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Women lead the field for Australian of the Year

London bombings survivor Gill Hicks, domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty and adoption advocate Deborra Lee Furness are among the finalists this year.

Deborra-lee Furness (NSW), Rosie Batty (VIC), Hetty Johnston AM (QLD), Professor Lyn Beazley AO (WA), Dr Gill Hicks MBE (SA) and Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM (NT). They join Rodney Croome AM (TAS) and Glenn Keys (ACT).
Neuroscientist Professor Lyn Beazley, child safety campaigner Hetty Johnston
and indigenous activist Rosalie Kunoth-Monks round out the female-dominated
finalist list ahead of this weekend's 2015 Australian of The Year announcement in Canberra.
Six of the eight fialists this year are women. Gay marriage advocate Rodney
Croome and ACT businessman, Glenn Keys are the two lonely males competing
for the coveted title this year.
Online betting agency, Sportsbet, currently has South Australia's Dr Gill Hicks as favourite to take home the award, at $2.50 to 1, followed closely by Professor Lyn Beazley ($3.50), Hetty Johnston (5.00), Deborra-Lee Furness (7.50) and Rosie Batty (9.00).
South Australian-based Dr Hicks, who rose to prominence following the London
bombings in July 2005 in which she lost both her legs, has distinguished
herself in the intervening years as a motivational speaker and as the
founder of M.A.D for Peace.
Professor Beazley was nominated by her home state W.A for her services to neuroscience, while NSW's nominee Deborra Lee Furness has been recognised for her efforts to reform adoption laws in Australia.
Victoria's nominee, Rosie Batty, has had a remarkable year. Following her son Luke's death at cricket training last February at the hands of his father, Ms Batty has emerged as a passionate advocate for victims of domestic violence.
The awards will be announced this Sunday at a ceremony in Canberra. The 2015
Australian of The Year has been decided by a panel led by Victoria Cross recipient, Ben Roberts-Smith.

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