Meet the eight upstanding citizens who are nominated for Australian Of The Year 2016. Each of the nominees is a shining light in their respective fields. And while it’s disappointing to see that none of the nominees are men and women of colour, all of the nominees are united in their commitment to a diverse, compassionate and just Australia.
NSW: Elizabeth Broderick, social change innovator.
Working as Sex Discrimination Commissioner from 2007 to 2015, Elizabeth Broderick has brought together industry leaders, governments and Defence Force chiefs to tackle gender inequality.
Broderick’s determination to break down the structural and social barriers women face in the workforce has been unwavering. Not only has she been a key advocate for the national paid parental leave scheme, she has also pushed for an increase in the number of women in decision-making positions and fought to elevate the voices of women in marginalised communities.
The trained lawyer’s influence spans globally. She established the internationally recognised ‘Male Champions of Change’ strategy, enlisting top tier businessmen to tackle gender discrimination in the workplace head on. An adviser to the UN, the World Bank and NATO, Broderick has asserted herself as a powerful voice in bringing about meaningful social change.
VIC: Julian McMahon, barrister and human rights advocate.
Barrister Julian McMahon has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to represent Australians in capital punishment cases abroad. A dogged opponent of the death penalty, McMahon has worked to support national citizens abroad for over 13 years without payment.
Most recently, he fought to protect the members of the Bali Nine, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. During the case, which required he sacrifice of all other work, McMahon exemplified outstanding compassion.
Watch Julian McMahon discuss his nomination below (post continues after video).
Currently on the board of Jesuit Social Services, and President of Reprieve Australia, Julian is a leading voice in fighting the death penalty and other social justice issues.
QLD: Catherine McGregor, diversity champion.
A former Lieutenant Colonel in the Australian Army, and a Group Captain in the Royal Australian Airforce, McGregor publicly announced she was embracing a female gender in 2012.
Leaving behind Malcolm to live full-time as Catherine, she has adopted the responsibility of sharing the hidden stories of thousands of gender-diverse Australians. A shining light of the transgender community, McGregor has spoken at the National Press Club in Canberra and at writers’ festivals to give a voice to those who have been silenced by prejudice.