Rosie Batty has been named Australian of the Year for her campaign against family violence in an award ceremony that saw four women take the nation’s top Australia Day honours for the first time in history.
Ms Batty rose above her personal tragedy and the great loss of her 11-year-old-son, Luke, who was murdered by his father on a cricket oval in February last year.
Her story jolted Australia into recognising that family violence could happen to anyone and she has given voice to many thousands of victims of domestic violence who had until then remained unheard.
She now champions efforts to fight domestic violence, making many media and public speaking appearances to shine a spotlight on the issue and call for systemic changes.
Courage and strength to her, and congratulations on the award.
Women were awarded the top honours in all four award categories for the first time in the history of the Australian of the Year awards.
Jackie French from NSW was named Senior Australian of the Year, WA’s Drisana Levitzke-Gray was named Young Australian of the Year and Juliette Wright from Queensland was named Australia’s Local Hero.
Children’s author and conservationist Ms French, whose books include Diary of a Wombat, said “a book can change a child’s life and a book can change the world”.
“Every book a child reads creates new neurons in that child’s brain. If you want intelligent children, give them a book,” she said.
H/t John Morales