2014 Young Australian of the Year—a leader to be proud of

Media Release
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education Senator Scott Ryan today congratulated Paralympian Jacqueline Freney on her Young Australian of the Year award.

Senator Ryan said the selection of the 21-year-old swimmer as the 2014 recipient—announced at today’s Australia Day concert in Canberra—will inspire many people in the community to pursue their dreams.

"Jacqueline is not only an extremely talented athlete—she is an inspirational role model,” Senator Ryan said.

Ms Freney, who was born with cerebral palsy, became one of Australia’s all-time Paralympic greats when she won an unprecedented eight gold medals—more than any other competitor—at the 2012 London Games.

Her talents and efforts are not restricted to the pool. She also works with Swimming Australia as a motivational speaker to help other people with disabilities reach their full potential.

"Jacqueline’s spirit and tireless work in the wider community illustrate that achieving at the highest level is possible with hard work and a positive attitude,” Senator Ryan said.

The Australian Government is delivering important initiatives for young people including National Youth Week, which recognises, acknowledges and celebrates the valuable contributions young people bring to the community.

"I am looking forward to National Youth Week, including the National Youth Awards coming up in April—the largest celebration of young people annually in Australia,” Senator Ryan said.

The Australian Government is a proud sponsor of the Young Australian of the Year Award.

For more information about the Young Australian of the Year Awards, visit www.australianoftheyear.org.au

For more information about National Youth Week including the National Youth Awards, go to www.youthweek.com

For more information

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