Release type: Media Release


Worthy recognition for Young Australian of the Year Awer Mabil


The Hon Dr Anne Aly MP
Minister for Early Childhood Education
Minister for Youth

I would like to congratulate Awer Mabil from South Australia for being awarded the 2023 Young Australian of the Year.

Awer Mabil is a worthy recipient of this honour after making such a significant and enduring impact in his South Australian community.

Awer Mabil has been recognised for co-founding the not-for-profit ‘Barefoot to Boots’ organisation which aims for better health, education, policies and gender equality for refugees.

Awer Mabil’s dedication and commitment demonstrate the best of what young Australians contribute to our communities. Their passion and dedication to making a difference is inspiring to us all.

He was chosen as this year’s Young Australian from an impressive field of finalists:

  • The ACT’s Kofi Owusu-Ansah is a Ghanian-Australian poet, songwriter and rapper – better known as Genesis Owusu – who uses hip-hop music to highlight issues such as racism and depression.
  • Lottie Dalziel from New South Wales founded the ‘Banish’ website and social media platform which champions sustainability practices, to help people reduce waste.
  • The Northern Territory’s Jahdai Vigona is a proud Tiwi Islands man who encourages Indigenous people to speak up and be heard.
  • Talei Elu from Queensland left a career in the Australian Public Service to use her government experience to promote Torres Strait culture via media content and community organisation.
  • Meriem Daoui is a Tasmanian long-distance runner and registered nurse, who uses marathons to raise awareness and funds for issues as varied as childhood cancer research and helping displaced Syrians.
  • Gunaikurnai man Darcy McGauley-Bartlett, from Victoria, set up a ground-breaking program to keep young First Nations people out of jail.
  • And Nagmeldin Bol, born in Somali and from Western Australia, is a two-time Olympian who holds the current national 800m record. He was the first Australian runner in 53 years to make an Olympic 800m final.

Congratulations to Awer Mabil and all the finalists, who are empowering young Australians in our communities.