January 26 is a time to celebrate and reflect on our national spirit, and the Australia Day Address serves to focus our attention on what that means to all of us. Since 1997 the Address has drawn on distinguished members from within the community to express their unique perspective on our nation’s identity and the diversity of our society.
Each year the Address focuses our nation as a whole on the true essence of the day, securing its place as one of the most important Australia Day initiatives.
Eminent speakers from past years include Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Sir Michael Parkinson CBE, Ita Buttrose, Associate Professor Charlie Teo AM and Kurt Fearnely OAM.
Ita Buttrose AO OBE
Ita was the youngest ever and an unprecedentedly successful Editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly, the founding Editor of Cleo and the first woman to ever edit a major metropolitan newspaper in Australia as Editor-in-Chief of the Sydney Daily and The Sunday Telegraph. Ita was also the first woman appointed to the News Ltd Board. As well as writing eleven very successful books including her best-selling autobiography A Passionate Life, Ita recently became a host of the TEN Network’s new morning program, Studio 10.
Ita received an AO for her services to the community especially in the field of public health education when she spearheaded Australia’s HIV/AIDS Education Program, an OBE for her services to journalism, and a Centenary Medal for business leadership.
The Australia Day Address will be broadcast live on Sky News national and A-PAC on Tuesday 21 January 2014 from 6.15pm and ABC News 24 will broadcast it at 9.25pm. ABC Radio National 576AM will air the Address at 8.05am on Sunday 26 January 2014 and again at 12.05pm on Monday 27 January 2014.
Kurt Fearnley OAM
Born without the lower portion of his spine, at the age of 14 Kurt took up wheelchair racing and has since become an elite international athlete, with one gold, two silver and one bronze, Olympic medals. In his highly competitive class, Kurt has not finished off the podium in over 20 marathons he’s competed in since 2000. With an indomitable spirit that is truly inspirational, Kurt was a finalist for the prestigious Laureus Awards for the Most Outstanding International Athlete with Disability and in 2009 was named NSW Young Australian of the Year.
Associate Professor Charles Teo AM
Dr Teo is an internationally acclaimed neurosurgeon and a pioneer in keyhole minimally invasive techniques. He has been invited to many distinguished universities in over 50 countries as Visiting Professor, including Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt and Stanford Universities in the USA, Marburg University in Germany and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
Sir Michael Parkinson CBE
Michael Parkinson was born in 1935 in Cudworth, near Barnsley, and was educated at Barnsley Grammar School. His early journalistic experience was gained on several local newspapers in Yorkshire and then The Manchester Guardian until he became a feature writer with The Daily Express in London.
General Peter Cosgrove, AC MC (Retd)
General Peter Cosgrove retired from the Army in 2005. Four year earlier, he had been Australian of the Year. The son of a soldier, he graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in 1968. He was sent to Malaysia as a lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.
Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO
Professor Marie Bashir was born in Narrandera, New South Wales and is a medical graduate of the University of Sydney, a former medical resident officer of St Vincent’s Hospital and of The Children’s Hospital. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.