The Advocate, 03 Oct 2019, Meg Powell
Wynyard's Madeline Wells and Somerset's Dr Graeme Stevenson have been announced as two of 16 Tasmanians in the running for the state's Australian of the Year Awards.
Dr Stevenson is a nominee for the 2020 Tasmania Senior Australian of the Year, and Ms Wells is a nominee for the 2020 Tasmania Young Australian of the Year.
Ms Wells is a First Nations advocate, protector and defender. She was inspired to confront negative stereotypes about what it meant to be Aboriginal by the influential male and female elders in her community.
She has been actively involved in campaigns addressing domestic violence, climate justice and incarceration. She currently works at Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network.
Despite health issues, she is a passionate human rights advocate.
Landcare activist Dr Graeme Stevenson has been promoting healthy soils in Tasmania for more than 30 years. His particular focus is the role of dung beetles and earthworms in soil management.
Dr Stevenson has been an advocate and volunteer for Landcare Tasmania since 1993. He has initiated and managed 27 projects along the coastline, including willow tree removal, riverside fencing and managing soil slippage.
He works with farmers as a soil assessor and agronomy consultant, and has written a number of books. He presents his soil knowledge to children as his alter ego, Dr Spluttergrunt.
The two Coasters are among 128 people being recognised from across the country as part of the program, which began in 1960.
The four award recipients from Tasmania will be announced October 18 at Government House, Hobart.
The state recipients will then join the national awards ceremony on January 25 next year.
National Australia Day Council chief executive Karlie Brand said the Tasmania nominees represented the diversity of great Australians inspiring others through their contributions.
"The 60th anniversary of the Australian of the Year Awards is a particularly special time to be nominated," Ms Brand said.
"The 2020 Tasmanian nominees are great examples of the many different ways in which people are helping shape our communities to create a better nation."