hard not to let them get taken any

where. So being put into a

situation not having both parents

made him a stronger person because

he had to find himself very rlly.

With the support of his wider

family, Mick was sepblt to a

boarding school where he came face

to face with racism. Mick turned up

in the boarding school in 64 with

all this tragedy behind him and I

knew part of it, but I could see

that he turned up a fairly angry

young man. Really that was the

first time I'd had to properly

confront racism, you know the raw,

ugly type of racism, the name-

calling and the taunts, the jibes.

He is obviously a well-educated man,

but like most Aboriginal people,

what drives any Aboriginal person

is probably their own personal

experiences. I think I learned a

lot about mates and loyalty to

mates and how important it is to

per shoe education and knowledge.

Academically, Mick thriveed earning

him a place at Kmonash College of

Law, where he's still considered

one of his greater successes.

Towards the end of university, I

think I made up my mind that I was

going to do work with the Aboriginal Legal Service, that's

what I did. I was the first

Aboriginal lawyer to get admited to

practice in Victoria. I was the

first one to graduate there. Mick

is one of the foremost ij dij nouse

lawyers in Australia and

internationally. He's known for his

international work and his

contribution to the legal position

of indigenous people in Australia

is extraordinary. He was the first

Aboriginal andor res strait

islander at the Social Justice

Commission. From then on he worked

tirelessly to bring justice to

thousands of Australians. There

were two things I did which was

tough that was council assisting the Royal Commission to the

Aboriginal deaths. But the toughest

of the two was being a commissioner

in the national inquiry into the

stolen generations which is a loss

of life in a different sense. It's

a ruined life for so many, for too

many. To be able to tell those

stories to someone mepblt so much

to them and to make sure that

someone was actually listening to

them. There's a lot of things that, heart-breaking stories that did go

along but within that heart break

because things have - people have

told the stories, it's meant that

they can move on. P APPLAUSE and

The incredible story of the life of

Professor Michael Dodson our

Australian of the Year 2009

continues after the break. You're

watching the Australian of the Year Awards. SONG: # Just what a woman wants. # This month, we go inside the Obama marriage as Michelle talks exclusively

about love, family and changing the world. Stephanie Rice shares the pain of being bullied, Eileen Bond breaks her 15-year silence on Alan, tragedy and finding joy. Billion-dollar bride Kristy Hinze reveals she's hurt by gold-digger claims. We dish up 20 new farmers looking for love, wicked chocolate recipes for Valentine's Day, plus four free holiday postcards. # Just what a woman wants. #

families left behind, we say sorry.

I had on numerous occasions called

for the apology to be made. It was

a very uplifting day. We really

have to seize and build on it. They

did force change. Particularly in government policy and practice.

Mick is a very important person

symbolically in the sense that he

is an exceptionally articulate and

strong indigenous voice. He's

always there when we need him, even

though it's an unpaid position like

many of his positions. There's so

many things he contributed to, he's

so humble, you wouldn't know the

extent of what he does. I have

never really honestly never really

recognised what he's done just

because I'm his daughter and I'm so

used to him always being involved

in something. I've never been so

proud. Mick has helped hundreds of

thousands of indigenous people and

millions of non-indigenous people

to understand the importance of

indigenous culture. He's a

statesman, a man's man, he knows

his cause, he knows his friends

know that he's a good fighter for

the cause and he will follow it

through to the end. He's a

dedicated bloke and what he does is

not only for himself, what he does

is for his kids and for his people

and ultimately what he's doing is

for his country and the country

needs people like Professor Michael

Dodson. Being recognised by

somebody else out there to awhat

he's achieved is a very good thing.

I'm sure if his Po ther and father

was here, they'd be very happy and

very proud of him, as we all are. APPLAUSE and CHEERING.

Well, thank you very much, Prime

Minister. I feel quite embarrassed

and humbled in accepting this

honour. But I'm enormously proud to

receive it and I'm going to do my

very best. We, Australians are

responsible for this, but sometimes

we don't speak up when we should.

We pretend the problem will go away,

or we ignore it because we think

it's too hard. But I have great

faith in all my fellow Australians,

my countrymen. What I want to say,

this year that we're better than

that. I know because I'm an Australian. Thank you.


And our warmest congratulations to

Professor Michael Dodson. Thank you

to the Prime Minister and also our

new Chair and the Australia Day

Council, a dam Gilchrist. So to the

end of our presentation. It's been

a privilege to be here with you and

share part of our history. If there

is an Australian who makes you

proud, why don't you nominate them

for next year's awards. So the celebrations are officially under

way, however you choose to

celebrate the day tomorrow, either

in organised community events or

spending time with family and

friends enjoy and please stay safe.

Until next time, happy Australia

Day everyone. APPLAUSE and CHEERING: This program is captioned live. Indigenous leader Mick Dodson named Australian of the Year I feel embarrassed and humbled by this award. Sydney Harbour gets ready for one of its busiest days to celebrate the birth of our nation. It's about spending time with family and friends. A huge reward offered for information into Sydney's gangland killings. And the new Golden Couple of Australia's country music scene. 'Rattlin' Bones' Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson. Good evening. He's fought tirelessly for the rights of indigenous Australians and today Mick Dodson was rewarded for his dedication. He is now our Australian of the Year. A title Profesesor Dodson wants to use to champion the cause that's closest to his heart - Reconciliation. And the Australian of the Year for 2009 is Professor Mick Dodson. For one of the country's most respected Aboriginal activists this was a crowning moment. I feel quite embarrassed and humbled in accepting this honour, but I am enormously proud to receive it. Wearing the trademark Akubra hat 50-year-old Mick Dodson said he had big hopes in wearing the title. I wish to build our understanding of what it means to protect the rights and the human dignity