Tasmania’s 2019 Australian of the Year

Congratulations to the amazing Tasmanians who are this year’s Australian of the Year award winners.

The Awards celebrate the remarkable achievements and contributions of a very special group of Tasmanians who help make our State the greatest place in the world to live.

2019 Tasmanian Australian of the Year – Bernadette Black

Bernadette Black, a nation leading advocate for teenage parents, is the 2019 Tasmanian Australian of the Year.

After personally experiencing the stigma associated with teenage pregnancy, Bernie founded BRAVE Foundation in 2009 to provide support and education for teenage parents.

BRAVE is Australia’s only national organisation supporting and representing 8,300 expectant and parenting teens each year. After more than 12 years of lobbying, BRAVE Foundation was awarded $4.4 million to run a nationwide trial connecting 350 expecting and parenting teens to education and support opportunities.

Bernie aims to build a village of support and acceptance around teenage parents so that they can grow healthy, happy families.

2019 Tasmanian Senior Australian of the Year – Sally Wise

Sally Wise is a kitchen guru, author and media presenter who is dedicated to equipping people to prepare nourishing food with accessible ingredients.

Sally volunteers with prisoners, community groups and new businesses to teach them to cook for better nutrition.

2019 Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year – Kirby Medcraft

Assistant Principal Kirby Medcraft is an innovator, passionate about maximising parent engagement in their child’s learning.

Kirby’s Bedtime Stories Afternoon inspired over 200 parents to attend school to read with their child and her work in leading the early years team has made her a model for teachers at other schools.

Tasmania’s 2019 Local Hero – Vicki Purnell

When the daughter of a friend gave birth to a stillborn child in 2013, Vicki Purnell found a compassionate way to help. With her talent for sewing, she formed Bridie’s Blossoms, creating more than 460 beautiful outfits for stillborn babies, so they can be farewelled with love and dignity.

Our four recipients – Bernie, Sally, Kirby and Vicki – will represent Tasmania at the 2019 Australian of the Year Awards to be announced in Canberra on 25 January 2019.

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