Child rights advocate announced as one of four final nominees for Northern Territory Local Hero Award

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Child rights advocate announced as one of four final nominees for Northern Territory Local Hero Award

The National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) is pleased to announce that Northern Territory Manager, Lesley Taylor, has been shortlisted for a Northern Territory Local Hero Award as part of the 2020 Australian of the Year Awards. 

“Lesley has dedicated her life to preventing child abuse and neglect and we are so lucky to have her as part of our Northern Territory team,” said NAPCAN CEO, Richard Cooke. 

“She absolutely lives and breathes the message that we can all play a part in creating better communities for all children.”

Ms Taylor said, “I am beyond excited to be shortlisted for this award!”

“Children do best when we support families and create strong connected communities. I absolutely believe that if we all work together we can prevent abuse and neglect and build a better world for our children.” 

“It’s even more special to receive this news during Children’s Week and to see that several other nominees are also dedicated to working with children and families,” 

“Congratulations to my fellow nominees Shirleen Campbell, Timmy Duggan, and Helen Summers, all of whom I know and respect greatly.” 

“I’m totally honoured to be in such an amazing company and will be thrilled regardless of who is announced as the award recipient on 31 October,” says Ms Taylor. 

National Australia Day Council CEO Karlie Brand said the Northern Territory nominees were all using their skills and experiences to educate, inspire or bring about change.

“This is a particularly special time to be nominated as we’re celebrating six decades of the awards,” said Ms Brand.

“The 2020 Northern Territory nominees are all taking leadership roles – in community, in culture, or sharing stories which foster understanding.”

2020 Northern Territory Local Hero Final Nominees: 

  • Lesley Taylor – Child protection advocate (Yulara)
  • Shirleen Campbell – Family and domestic violence activist (Alice Springs)
  • Timmy Duggan – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s health advocate (Darwin)
  • Helen Summers – Blindness prevention advocate (Darwin)

For more information on the Australian of the Year Awards visit

Media contact: Helen Fogarty 0410 541997 


Lesley Taylor
Child protection advocate
Lives: Yulara

Lesley Taylor has dedicated her life to protecting children. After working in the frontline of Northern Territory’s child protection for more than 10 years, in 2000 she founded NT’s first sole child abuse prevention agency – the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN). She is also NAPCAN’s National Manager, Prevention Strategies. Lesley’s work has been instrumental in moving the focus from simply dealing with child abuse after it’s occurred, to helping prevent it in the first place. She does this by helping communities engage with children’s wellbeing, helping create child-friendly and child-safe communities. Lesley’s simple, powerful message is that each of us can play a role in preventing child abuse. Based in Yulara, Lesley frequently travels throughout the NT, delivering training and developing resources. A sought-after speaker at conferences here and overseas, her inspiring 2012 TED Talk What does being nice have to do with child abuse prevention? has been downloaded thousands of times.


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