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Indigenous AFL player and anti-racism campaigner Adam Goodes was named the 2014 Australian of the Year this Sunday.
An Andyamathanha man, Adam is proud of his Indigenous heritage, and is actively involved with several Indigenous sport and community programs. He has spent time working with troubled youth, including those in youth detention centres.
Together with his cousin and former teammate Michael O’Loughlin, Adam established the Goodes-O'Loughlin Foundation in 2009, which exists to enable a brighter future for Indigenous people by promoting education, employment and healthy lifestyles.
According to the National Australia Day Council, Goodes was chosen 'for his leadership and advocacy in the fight against racism both on the sporting field and within society - a stance which has won him the admiration and respect of people around Australia.'
Describing the award as an honour, Goodes said his early experiences with racism had shaped his outlook and spurred his interest in advocacy work. 'It is about how you choose to give back and make a difference to those around you, your community or your country, that goes outside of just yourself. I believe we are all connected whether we like it or not. We are all equal and the same in so many ways. My hope is that we as a nation can break down the silos between races, break down those stereotypes of minority populations, Indigenous population and all the other minority groups.'
The Australian of the Year Award celebrates the achievement and contribution of eminent Australians, who inspire through their achievements and challenge the public to make their own contribution to creating a better Australia.
Source: Australian of the Year Awards, ABC News