Grace Tame, Brian Williams, Toby Thorpe and Edna Pennicott OAM are your Tasmania Australian of the Year award winners for 2020.
The winners of Tasmania Australian of the Year, Senior and Young Australian of the Year and Tasmania Local Hero were recognised in a virtual presentation today.
Speakers at the ceremony were Governor of Tasmania Her Excellency Professor Kate Warner AC and Premier Peter Gutwein Premier and streamed live on The Examiner's website.
Professor Warner said, "it's so inspiring to hear the incredible stories that members of our community make".
Premier Gutwein said, "(the nominees') contributions ignite discussion and change on issues of national importance".
"Thank you for your contribution to our state."
The award recipients in each category will then join other state and territory winners as finalists in the annual national Australian of the Year Awards announcement on January 25, 2021.
Tasmania Australian of the Year - Grace Tame - Advocate for survivors of sexual assault and #LetHerSpeak campaigner
After inspiring a global movement to allow Tasmanian victims of sexual assault to name their abuser Hobart woman Grace Tame has been recognised as the Tasmania Australian of the Year.
Ms Tame fought back tears as she accepted her award.
"This is for survivors. This is for all of us. I share this award with every single one of you," she said.
"I'm speechless ironically 'let her speak' and now I can't say anything."
Ms Tame described how she made the choice to put her name forward to win the right to identify her abuser.
"I've just always wanted to help people and I truly believe that when we share our stories and when we listen to each other we connect as human beings and we also foster understanding and that's the foundation of education and the foundation of progress," she said.
Ms Tame became the face of the movement after revealing she was groomed and raped by her 58-year-old math teacher when she was just 15. She fought through the Supreme Court to have gag laws which restricted victims of sexual assault from speaking out.
Since winning the right to speak out Ms Tame has continued using her voice to raise public awareness about the impacts of sexual violence.
"So much of what sexual violence actually is is still not understood," she said.
"The physical component is only a very small component of a much larger multi-dimensional trauma that extends far beyond the individual that is targeted."
"It affects us as a community. It affects families."
Ms Tame said the power for victims to name their abusers was foundational to making change.
"It's so important that lived experience survivors have an opportunity to share their stories. Because it's in those stories that we get the information and the knowledge that we need to inform structural change," she said.
"We can change hearts and minds but to change cultures we need to change institutions, practices, that still ... enable predators.
"So long as we are working together towards a better world, I think that's what's important."
Ms Tame said it may be the first time a survivor of rape had been awarded.
"It's hugely empowering for that community. Recognising and normalising the act speaking out ... there's no shame in surviving," she said.
Tasmania Local Hero - Edna Pennicott OAM - Founder of Kingborough Helping Hands
Only four months after being awarded an Order of Australia medal, Edna Pennicott now has the Tasmania Local Hero award sitting on her mantle piece as well.
Ms Pennicott founded Kingborough Helping Hands (KHH) and said, "it's unbelievable".
"There is not one hero here today, but every person that's helped helping hands is a hero," she said.
Of her inspiration Ms Pennicott said, "I was seeing children that didn't get anything for Christmas and people that were really struggling and I'd been through a couple little hardships myself and I just thought if everybody did one little thing for someone, just one act of kindness, what a difference in the world we could make."
Ms Pennicott spends most of her days volunteering for the community and has supported the most vulnerable members of the community for over 40 years in a number of ways.
"I'm hoping (the award will) inspire more people to think more about people that are less fortunate than ourselves," Ms Pennicott said.
Ms Pennicott OAM has done it all when it comes to contributing to her local community of Kingsborough. She's been a citizen of the year in the Kingborough community and has a lifetime achievement award from the Volunteering Tasmania Awards as well.
Young Australian of the Year - Toby Thorpe - Advocate for youth empowerment and climate action
Young Tasmania Australian of the Year Toby Thorpe has committed much of his young life to climate change advocacy. Picture: Supplied.
Tamania's Greta Thunberg, 18-year-old Toby Thorpe has been internationally recognised for his sustainability efforts and is now Tasmania Young Australian of the Year.
Mr Thorpe said his high school - Huonville High - helped facilitate his passion for the climate.
"I've met young people who visit their parents graves underwater. I've met young people who have been displaced by the climate crisis," Mr Thorpe said
"I've met young people in our country who want to make a generational difference ... Climate change is not an environmental issue, it's not a political issue, it's an issue about people," he said.
Mr Thorpe organised the first Tasmanian climate leaders' conference, has twice led the Tasmanian Youth Delegation at the United Nations Climate Change Conference and is committed to his goal of a sustainable future.
"(This award is) about my generation being heard. It's time we move to a space beyond politics into a space where we can actually care about our future," he said.
The decisions being made today are inherited by my generational peers. This award is recognising all the other young people around the country, hundreds of thousands of young people, ... who want to make a difference."
Senior Australian of the Year - Brian Williams - Scout leader and mentor
Seventy-three-year-old Brian Williams taught generations of Scouts what it takes to meaningfully contribute to the community and was named the senior Australian of the Year.
Mr Williams said he had been a cub since age seven - technically underage, since then Mr Williams has dedicated his life to Scouts.
"My involvement has meant that kids have come in aged six into joey scouts and have gone through ... until 18 as mature adults," he said.
"The amount of change is absolutely amazing. We just want to keep on doing the same thing."
In his 50 years of devoted service to Scouts Mr Williams has organised national events which have brought together young people from around Australia and internationally.
He is also the deputy chair on the committee for A Day on The Beach, a local Australia Day celebration of Australian life and culture and has been on the Scout state training team since 1983.
"The number of things I've been involved with have led to Australian contingents to overseas jamborees," he said.
"All of these things have been great fun, I've thoroughly enjoyed them. So I'm getting an award here for doing things that I thoroughly enjoy. I'm getting an award for having fun."
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