The national recipients of the Australian of the Year Awards 2005 have been announced by Prime Minister John Howard. To download EXCLUSIVE news clips of this year’s award winners, simply go to Free Audio where you will find complete transcripts of all news clips and suggested introductions.
In 2005, the nation’s highest honours have been awarded to:
Australian of the Year – Dr Fiona Wood
Fiona was first recognised as Western Australian Australian of the Year for her outstanding medical contributions, and has been awarded the highest honour – 2005 Australian of the Year. Fiona is a mother of six, plastic surgeon, Director of the Royal Perth Burns Unit and the Chief Medical Officer of a cell culture business. In 2002, Fiona made headlines when she and her team treated seriously burned Bali victims at the Royal Perth Hospital with spray on skin – her own revolutionary burns’ treatment. The new treatment, which is continually developing, aims to improve the quality of life for those suffering burns.
Senior Australian of the Year – Antonio Milhinos
Senior Australian of the Year 2005, Antonio Milhinos, of Winnellie (NT), was recognised for his community service efforts. A migrant from Portugal, Tony became a successful businessman through his retail/wholesale distribution business. Tony has always believed in giving back to the community. From the day he gave the entire stock of his supermarket to support the families displaced by Cyclone Tracy, Antonio has continued to give. His generous donations of money and time have benefited the RSPCA, the Farmhand Drought Relief Appeal, Dragons Abreast, Guide Dogs, Variety Club, Autism NT and, most recently, the Tsunami Victims Appeal by Care Australia.
Young Australian of the Year – Khoa Do
Young Australian of the Year 2005, Khoa Do (pron. Qua Doe), of Yagoona West (NSW), was honoured for his contribution to the film industry and wider community. At just 25, he is a film maker, writer, director and actor and uses his talents to help others. In 2001, Khoa was nominated for an AFI Award for his screenplay for the short film, ‘Delivery Day’. In 2002, Khoa was asked to teach film and video production to ‘at risk’ youth in the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta. He saw no better way to teach them how to make films than to go ahead and make one with them. The life experiences of his students became the foundation of the now internationally acclaimed film, ‘The Finished People’. Khoa came to Australia as a refugee.
2005 Local Hero – Ben Kearney
Australia’s Local Hero 2005, Ben Kearney of Coles Bay (Tasmania), was recognised for his commitment to his local environment. With Ben’s direction, Coles Bay became ‘Australia’s First Plastic Bag Free Town’. Ben is the owner of the local bakery and has worked in partnership with Planet Ark to motivate community members, campaign tirelessly and devote his time and money to achieve the goal. The plastic bag free status has had a far reaching impact locally and internationally. For their efforts, Coles Bay was awarded the Environmental Excellence Award by the Tasmanian Government.