Geoffrey Rush named 2012 Australian of the Year
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
On the eve of Australia's celebrations, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced 's receipt of this year's award. Presenting the accolade to Rush on the lawn of , Gillard cited his "outstanding achievements in a lifelong career on the stage and screen and long term commitment to the Australian arts"; Rush is one of only a handful of actors with a claim to the ' , having won , and awards..
Marita Cheng, a 22 year old engineering advocate — and student at the, is the new . Chosen for her "leadership in the occupational landscape for women by encouraging girls to pursue engineering studies and careers", Cheng founded in 2008 to address low participation by women in technologically-oriented fields.
, an elder from the island of Murrungga in East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, is the new Senior Australian of the Year. Cited for her "extraordinary commitment to maintaining her culture, the environment of her beloved Crocodile Islands and ensuring younger generations continue to keep their heritage alive", she initiated the dictionary project, and still continues to support the now-online project; aged in her nineties, and not knowing English when she launched her project, Baymarrwangga was unable to attend the ceremony.
Lynne Sawyers of Darbys Falls was named. A mother to over 200 children and, as laid-out in her citation, "for 15 years, she has been on call to care for lost, abused and bewildered children in heartbreaking circumstances."
Over 5,000 nominations contended for this year's awards.
- "Australian of the Year Awards 2012" — , January 25, 2012
- "Media Release" — , January 25, 2012
- Jessica Wright. "Geoffrey Rush named Australian of the Year" — , January 25, 2012