ACT AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR 2017 FINALISTS
- Australian of the Year: Alan Tongue
A former NRL player with the Canberra Raiders, Mr Tongue has been mentoring young people across the ACT and NSW since his retirement in 2011.
He created the Aspire program, aimed at rehabilitating young people, prisoners and disengaged youth, and educates footy players and school students on family violence.
- Senior Australian of the Year: Dick Telford
He's best known for inventing the breakfast cereal Sustain, but Mr Telford has been recognised for his work as a sports scientist and an athletics coach.
The 71-year-old has mentored distance runners to eight Commonwealth Games medals and Australia's only Olympic marathon medallist Lisa Ondieki, and has also led research into the physical literacy of children.
- Young Australian of the Year: Heidi Prowse
Since finding out her husband had cystic fibrosis, Ms Prowse has been championing the cause.
She started the annual Santa Speed Shuffle, which has raised $360,000 in four years, and is now CEO of Cystic Fibrosis ACT.
- Australia's Local Hero: Stasia Dabrowski
After almost 40 years of serving food to Canberra's needy, Ms Dabrowski has become known as the "soup kitchen lady".
The 90-year-old - whose family lost everything during WWII in Poland - gets up at 5am six days a week to distribute donated foods, and also runs a mobile soup kitchen that feeds up to 500 people on a busy Friday night.