Child Advocate and Actress Deborra-Lee Furness Awarded “NSW Australian of the Year”

Furness has tirelessly lobbied for adoption reform through the Adopt Change Campaign.

Denalee Chapman November 17, 2014
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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 world-wide, 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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Denalee Chapman

Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at

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