It’s with great pride and tremendous pleasure that I congratulate all the 2018 Australian of the Year award winners.
The four winners are outstanding citizens whom exemplify the very best of our nation.
Already famous in their own fields, these four remarkable individuals richly deserve the national attention and acclaim that such an award bestows.
I congratulate our 2018 Australian of the Year, Professor Michelle Yvonne Simmons.
By any measure, Michelle is a world leader in science, research and discovery. Michelle’s breakthroughs in quantum computing have the potential to solve problems once considered intractable and to fundamentally transform everything from the cities we live in to the way we forecast the weather.
But her brilliance as a scientist is matched by her formidable powers as an advocate. Michelle is a champion for Australian research and Australian science and a continuing inspiration for the next generation of scientific minds. Long may her work continue.
I congratulate Australia’s Local Hero for 2018, Eddie Woo.
There is no more important, no more rewarding, no more noble vocation than education. Eddie Woo is the kind of teacher who changes lives and is remembered for lifetimes. He is a wonderful and worthy winner of this award.
Congratulations to the 2018 Senior Australian of the Year, Dr Graham Farquhar, AO.
One of our nation’s finest minds and one of the world’s leading experts on food security, agriculture and climate change, Graham has been honoured around the globe for his research and his foresight.
Like so many Australians, Graham’s focus is on a better life for the next generation and it’s his selflessness as well as his scientific prowess that makes him such a fitting recipient of this award.
Congratulations to the 2018 Young Australian of the Year, Samantha Kerr.
Sam has achieved extraordinary success on the world sporting stage, so early in her career and yet she has remained humble, grounded and true to herself throughout.
Sam is a leader of a new generation of champions for equality on the field and off and I hope this award helps more people, particularly young girls with big dreams, hear her inspirational message.
Finally, I want to thank the National Australia Day Council and their Chair Danielle Roche OAM for their hard work and congratulate all the nominees on their contribution to our country.