Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Australia’s young achievers

The achievements of Australia’s youth were celebrated today at the 2002 Young Australian of the Year Awards. Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony praised all finalists for their talent, enthusiasm and achievements.

The Young Australian of the Year Awards recognise young people who have had success in fields including Arts, Sport, Community Service, Regional Development, Environment, Science and Technology, and Career Achievement. More than 2,000 people were nominated for this year’s awards.

“I congratulate the Young Australian of the Year, Scott Hocknull. Scott is a very talented Queenslander who is making his mark in palaeontology.

“Although Scott is just 24 years old, he’s already named ten new Australian species of animals and marine life, including a terrestrial crocodile, ring tailed possum and the largest fossilised frog ever found in Australia. He is on his way to becoming one of Australia’s youngest palaeontologists.

“Scott grew up in Darwin, without the benefits of museums found in bigger cities. Despite this, he found a way to cultivate his passion for dinosaurs and forge a highly successful career.”

Mr Anthony also presented Scott with the Career Achievement category award at the Awards ceremony at Parliament House.

“I also congratulate the other finalists in the Career Achievement category, Lian-Fei Campbell of Western Australia and Ian Moore of Victoria. Lian-Fei is just one of three female licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers in Australia. Ian has turned his interest in trains into one of Australia’s six fastest growing businesses.

“This is a nationwide search for outstanding young people who are realising their potential and contributing to their communities. They may not necessarily be the highflyers, but those quiet achievers who are working hard to make the most of their skills, abilities and opportunities.

“These Awards showcase the depth of talent, skills and abilities of our young people. We should all be proud of these young people’s contribution to Australia’s future.”

“By acknowledging young Australians who are excelling, we hope to motivate other young people to achieve their goals and make their mark on Australia’s future,” Mr Anthony said.