A young Kanahooka woman who founded the youth-led Top Blokes Foundation has been named a finalist in the NSW Young Australian of the Year Awards.
Melissa Abu-Gazaleh,28, created the foundation when she was 19 to combat anti-social and risk-taking behaviours among young men and bust negative stereotypes.
Southern Highlands artist Ben Quilty was also named finalist for NSW Australian of the Year.
Mr Quilty was the official war artist in Aghanistan recording and interpreting the experiences of Australian service men and women, with his paintings now hanging in the Australian War Memorial.
NSW Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Local Hero Award recipients will be announced on Monday 16 November at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
Recipients will then join their counterparts from other States and Territories as finalists for the national awards on January 25 2016.
The Australian of the Year Awards recognise people in our community for their remarkable contributions and achievements.