Award-winning musician and Indigenous campaigner Archie Roach will represent Victoria at the Australia Day awards.
The 63-year-old was on Wednesday named the 2020 Victoria Australian of the Year ahead of AFL champion Neale Daniher, journalist Adele Ferguson and Salvation Army Commanding Officer Brendan Nottle.
"We live in the most blessed country on this earth," Roach said as he accepted the award, while admitting he thought Daniher would take the prize.
He will join winners from across the country for the announcement of the national awards on Australia Day eve in Canberra.
Roach runs Ruby's Foundation - named after his late wife - which looks to improve opportunities for young First Nations people through art and culture.
He was forcibly removed from his family at age two and overcome teenage alcoholism and homelessness.
In 1992 he won two ARIA Awards for his 1990 debut album Charcoal Lane. He also received a Human Rights Achievement Award for his iconic Stolen Generations song, Took the Children Away.
2020 Victorian Winners
- Victoria Australian of the Year - Archie Roach
- Victoria Senior Australian of the Year - former police assistant commissioner and road safety champion Raymond Shuey
- Victoria Young Australian of the Year - youth and disabilities worker Taya Davies, 29
- Victoria Local Hero - single mum Josephine Jones has collected more than 5.3 tonnes of rubbish from Mornington Peninsula beaches during her daily collection since 2006