Yesterday I attended the Australian of the Year Luncheon on one of the Unley Council tables. I enjoyed connecting with our local Mayor, Councillors, Council staff and local leaders. I also valued hearing from our local South Australians of the Year and Dylan Alcott, the Australian of the Year.
Our state recipients passionately spoke their areas of contribution. Professor Helen Marshall is working to prevent meningococcal disease in Australian teens and young adults. Mark Le Messurier’s program ‘What’s the Buzz’ supports children who fall outside the ‘normal’ education system. Dr Trudy Lin works on improving oral healthcare access for people with disability. Monique Bareham brought in a compression garment subsidy scheme for the lymphoedema community in SA. I had limited knowledge of most of the areas highlighted.
Dylan Alcott was entertaining, and inspirational. He has the Aussie ability to speak plainly and with humour. Dylan has been famous for being part of the Australian gold medal Paralympic Games team in wheelchair basketball. He switched codes to tennis and has also won the Golden Slam. He is clearly a determined individual. Dylan was awarded Australian of the year because of his advocacy and work for young Australians with disabilities. Dylan’s hope is people who live with disability will not have barriers in life to the choices and opportunities we take for granted.
I find these Australians inspiring. It is inspiring their focus is not accolades, it is on helping. They are humble contributors, who want to help other people’s lives be better. I know this is foundational in the faith we hold. I am so glad it is present in our nation we live in.
Jason Photo: www.abc.net.au