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Australian of the Year nominees:

With the Australian of the Year being named in Canberra on Friday night, here's a rundown on the nominees.
By Motherpedia with AAP
Date: January 24 2013
Editor Rating:

Well-known media identities dominate the 2013 Australian of the Year contest, with finalists including Seven Network boss Kerry Stokes, former magazine editor Ita Buttrose and Harold Mitchell, founder of Australia's largest media and communication group - but other contenders include those who are not so well known but who have also made extraordinary contributions. They are skin cancer researcher Adele Green, internet safety campaigner Sonya Ryan, social justice and Indigenous rights advocate Tom Calma, teacher Andrew Hughes and the co-founders of an Indigenous music label, Mark Grose and Michael Hohnen.

Kerry Stokes, the chairman of Seven West Media, was nominated from Western Australia for his collection of Victoria Cross medals to help preserve Australia's military history.

Ita Buttrose pours her energies into raising awareness of breast cancer, Alzheimer's Disease and HIV/AIDS. The NSW nominee started out as a copy girl at the Australian Women's Weekly, went on to become the founding editor of Cleo magazine and a national celebrity, and later took the helm of The Australian Women's Weekly, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph.

The Victorian nominee, Howard Mitchell, has donated more than $10 million to projects linked to health, education and the arts and is the person largely credited for realising huge media deals for two of Australia's top sports - AFL and football (soccer). The founder of Mitchell & Partners overcame many personal hurdles including obesity and alcoholism and now dedicates his time to countless philanthropic causes.

Leading skin cancer researcher Professor Adele Green is the Queensland finalist. She says being named Australian of the Year would mean a big step forward for skin cancer research in Australia.

Adelaide mother Sonya Ryan has made her mark as an internet safety campaigner following the murder of her 15-year-old daughter in 2007 at the hands of a cyber pedophile. Ms Ryan established the Carly Ryan Foundation, which spreads the message about internet safety to schools and universities, and wants the subject to be made a compulsory part of the school curriculum. Another South Australian finalist in the Award, Dr Gerry O'Callaghan, writes for Motherpedia and says Ms Ryan is a wonderful role model for community advocacy and effectiveness.

ACT finalist Tom Calma is recognised for his inspirational work over four decades for the empowerment of all Australians, in particular Indigenous people. He formerly served as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and is co-chair of Reconciliation Australia. Dr Calma's landmark 2005 report calling for the 17-year life expectancy gap between indigenous and non-indigenous people to be closed within a generation laid the groundwork for the Close the Gap campaign.

Andrew Hughes won Tasmania's nomination for his work bringing the wilderness into classrooms. Known as an adventure teacher, he has developed primary and high school programs that link curriculum studies with wilderness adventures.

The NT's co-nominees, Mark Grose and Michael Hohnen, are the founders and directors of a Darwin-based record label that supports Indigenous musicians in Tasmania, Tiwi Islands and Timor-Leste. Over the past 14 years, they have nurtured a new generation and genre of performers through business development all the way to the world stage, connecting remote communities with metropolitan music listeners.

Other awards to be announced tonight include the Senior Australian of the Year, the Young Australian of the Year and Australia's Local Hero (community award). Last year's winners were Geoffrey Rush, Laurie Baymarrwangga, Marita Cheng and Lynne Sawyers.

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