IT'S an exciting time around town as the finalists for the 2016 ACT Australian of the Year are announced.

There's a crowded field of worthy Canberrans this year. They are:

    2016 ACT AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR

  • Dr Alison Taylor and Dr Michael Archinal - Veterinarians (Holder and Red Hill)
  • David Morrison AO - Equality advocate (Griffith)
  • Dr Brendan Nelson - Cultural leader (Barton)
  • Dr Helen Watchirs OAM - Human rights advocate (Deakin)

    2016 ACT SENIOR AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR

  • Yvonne Cuschieri OAM - Cancer support pioneer (Queanbeyan)
  • Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery AC AO (Mil) CVO MC - Sustainable agriculture advocate (Yarralumla)
  • Professor Chris Parish - Medical researcher (Campbell)
  • Professor Greg Tegart AM FTSE- Scientist and technology advocate (Yarralumla)

    2016 ACT YOUNG AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR

  • Dr Kate Eisenberg - Doctor, science advocate and volunteer (Holt)
  • Sophie Hope - Multidimensional volunteer (Casey)
  • Leonard Weiss - Musician (Forrest)
  • Nipuni Wijewickrema - Social entrepreneur (Chifley)

    2016 ACT LOCAL HERO

  • Peter Cursley - Newborn care champion (Farrer)
  • Fiona Kirk - Charity founder (Greenway)
  • David Richards - Volunteer Fundraiser and Christmas enthusiast (Forrest)
  • Yanping Zhang - Medical researcher (Bruce)

Best of luck to all of them, individual biographies are available at australianoftheyear.org.au.

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Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor