Body image activist named 2023 Australian of the Year

Body image activist named 2023 Australian of the Year

Body image activist* and documentary maker Taryn Brumfitt is wasting no time as the 2023 Australian of the Year.

Ms Brumfitt said she spoke to Premier Anthony Albanese within an hour of receiving the award to ask for a meeting.

The South Australian mother-of-four said her mission as Australian of the Year was to continue her work to help both adults and children have a better relationship with their bodies.

“I think we have a big problem in this country with how our kids feel about their bodies,” Ms Brumfitt said after the awards ceremony at the National Arboretum in Canberra on January 25.

“This is a pediatric* health emergency … We have to get it right.”

The 45-year-old has written books and released documentaries over the past decade in a campaign to spread self-acceptance and self-love that has reached more than 200 million people.

Mr Albanese presented four awards at the Australia Day Night ceremony: Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Local Hero.

Human rights and social justice campaigner* Tom Calma – an architect* of the Voice to Parliament – ​​has been crowned Senior Australian of the Year.

Professor Calma used his acceptance speech to strongly advocate* for a “yes” vote in this year’s Vote to Parliament referendum*.

“To all Australians tonight I want to say the referendum is not a choice between improving people’s lives or amending the constitution, we can do both,” he said.

“Let’s do it together as we did in the 1967 referendum* and the bridge step for reconciliation* in 2000. Walk with us, vote yes in the referendum.”

Socceroo Awer Mabil has been named 2023 Young Australian of the Year for his non-profit organisation, Barefoot to Boots, which aims to achieve better health, education, policy and gender equality for refugees.

“I got an opportunity in such a beautiful country to be myself,” Mabil said via a video recording from Europe where he is on duty with the Socceroos.

“For me, the most important thing is to help the next generation and also inspire them to be themselves and follow their dreams.”

Australia’s local hero is Amar Singh, who migrated to Australia as a 15-year-old and later founded Turbans 4 Australia, a charity that runs community pantries and helps provide relief food in disaster areas.

“I wanted to play a role in bringing our communities together, making it a more harmonious* place. I wanted to help build bridges,” the Sydneysider said as he accepted his award.

“You can also be part of the change, of the solution. Let’s make Australia a nation that welcomes and values ​​people from all walks of life.”

A total of 32 people from each state and territory were finalists for the annual awards, traditionally presented on the eve of Australia Day.

Ms Brumfitt follows wheelchair tennis champion and disability advocate Dylan Alcott who was the 2022 Australian of the Year.

GLOSSARY

activist: a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change pediatric: to do with the medical care of children social justice: to do with fairness in society, equality for all people campaigner: a person who an organized and active way of working towards a goal architect: someone involved in the design or creation of something advocate: publicly recommend or support referendum: a vote in which all the people of a nation are asked to give their opinion on ‘ to give an important question. A referendum is the only way to change the Australian Constitution, which is the set of rules by which Australia is governed 1967 Referendum: the vote that Australians overwhelmingly supported amending the Constitution to allow the Federal Government to make laws for Aboriginal making people and counting them population reconciliation: formal effort to strengthen relations between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-indigenous peoples harmonious: friendly, peaceful and without any arguments

EXTRA READING

Dylan Alcott named Australian of the Year

Girls more active in PE without boys

Uncomfortable uniforms can force girls out of sports

PM paves way for Vote to Parliament

QUICK QUESTION

Who is the 2023 Australian of the Year? What is her mission? Who presented the Australian of the Year award? What does Professor Tom Calma want Australians to vote “yes” for? Who has been named the 2023 Young Australian of the Year?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Positive affirmations
The 2023 Australian of the Year, Taryn Brumfitt, works to promote self-acceptance and self-love of your body.

Write five positive statements about your body that you can stick on the mirror at home to remind yourself of how important it is to love the body and skin you were born into.

Try not to focus on how your body looks, but how a healthy and fit body can lead to a healthy mind and self-esteem. For example: Today I will respect my body by…

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Time: Allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Health and Physical Education, Personal and Social, Critical and Creative Thinking

2. Expansion
Think of someone you would nominate as Australian of the Year.

Write who they are and what they have done to deserve this Australia Day honour?

Do you think this year’s winners are worthy recipients? Give your reasons.

Time: Allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and Social, Critical and Creative Thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY
A chat with the Australian of the Year
If you had the opportunity to speak to 2023 Australian of the Year Taryn Brumfitt, what five questions would you ask her?

Come up with five different questions. Challenge yourself to use different question stems (question openers) to write your questions, and don’t forget to end with a question mark.

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