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Ronni Kahn

Ronni Kahn, the happy recipient of this years Australia's Local Hero 2010, runs OzHarvest, which helps make the very most of food that would otherwise end up in landfill.

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The recipients of this year's Australian of the Year Awards have been announced, honouring Aussies from all fields, including an eco-aware woman with a passion for helping others and our environment.

Victorian youth mental health expert Patrick McGorry was named Australian of the Year 2010 at this evening's ceremony on the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra. McGorry is Executive Director of Orygen Youth Health, a world-renowned youth mental health service, and is also Director of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation.

Senior Australian of the Year went to South Australian cook and restaurateur Maggie Beer, while Young Australian of the Year was presented to Victoria's Mark Donaldson, a trooper who in 2009 was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery in Afghanistan.

Of the several keen-on-green nominees that were running across the various categories in the presitgious awards, it was New South Wale's food rescuer Ronni Kahn who shone, being presented with the award for Australia's Local Hero.

In 2004 Kahn founded OzHarvest, which collects and delivers surplus food from restaurants, cafes and events to over 160 charities across Sydney, Canberra and Wollongong - saving thousands of tonnes of food from landfill and helping less fortunate Australians to eat quality, nutritious food.

"Ronni Kahn is a great example of someone seeing an opportunity to make a real difference in their local
community," said Ralph Norris, CEO of the Commonwealth Bank, at the ceremony.

Presenting the awards, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd praised all of the award recipients their achievements.

"For the past 50 years, the Australian of the Year Awards program has honoured those among us who inspire us, and do us proud as a nation...This year I am again awed by the achievements and contributions of the award recipients, who demonstrate that greatness comes in many forms and all Australians have the potential for greatness within us," he said.

More than 2,500 nominations were received from the public for the 2010 awards, and nominations are already being accepted for the Australian of the Year 2011. Nominate someone that makes you proud now at www.australianoftheyear.org.au.