Married to Hugh Jackman and adoptive mother of two, Deborra-Lee Furness is the new NSW Australian of the Year. Australia’s ABC news reports that Furness lobbied for adoption reform with the Adopt Change Campaign to make it easier for Australians to adopt. With one of the lowest rates of adoption worldwide, it’s time for a change.

In 2008, Furness launched Australia’s National Adoption Awareness Week, and she is now working to create an educational program for adoptive families to help them and their adopted children through the hurdles that make the new family life challenging.

There were 339 adoptions last year in Australia, 210 of those being Australian children. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has recorded a 77% decline in adoptions over the past 25 years. Ms. Furness is working hard to change those numbers and thereby help create families. Being awarded the NSW Australian of the Year makes her a candidate for Australian of the Year, which will be awarded in January 2015.

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