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Refugee advocate is Vic Aussie of the Year

AAP logoAAP 16/11/2016

A refugee advocate who helps victims recover from torture has been named Victoria's Australian of the Year for 2017.

Paris Aristotle started the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture in 1988 and now leads a team of more than 200 staff helping refugees recover.

"Paris has demonstrated patience, personal integrity and practical skill as he navigates what is often an ethical and political minefield," the award citation said on Wednesday night.

Lois Peeler, once a member of the Sapphires and now principal at Australia's only Aboriginal girls' boarding school, was named Victorian Senior Australian of the Year.

Victorian Young Australian of the Year is 28-year-old diversity and inclusion champion, Jason Ball, who made headlines as a country footy player when he came out in 2012.

The Victorian Local Hero is Warrnambool community fundraiser Vicki Jellie, whose efforts after her husband died of cancer in 2008 saw a cancer centre built in her town.

"Each recipient represents the diversity that is Victoria's strength and we benefit from their contribution to our state," Premier Daniel Andrews said on Wednesday.

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