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Abuse Survivor Grace Tame Named Australian Of The Year

Australian of the Year Grace Tame has vowed to continue campaigning for survivors of sexual assault as she embarks on her new role.

Remarkable women have won all four Australian of the Year categories for 2021, with the winners revealed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison at an event in Canberra on Monday night.

Ms Tame first made history after her tireless campaigning led her to be granted the legal right to speak out about her experience as a sexual assault survivor, paving the way for others to do the same.

The 26-year-old has marked another entry into the history books by becoming the first Tasmanian awarded Australian of the Year.

"To all survivors of child sexual abuse - this is for us," Ms Tame told the gathering in an inspiring and passionate speech.

The Tasmanian was abused at the age of 15 by one of her high school teachers, who was later jailed for his crimes.

Ms Tame wants a greater focus on education and prevention of child sexual assault, particularly through grooming and psychological manipulation by abusers.

"Yes, discussion of child sexual abuse is uncomfortable but nothing is more uncomfortable than the abuse itself," she said.

So let us redirect this discomfort to where it belongs - at the feet of perpetrators of these crimes. Together, we can redefine what it means to be a survivor. Together, we can end child sexual abuse.

Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons from NSW and top health bureaucrat Brendan Murphy from the ACT were also finalists for the top gong.

Ms Tame takes the mantle from 2020 Australian of the Year, eye surgeon James Muecke.

Aboriginal elder Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann has been crowned Senior Australian of the Year, using her speech to implore the nation to better understand Indigenous communities.

"Now is the time for you to come closer to understand us and to understand how we live and listen to what needs are in our communities," she said.

Young Australian of the Year Isobel Marshall is a social entrepreneur and student who is passionate about ending 'period poverty' and stigma around menstruation.

"Periods should not be a barrier to education," the 22-year-old said.

They should not cause shame and menstrual products should be accessible and affordable. They are not a luxury or a choice.

Kenyan refugee turned NSW local Rosemary Kariuki was crowned Australia's Local Hero for her work helping female migrants combat loneliness and the unknown as they settle into their new communities.

The 60-year-old wants all Australians to open their doors to neighbours and turn strangers into friends.

"Be open and not scared of any perceived differences because, as humans, we have more similarities than differences."

Mr Morrison announced each winner and as formalities began, he emphasised the importance of the titles.

"These awards are an annual reminder of just what Australians can do and achieve. Of what we can build together as a country - one and free."