SA's Australian of Year 2017 finalists

By Mike Osborne


  • Australian of the Year: Kate Swaffer

Dementia sufferer and advocate and activists for people with the condition worldwide.

Has completed three university degrees since being diagnosed with the condition at age 50.

  • Senior Australian of the Year: Patricia Buckskin

An educator and passionate advocate of lifelong learning.

Was appointed South Australia's first Aboriginal state manager of Aboriginal education workers in 1987.

Instrumental in setting up the Kaurna Plains Aboriginal School - Australia's first Aboriginal school established in an urban setting.

  • Young Australian of the Year: Paul Vasileff

A 26-year-old fashion designer who stitched his first dress at the age of 11 and has since gone on to have his own label and a growing business in Adelaide that supplies boutiques around the world.

All his designs are stitched in South Australia as part of his desire to create a local brand.

  • Local Hero: Reginald George Heading

An agriculturalist who spent 25 years working in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Oman to help local farmers adopt Australian dryland farming techniques.

Also credited with coining the phrase "cattle class" to describe how he sent hundreds of stud dairy cattle to India in 1976.