Date published: 
26 January 2020
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

Minister for Youth, Richard Colbeck, has congratulated the 2020 Young Australian of the Year.

Ash Barty, of Queensland, was named Young Australian of the Year by Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a ceremony at the National Arboretum in Canberra.
 
The award recognises outstanding Australians aged 16 to 30 years.
 
Ranked the world No. 1 women’s singles tennis player and in the top 20 doubles players, Barty has won eight singles titles and ten doubles titles on the WTA Tour, including one grand slam singles title at the 2019 French Open.
 
She is also the National Indigenous Tennis Ambassador for Tennis Australia.
 
“Ash Barty’s achievements serve as an example to all Australians,” Minister Colbeck said.
 
“Today’s world poses particular challenges for young people making the transition to adulthood and finding their paths through life.
 
“Some outstanding individuals, like Ash, not only find their way but find the energy and commitment to help others and create change.
 
“She is a role model for us all and her achievements to date challenge us to make our own contribution to a better Australia.”
 
The Australian Government has been a proud sponsor of the Young Australian of the Year Award for more than 11 years.
 
Minister Colbeck also congratulated each of the state and territory finalists for their endeavours across a range of sectors in our community.
 
“I encourage all young Australians to follow their lead by striving to be the best they can, not just for their personal gain but for their communities and for the nation,” he said.
 
“Their accomplishments are an important reminder that youth is no barrier to making a difference.”
 
Other nominees from each state and territory included:

  • Victoria — Taya Davies, youth worker and youth volunteer for disadvantaged youth, young asylum seekers and young people with disabilities. 
  • Tasmania — Will Smith, police officer and social justice activist, for his work with young people and young refugees who established the JCP Empowering Youth program to further improve the lives of young people in his community. 
  • ACT — Madeline Diamond, founder of Trash Gather, a youth-led community group and Executive Officer of SEE-Change, an organisation promoting sustainable living. Madeline also initiates other activities to involve youth in grassroots environmental action. 
  • New South Wales — Corey Tutt, Indigenous mentor and fundraiser. Corey provides science resources to remote schools around Australia through his organisation, Deadly Science. He seeks to inspire Indigenous children to believe in themselves and understand their environment. 
  • South Australia — Zibeon Fielding, runner, cyclist, health worker and fundraiser. In 2019 Ziberon raised $40,000 for a community gym by cycling 700km through the outback, providing health checks, lifestyle advice and bike workshops in communities along the route.
  • Western Australia — Yarlalu Thomas, medical student and Precision Public Health fellow in Genetic and Rare Diseases, works with Pilbara Faces to provide easier diagnosis for children with rare and genetic diseases, and launched the UNESCO-endorsed Life Languages project to translate medical terminology into ATSI languages, and Indigenous languages internationally.

More details about the Australian of the Year Awards 2019 are available at www.australianoftheyear.org.au

Media inquiries: Aaron Langmaid 0456 889 018