The Australia Day Awards were announced in January with the theme of ‘Reflect Respect Celebrate’.
The recipients for this year’s awards went to
2023 Australian of the Year - Taryn Brumfitt (SA)
2023 Senior Australian of the Year - Prof Tom Calma AO(ACT)
2023 Australia’s Local Hero – Amar Singh (NSW)
2023 Young Australian of the Year - Awer Mabil (SA)
Below we have highlighted two of the recipients in 2023.
Senior Australian of the Year
Proving that age is no barrier to making a difference to your community, we congratulate this year’s Senior Australian of the Year, human rights and social justice advocate Professor Tom Calma AO of Canberra, ACT.
Professor Tom Calma AO is one of Australia’s most respected human rights and social justice campaigners.
The Kungarakan Elder has worked for more than 45 years at local, community, state and international levels championing the rights, responsibilities, and welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
His call for Australia to address the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples was the catalyst for the Close the Gap Campaign.
He was instrumental in establishing the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples; has led the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program; co-chaired Reconciliation Australia for over a decade; and co-led the codesign of a Voice to Parliament initiative. Currently Chancellor of the University of Canberra, 69 year old Tom is an active volunteer, consultant and the first Indigenous Australian inducted as a fellow oft he Australian Academy of Science.
Tom believes education is the key to advancing Indigenous peoples and says his father remains his inspiration behind his life’s work.
2023 Australia’s Local Hero
SummitCare would also like to congratulate the 2023 Australia’s Local Hero, Founder of Turbans 4 Australia, Amar Singh of Prestons, Sydney for his amazing charity work providing food and grocery hampers to those in need and experiencing food insecurity.
Amar Singh believes helping others should not be limited by religion, language or cultural background. Amar, 41, founded a charity after experiencing racial slurs and insults because of his Sikh turban and beard. He wanted to show people they didn’t need to be afraid and began helping struggling Australians.
Every week, Turbans 4 Australia package and distribute up to 450 food and grocery hampers to people experiencing food insecurity in Western Sydney. They also raise awareness and funds for important causes while promoting multiculturalism and religious tolerance.
But the organisation is best known around Australia since its founding in 2015 for transporting emergency goods to those in need. Turbans 4 Australia has delivered hay to farmers experiencing drought; supplies to flood victims in Lismore and bushfire-impacted people on the South Coast; food hampers to the isolated and vulnerable during COVID-19 lockdowns; and supplies to the Salvation Army in central Queensland in the devastating wake of Cyclone Marcia.