NSW - FINALISTS - SENIOR AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR
Dr Jim Frazier OAM ACS, 74 - Cinematographer and inventor (Bootawa)
A wildlife cinematographer, naturalist, scientist, author and artist, Jim Frazier revolutionised the film industry with his invention of the Frazier lens system. Used by the world’s leading filmmakers, the lens gives an extended depth of field and the ability to have both foreground and background in focus. It has won Jim dozens of international awards including an Academy Award for Technical Achievement, and an Emmy. He has also been awarded an OAM and an Honorary Doctorate for his lens inventions and contribution to scientific biological knowledge. His latest invention is the infinity lens, which is transforming the security and biometrics industries. Renowned for his work on Sir David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries, Jim’s career capturing the secret lives of animals has spanned more than four decades. Today, Jim continues to share his love of beasts and bugs, and his passion for the planet, and is currently working on Symphony of the Earth, a spectacular environmental feature film project that aims to give the Earth a voice.
Professor Gordian Fulde, 67 - Doctor (Bondi)
From midnight to dawn, while most people are in bed, Professor Gordian Fulde is presiding over one of Australia's busiest emergency departments. The Director of Emergency at St Vincent's Hospital and Sydney Hospital for more than three decades, Gordian is the longest serving emergency department director in Australia. The doctor on call when disaster strikes, Gordian has seen it all and is passionately outspoken about the scourge of ‘ice’ and alcohol-fuelled violence which delivers a flood of people into Australian hospitals each weekend. While he moonlights as an occasional TV celebrity on Kings Cross ER, Gordian is also actively involved in teaching and training students and staff in many facets of emergency medicine. A member of the Board of the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation, Gordian also supports many schools and community organisations, sharing his stories of working in an urban warzone, and warning of the dangers of a binge drinking culture which is overwhelmingly the main cause of injury in Australia’s emergency departments.
Dr Yvonne McMaster OAM, 75 - Palliative care crusader (Wahroonga)
One of the first palliative care specialists in Australia, Dr Yvonne McMaster didn’t slow down when she retired. Instead, she signed up to lead a support group for people with advanced cancer. On learning that funding for palliative care had been cut and resources stretched, Yvonne became one of the country’s most formidable health advocates. It took her just nine months to get funding restored to her local palliative care service before she took her cause across the state. Her weeks are now filled with meetings with doctors, nurses, hospital authorities and politicians across Australia as she strives to gain more resources for palliative care. She’s led petitions and media campaigns, written countless letters and delivered speeches in country towns and inner city enclaves. The backbone behind the Push for Palliative crusade, Yvonne has garnered more than 80,000 signatures in support of the right of people to die with dignity and to live as well as possible to the last moment.
Terry O’Connell OAM, 64 - Restorative justice pioneer (Springwood)
A former senior sergeant known to many as the ‘cop from Wagga Wagga’, Terry O’Connell is a restorative justice pioneer. Terry developed a restorative justice model now used to help people in prisons and juvenile justice facilities, victims of crime, school children, families and corporate organisations around the world. Terry’s model fosters empathy and shared understanding among offenders, victims and their friends and family members. While it reduces crime, restorative justice is also a valuable way for schools to build healthy relationships, reduce bullying and empower children. A father of seven, Terry left school at fourteen and says he never wanted anything more from life than to be a policeman and “try to improve the lot of others and to build decent communities." Now retired from the police service, Terry is never too busy to help people and as the Director of Real Justice Australia he offers people a new way of thinking about crime and punishment.