The 26th January has many conflicting feelings throughout the community. Since reconciliation there has been an improvement, but it is good to be aware that our background has been one of, often, boat people and integration. Too many bad things have been done under the banner of patriotism, so I am inclined to play down pride in that way. Though it is rewarding to know that four women won major Australian Awards:
Local Hero Award was won by Juliette Wright, a young mother and entrepreneur who is on a mission to alleviate poverty by networking on the Internet.
Young Australian of the Year is Drisana Levitzke-Gray, a 21-year-old Western Australian deaf girl. Drisana is the fifth generation in her family to be born deaf. With her first language Auslan, she promotes her language helping many others to see the value of life as a deaf person by recognizing their culture, traditions and history.
Senior Australian of the Year, you will be thrilled to know, is a Children’s Book author. Jackie French, 61, from New South Wales is a well- loved author. Having suffered from dyslexia herself, she’s very keen to support children with learning difficulties. She now has published 140 books in 32 languages and won many awards.
Finally, excitedly, Rosie Batty won Australian of the Year. Having suffered the loss of her mother at the age of six, and then less than a year ago, the death of her son, Luke, by his father, she has gone from strength to strength. Rosie has dedicated her life to change. Domestic violence must be spoken about. Working towards changing legislation that will benefit others is one of her aims. We are very proud to know this extraordinary woman and wish her every success.