The special significance of a simple black ‘Akubra-style’ hat Shanna Whan wore to Queen’s funeral

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Danny Abdallah:

Danny Abdallah and his wife Leila lost three of their children, and their niece, when they were ran over by a drunk driver in Sydney in February, 2020.

Their kids Sienna, 8, Angelina, 12, son Antony, 13, and niece Veronique Sakr, 11, were all killed while walking to get ice-cream in Oatlands.

Samuel Davidson, who was drunk and high on drugs, sped through a red light before mounting a footpath on February 1, 2020 and mowing down the children in a crime that shocked Australia. He was sentenced to 28-years behind bars.

The Abdallah’s have since set up the i4give Foundation to help families who’ve gone through similar trauma and to help them find forgiveness.

Dylan Alcott: 

Alcott was named this year’s Australian of the Year.

The wheelchair tennis champion has advocated for those with disabilities.

‘My purpose in life is to change perceptions so people with disabilities can live the lives they deserve to live, do whatever they want to do,’ he said.

Saba Abraham:

Saba Abraham was awarded Queensland Local Hero this year.

The Eritrean refugee helped 200 refugee and migrant women get work at her restaurant.

During the Covid outbreak, she chaired the Brisbane Community Leaders Gathering, which helped translate public health messages into various languages for people from different backgrounds.

Valmai Dempsey:

Valmai Dempsey was crowned the ACT Senior Australian of the Year 2022. 

She has dedicated 50 years of her life to volunteer for St John’s Ambulance.

She is one of the ACT’s longest-serving volunteers and she dedicates more of her time than any other volunteer.

Ms Dempsey played a role in the 2020 Black Summer bushfires, leading 40 volunteers to help those affected.

Trudy Lin:

 Trudy Lin is the SA Young Australian of the Year 2022. 

She is one of just 24 Special Needs Dentistry specialists in Australia.

She provides oral healthcare to people with disability, psychiatric conditions, and complex medical conditions such as cancer. 

Ms Lin also treats people experiencing homelessness, trauma, and domestic violence.

Professor Helen Milroy:

Prof Milroy was Australia’s first Indigenous Doctor and was awarded Australian of the Year for Western Australia in 2021.

She has been a pioneer in research, education and training in Aboriginal and child mental health, including recovery from grief and trauma for more than 25 years.

Prof Milroy was appointed as the commissioner for the Australian Government’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse from 2013 to 2017.

Kim Smith APM:

Kim Smith was crowned the Tasmanian Local Hero this year.

The former policeman created Reclink, which sets up sporting activities for teenagers struggling with drug addiction.

He also set up the Young Women’s program which helps victims of abuse and neglect.

Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM:

 Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann is an Aboriginal elder, artist and activist of the Ngan’gityemerri language group.

She is the Northern Territory’s first fully qualified Indigenous teacher and advocates for art to be taught as part of every child’s education in schools.

She also set up the Miriam-Rose Foundation, which empowers Indigenous youth through art and education.

Miriam-Rose was named Senior Australian of the Year in 2021.

Chris Waller: 

Chris Waller is a champion race horse trainer.

He has trained record-breaking mare Winx, and one of Queen Elizabeth II’s horses, Chalk Stream.

Mr Waller was in regular contact with Her Majesty, with the pair speaking about his horses often, before she died. 

Shanna Whan: 

Shanna Whan was this year’s Local Hero Australian of the Year.

She overcame her own battle with alcohol addiction to launch not-for-profit organisation Sober in the Country.

Sober in the Country helps those in rural communities struggling with alcoholism.

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