Adam Goodes, the Sydney Swans and Australian Football League player, has been named Australian of the Year for 2014.
The announcement was made by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, at a ceremony in front of Parliament House tonight.
Goodes, 34, is a dual Brownlow medallist. In May last year, he was at the centre of a controversy over racism after a 13-year-old girl abused him by calling him an “ape” in the opening match of the AFL’s Indigenous Round.
In his acceptance speech, Goodes said the ultimate reward would be when all Australians saw each other as equals. He urged Australians to engage in a conversation about racism.
A former Liberal Party minister, Fred Chaney, was named Senior Australian of the Year for his work with Indigenous communities and for his contribution to reconciliation. Chaney, 72, was a senator for Western Australia from 1974 to 1990 and member for Pearce between 1990 and 1993. Amongst other portfolios, he was Minister for Aboriginal Affairs in the Fraser government from 1978 to 1980.
- Listen to Tony Abbott’s speech (4m)
- Listen to Adam Goodes’s speech (10m)