Period poverty fighter is the Young Australian of the Year
A South Australian social entrepreneur who is also an aspiring surgeon has been crowned the 2021 Young Australian of the Year.
Isobel Marshall, 22, of Adelaide, was honoured in Canberra last night for helping disadvantaged women access personal hygiene products and improving education for women in Africa.
At 18, Ms Marshall cofounded TABOO, with school friend Eloise Hall, to help women around the world by breaking down stigma around menstruation and providing access to hygiene products. Profits from the sale of the ethically sourced cotton pads and tampons in Australia go to One Girls - a charity providing education to girls and women in Sierra Leone and Uganda.
Accepting the award, Ms Marshall said she did so on behalf of herself and Ms Hall as they had been on an incredible journey together.
"Period poverty is real," she said. "Menstruation, the natural biological function experienced by half the world's population is still a major reason for inequality."
Nearly a third of girls drop out of school when periods begin. Australia was not immune, with girls sent to school without sanitary products.
A young Tasmanian woman who advocated for survivors of sexual assault to be legally able to tell their stories has been named Australian of the Year for 2021.
Grace Tame, 26 was named winner of the prestigious award on Monday night following her high profile battle to overturn gag laws that prevented victims raising public awareness about the impacts of sexual violence.
Ms Tame was groomed and raped by her 58-year-old maths teacher, who was found guilty and jailed however she was legally prevented from speaking publicly about her experience.
She applied to the Supreme Court for the right to publicly self-identify as a rape survivor and won.
Since then Ms Tame has became a regular guest speaker and advocate for victims of assault.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison described Ms Tame as an "inspiration".
"A woman of immense moral courage and strength, leading the #letherspeak campaign … and giving voice to survivors of sexual assault," he said.
The Northern Territory's Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, 73 was named Senior Australian of the Year for her work as an indigenous activities, writer and public speaker.
Ms Ungunmerr-Baumann was the Territory's first fully qualified teacher in 1975, and was later an advisor on the National Indigenous Council.
NSW Police multicultural community liaison officer Rosemary Kariuki was named Australia's Local Hero for her work helping migrants dealing with domestic violence, language barriers and financial distress.
Ms Kariuki fled to Australia from Kenya in 1999 and has since used her own early experience to assist new migrants who arrive in Australia.
National Australia Day Council chair Danielle Roche said the 2021 winners were "strong, determined women" who were dedicated to "breaking down barriers and advocating for people's rights".
"Grace, Miriam-Rose, Isobel and Rosemary are all committed to changing attitudes in our society and changing lives," she said.
"They epitomise the Australian values of respect, tolerance, equality of opportunity and compassion. Because of them, others get a fair go."
Ms Tame was selected from an impressive group of finalists including former NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, nominated for his leadership during the horrific 2019/20 summer bushfires.
Former chief medical officer Professor Brendan Murphy was named a finalist for his work on Australia's highly successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australia's first quadriplegic medical graduate Dr Dinesh Palipana, the first indigenous person appointed to the AFL executive Tanya Hosch, Aboriginal health expert Dr Wendy Page and founder of the national Homeless Collective Donna Stolzenberg were also short-listed for Australian of the Year.
Originally published as South Aussie crowned Young Australian of the Year