Gladys Berejiklian MP
Gladys Berejiklian MP
NSW Parliament

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Friday, 20 November 2020

Former NSW Fire Commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM, was tonight named NSW Australian of the Year. Premier Gladys Berejiklian congratulated Mr Fitzsimmons and the three other NSW Australian of the Year recipients at a ceremony at Sydney’s Luna Park. “The NSW Australian of the Year recipients for 2021 have gone above and beyond to make a difference to their community,” Ms Berejiklian said. “The past 12 months have been the most challenging in living memory and we should all be proud of the recipients and grateful for their passion, resilience and leadership. “Working alongside Shane during last season’s bushfires was an unforgettable experience. In times of devastation and great heartache, he remained authentic and excelled in his role both operationally and emotionally. The people of NSW trust and respect Shane and he is worthy of being our Australian of the Year.” During the 2019/20 bushfires, Mr Fitzsimmons’s presence was an enduring picture of leadership, empathy, practicality and professionalism. He continues to excel in his current role as Commissioner for Resilience NSW following his appointment in April. Aunty Isabel Reid is the NSW Senior Australian of the Year. Born in 1932, she is the oldest survivor of the Stolen Generation and has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and advocate for reparations. Pilot and Invictus Games gold medallist, Nathan Parker, is the NSW Young Australian of the Year. He is a public speaker, mentor, flying instructor and aspires to provide joy flights to sick children. NSW Local Hero Rosemary Kariuki is an advocate for migrant and refugee woman. Feeling isolated and alone as a migrant to Australia ignited her passion to connect migrant women in Australia in fun and sustainable ways. The NSW Award recipients will represent the state at the national Australian of the Year Awards, which will be announced in Canberra on 25 January 2021.