A migrant and refugee advocate who escaped war-torn Sierra Leone 19 years ago has been named the Tasmania Australian of the Year for 2023.
John Kamara, who started a new life in the island state after arriving as a refugee, was on Friday recognised for his work assisting migrants, refugees and people from culturally diverse communities.
Mr Kamara, 38, co-founded the Culturally Diverse Alliance of Tasmania, as well as the African Communities Council of Tasmania which strives to build relationships between African Australians and the wider community.
He and wife, Mavis, also established Kamara's Heart Foundation, a charity to assist children in Sierra Leone.
Mr Kamara sits on multiple boards, helps migrants with resumes and house hunting and founded a community choir to share and explore music of different cultures.
The Tasmania Senior Australian of the Year award was given to doctor, frontline COVID-19 worker and prisoner advocate Frances Donaldson.
Dr Donaldson, 80, worked as a nurse and became director of nursing before switching to study medicine in her 40s.
She was a lead doctor in the state's home COVID-19 care program and volunteered to look after seasonal workers in hotel quarantine.
Humanitarian and marathon runner Meriem Daoui was named Tasmania Young Australian of the Year.
Born in Morocco, Ms Daoui ran her first marathon at age 16 and raised more than $5000 for displaced Syrians affected by civil war.
She recently raised more than $12,000 for childhood cancer research by running a half-marathon to the top of Hobart's kunanyi/Mt Wellington every day for a week.
Volunteer ambulance officer and ammunition technical officer Keith Parker was named the Tasmania Local Hero.
Mr Parker, who has worked with the United Nations, has contributed more than 1500 hours per year since 2011 as a volunteer ambulance officer in the town of Sheffield.
The four Tasmania winners will join those from the other states and territories at the national awards on January 25.
Australian Associated Press
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