Australia Day Ambassador Program

The Australia Day Ambassador Program is an initiative that sees high achieving and proud Australians attend local Australia Day celebrations in towns and cities across the nation. Australia Day Ambassadors volunteer their time and energy to inspire pride and celebration in hundreds of local communities.


2018 Australia Day Ambassador - Diana Butler OAM

While working as an Emergency Nurse in Launceston, a chance conversation with a colleague about extreme poverty in Africa, inspired Diana Butler to embark on a new journey of intense learning and fulfillment.  Diana helped form the Care for Africa Foundation to address: poverty; lack of water; medical and educational services in Tanzania's Tarime region.

Under Diana's leadership, the non-for-profit organisation now works in four key areas: water, rural health, education and social enterprise.  Diana Butler has led Care for Africa in its biggest achievements, which include the installation of 9 deep water wells, a yearly Rural Mobile Health Clinic (delivered in schools) and the establishment of the social enterprise programs including aquaculture, bee keeping and a women's sewing group.

Diana has bcome astute at managing large teams of international volunteers, working at both a grassroots level and executive level, understanding best international development practices and fundraising.  As Chief Executive Officer Diana has shaped Care for Africa into a sustainable and pioneering organisation.

At the heart of the organisation is the emphasis on the younger generation - as, "this is their world's future and the organisation's future." Diana Butler

In 2012 Diana was awarded Tasmanian Telstra Business Women's Community and Government award and became a national finalist.  The Paul Harris Fellowship for International Service to Rotary was awarded to Diana in 2016.  Diana was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2016 for her humanitarian work in Tanzania.

In 2017, the Dorset Australia Day Ambassador was Adventure Teacher and 2013 Tasmanian Australian of the Year, Andrew Hughes. Andrew developed the innovative teaching program Expedition Class, where primary school students follow him into the wilderness by satellite link and interact live as he tackles challenging landscapes and situations. Andrew has also developed the high school expedition program Skullbone, in which students are re-engaged, linking curriculum to their own real adventures on expeditions. Andrew is the 2012 Power of One Awardee, and is a key part of the award-winning Bookend team recognised by the Tasmanian Government, the United Nations Association of Australia and the Banksia Environmetnal Foundation. Andrew was also named Australian Geographic's Conservationist of the Year.

Dorset's 2017 Australia Day Ambassador Andrew Hughes, and Volunteer of the Year Kaye Jaffray

The Dorset Australia Day Ambassador in 2016 was Senior Constable Ian Edwards, founder of Kommunity Kids and Tasmania's Local Hero in 2011. Kommunity Kids is an after school program that has helped to develop positive friendships between children, their families and police by offering sporting activities alongside youth service providers, police, young people and their families in a safe environment.

In 2015, the Australia Day Ambassador was Jo Palmer. Jo presents the one hour program "Southern Cross Nightly News" in Tasmania. Originally employed by Southern Cross Television in Hobart as a journalist, Jo has been presenting the evening news for 15 years. She is a former Miss Tasmanian, and in 1993 was awarded Miss Australia, the first Tasmanian woman to win the prestigious title since 1927. In 1993, Jo was awarded "Tasmanian of the Year" for her charity work, in particular her work with people with disabilities. 

Dorset's 2015 Australia Day Ambassador Jo Palmer, and Citizen of the Year Helen Stingel

Dorset's Australia Day Ambassador for 2014 was Rebecca Cuthill, Manager of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal. The Appeal is managed through the University of Tasmania’s Foundation and is the official fundraising arm of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program. It uses public donations to support vaccine research and cutting-edge conservation, with the aim to keep the Tasmanian devil sustainable in the wild. In 2013, the Appeal had raised nearly half a million dollars via public donations and corporate support.

Australia Day Ambassador for Dorset 2014 Rebecca Cuthill 

Dorset's 2014 Australia Day Ambassador Rebecca Cuthill, Manager of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal, presenting an award

In 2013 the Dorset Municipality Australia Day Ambassador was 2011 Tasmanian Australian of the Year, Deborah De Williams, marathon runner, cancer surivor and founder of the charity Running Pink. Deborah was the first woman to run a complete, non-continuous lap around Australia. She embarked on her massive 20,000 kilometre journey in 2009 with her border collie, Maggie, at her side. Together they ran from Hobart to Darwin via the east coast, and raised $100,000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Incredibly, Deborah completed the last 800 kilometres with two broken feet.

Previous Dorset Municipality Australia Day Ambassadors include the head of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association, Perry Crosswhite AM, elite sports coach John Quinn, Olympic weightlifter Damian Brown, and World Champion Squash Player Sarah Fitz-Gerald AM. 

For further information on the Australia Day Ambassador Program, please see the Australia Day Website.