Standing up for Canberra

Hong Kong Chamber: A Letter From Canberra

It's 30 degrees in the nation's capital, and as you wind down for Chinese New Year celebrations, Canberra is cranking up for back to school and the first week of the parliamentary sitting year.

With Australia Day celebrations now over, the summer holiday season has officially come to an end. But it finished in style - with concerts, fireworks, barbecues, backyard cricket, citizenship ceremonies and the announcement of four exceptional Australians Of The Year.

The Australian Of The Year is Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, a global authority on the biology of nasal cells whose research led to the world’s first clinical trial using the cells in spinal cord injury. Professor Mackay-Sim's research helped in the world’s first successful restoration of mobility in a quadriplegic man – a breakthrough described as the scientific equivalent to the moon landing. 

Vicki Jellie is Australia's Local Hero. After her husband Peter died of cancer, Vicki found his plans to bring radiotherapy services to South West Victoria. Despite being told a cancer centre would “never happen”, Vicki lobbied governments, rallied the community and raised funds. In 2016, the new South West Regional Cancer Centre opened its doors.

85 year old Sister Anne Gardiner AM is the Senior Australian Of The Year. As a 22-year-old member of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Sr Anne moved to Bathurst Island to live among the Tiwi people. In the 62 years since, she has devoted her life to enriching community, enhancing opportunity and supporting the Tiwi culture.

The Young Australian Of The Year is fashion designer Paul Vasileff. His designs are now favourites on the world’s runways, stocked in international boutiques and worn by celebrities at the Oscars. Paul is deeply committed to creating local jobs and keeping his business in Australia.

These Australians Of The Year showcase the diversity of Australia's talent and highlight how curiosity, tenacity, innovation and excellence can improve the lives of our community, our nation and our world. 

Happy Year Of The Rooster.