The achievements of this year’s winners of the Australian of the Year Awards are being showcased at the Australian Museum from 26 July 2016.

Wednesday 27 July 2016: A new exhibition at the Australian Museum (AM) provides an intimate insight into the lives of some of our nation’s most outstanding individuals.

The Australian of the Year 2016 exhibition features personal objects selected for display by this year’s winners of the annual awards, whose collective achievements include advocating for gender equality, the abolition of capital punishment, conservation, affordable health care and the building of youth self-esteem.

The winners and their objects featured in the exhibition are:

  • Former Chief of Army, Lieutenant-General David Morrison AO, won this year’s national award for his commitment to gender equality, diversity and inclusion. Morrison selected two miniature Australian First World War soldiers made from shrapnel recovered from the WW1 battlefields at Ypres, Belgium. They came with a card that read: ‘The lead that once killed soldiers is now moulded into new soldiers who can travel back to their home countries to tell people never to forget what happened here in the past and to bring a message of peace’.
  • NSW finalist and former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick AO, has chosen a black and white photograph of her and her identical twin sister, Jane, alongside a small metal charm which belonged to her mother, Margot. As part of her work to achieve gender equality. Elizabeth stresses the importance of girls and women providing support for each other in all avenues, and at all stages, of their lives.
  • Victorian finalist, barrister and death penalty opponent Julian McMahon, has selected a portrait of Indonesian President Joko Widodo painted by Myuran Sukumaran, who McMahon represented in legal proceedings around Sukumaran’s conviction for drug trafficking in Indonesia. Sukumaran was executed by Indonesian firing squad in April 2015.
  • Queensland finalist, Royal Australian Air Force group Captain Catherine McGregor AM, campaigns for transgender rights, and has chosen a childhood cricket bat given to her at eight years old by her late father and a 'baggy blue' cap presented on her debut in the RAAF women’s cricket team.
  • Northern Territory finalist, youth worker Will MacGregor, has chosen a carved female statue with a necklace from Papua New Guinea as a reminder of the strong women who have shaped his life.
  • Tasmanian finalist, conservationist Jane Hutchinson, has selected her father's binoculars, which she used as a child to observe the local wildlife, such as birds, bandicoots, possums and wallabies.
  • Western Australian finalist, nurse and Australian Red Cross aid worker Anne Carey, has chosen a sunhat that she wore while helping Ebola patients in Sierra Leone.
  • South Australian finalist, burns surgeon Dr John Greenwood, has selected a unique foam dressing and equipment used to culture a patient’s skin. Ten years in development, this procedure will shorten the healing time of major burns from many months to only seven weeks and reduce the severity of scarring.

How is the Australian of the Year chosen?

The awards operate in several stages. They start at the community level, with nominations being invited from the public. State and territory selection panels choose finalists in each of the four award categories, announced from October to November each year. The final stage is when the board of the National Australia Day Council chooses the national recipients, announced on the eve of Australia Day each year.

If you would like to find out more, or nominate someone for the 2017 awards, visit

Dates: From 26 July 2016?
Tickets: Included with General Admission?
Location: Level 2, Australian Museum, 1 William St, Sydney

This exhibition was developed by the National Museum of Australia in collaboration with the National Australia Day Council.