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The winners were announced on Tuesday night by chair of the National Australia Day Council Danielle Roche OAM, who said all were “great examples of the Australian spirit”.

“Their courage, determination and fearlessness are an inspiration to us all,” she said.

Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott, Local Hero Shanna Whan, Young Australian of the Year Dr Daniel Nour, and Senior Australian of the Year Valmai Dempsey. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Senior Australian of the Year

The 2022 Senior Australian of the Year is 71-year-old St John Ambulance volunteer Valmai Dempsey from Canberra.

Ms Dempsey started as a cadet volunteer while she was still in primary school and for more than 50 years has been volunteering with the St John Ambulance Service.

2022 Senior Australian of the Year is Valmai Dempsey.
2022 Senior Australian of the Year is Valmai Dempsey. (Salty Dingo)

She is one of the ACT’s longest-serving volunteers.

But in 2020 Ms Dempsey faced some of her biggest challenges yet as a St Johns Ambulance volunteer.

First, when the Black Summer bushfires hit the territory. Ms Dempsey led a group of 40 volunteers and helped support communities impacted by the fires.

Then when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Ms Dempsey personally contacted volunteers to make sure they were doing alright as they helped others.

Young Australian of the Year

Founder of Street Side Medics, 26-year-old Dr Daniel Nour from Sydney, has been named the 2022 Young Australian of the Year.

Dr Nour founded Street Side Medics in August 2020 after realising there was a gap when it came to the healthcare for homeless people in New South Wales.

2022 Young Australian of the Year is Dr Daniel Nour.
2022 Young Australian of the Year is Dr Daniel Nour. (Salty Dingo)

The mobile not-for profit has over 145 volunteers and four clinics across the state.

It has been able to help treat illnesses, neglected medical needs, and unnoticed conditions, including diabetes, thyroid disorders, and heart disease, among the homeless population in NSW.

Dr Nour has been running the clinics and volunteering on afternoons outside of his full-time job at the Royal North Shore Hospital.

Australia’s Local Hero

The 2022 Australia’s Local Hero has been awarded to the founder and CEO of Sober in the Country, Shanna Whan from NSW.

2022 Australia's Local Hero is Shanna Whan.
2022 Australia’s Local Hero is Shanna Whan. (Salty Dingo)

The 47-year-old almost lost her life in 2015 due to an alcohol addiction.

She gave up drinking and started volunteering to help others who were experiencing alcohol addictions.

So far, Ms Whan has donated 20,000 to the Sober in the Country cause and is now also a spokesperson for the organisation.

Through her charity work, the Narrabi local is trying to spread the message that it’s always ‘ok to say no’ to booze.

Source: 9News

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