Bill's Media Releases

2016 Australian of the Year: Lieutenant General David Morrison AO

I am delighted to offer my congratulations to the 2016 Australian of the Year, Lieutenant General David Morrison AO.

David Morrison has lived a life of service before self.

Long after his bravery, judgment and leadership earned him the deep respect of his comrades-in-arms, Lieutenant General Morrison won a new legion of admirers for his powerful public condemnation of sexism in the Australian military. Importantly, he backed those words with deeds, as a champion of cultural change and diversity.

As a leading voice for equality for women, Lieutenant General Morrison is a worthy successor to the advocacy and energy of Rosie Batty.

Throughout his 36 years in uniform, including four years as Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Morrison has served Australia with courage and integrity. At home and abroad, he has put duty first. 

We are fortunate indeed that he has answered our nation’s call once more.

I congratulate Senior Australian of the Year Professor Gordian Fulde, Young Australians of the Year Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, and Local Hero of Australia, Dr Catherine Keenan on their awards.

As the Director of Emergency at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital, selflessly working countless nights in the Emergency Department, Gordian Fulde has won the admiration and respect of the entire community.

Catherine Keenan, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett have pioneered extraordinary and inspiring initiatives that make a difference to the lives of tens of thousands of Australians every year.

Their awards tonight are well-deserved and an acknowledgement of their exceptional contribution to the Australian community.

I also congratulate the other finalists for tonight’s awards - it is testament to the richness of our nation that we are blessed with so many remarkable individuals who contribute so much.

On behalf of all Australians, I wish our new Australian of the Year and tonight’s other award winners all the very best for 2016.