The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton tonight congratulated Dr Catherine Keenan who was named Australia’s Local Hero at the 2016 Australian of the Year Awards.
“I, along with my Department, proudly support Australia’s Local Hero Award in recognition of those working selflessly at a community level to make a real difference in the lives of their fellow citizens,” Mr Dutton said.
“Dr Keenan embodies the characteristics and values which make us all feel proud to call ourselves Australian.”
As the co-founder and executive director of the Sydney Story Factory, Catherine’s work has included raising funds and helping to train more than 1,200 volunteers who now teach and assist primary and high school students, especially those from Indigenous and non-English speaking backgrounds, to use their creativity and express themselves through writing and storytelling.
Mr Dutton also congratulated the other finalists from each state and territory for their work and in being nominated.
“Each finalist this evening has, over the course of the past year and often for much longer, displayed the characteristics that any Australian would be proud of.
“Often putting others before themselves, these eight Australians from all walks of life have in one way or another, made their community a better place.
“While only one Australian Local Hero was announced tonight, it is without doubt that all our finalists are heroes and worthy of the title,” Mr Dutton said.