1. Amna Karra-Hassan
In 2011 Amna Karra-Hassan formed the first all-woman community AFL team in Western Sydney, the Auburn Tigers.
The team lost their debut game to Sydney University by more than 150 points and every game afterwards that season.
But Karra-Hassan, who rocks a hijab and jersey, was not deterred and worked hard to grow the code's popularity in Sydney's west while working full-time as an Australian Federal Police community liaison officer.
In 2014, her team took the colours of professional club the GWS Giants and reached the quarter finals of the comp, and in 2015 they got to the preliminary finals.
Five years later, the GWS Giants are one of eight foundation teams to start the AFL national women's league next year.
"AFL is seen as a masculine sport and working for the police is seen as a masculine job," the 28-year-old told the ABC.
"It’s about redefining how we perceive femininity. Why is femininity not strong? Why can’t we play a sport that has tackling – why is that a masculine sport? Why is policing seen as a job that only strong men can have and not that strong and capable women can have as well?”
2. Molly Taylor
Rally car driver Molly Taylor became the first female to win the Australian Rally Championship in November.
The 28-year-old, whose mother, Coral, was also a rally champion, traded in her horse for a rally car as a teenager and by 2013 was officially recognised as the fastest female rally driver in the world.
3. Nakkiah Lui
Gamilaroi and Torres Strait Islander woman Nakkiah Lui is a prolific playwright. This year alone she had three plays on.
Lui also wrote an incredibly personal piece about Indigenous youth suicide.
The 28-year-old made headlines when she told Triple J she wasn't happy with the station's Hottest 100 countdown remaining on Australia Day, a day when she "did not feel welcome on her own land".
Lui then topped off 2016 with a passionate appearance on Q&A last month in which she spoke honestly and eloquently about domestic violence and the Racial Discrimination Act.
4. Georgie Stone
Georgie Stone became the youngest person in Australia to be granted hormone blockers by the Family Court in 2009, when she was 10 years old.
Australia is the only country in the world where transgender children must get court approval to start hormone treatment.
Stone, now 16, has made a legal appeal to have the laws changed for other transgender teenagers and children, and was this year named Victorian GLBTI person of the year for her campaigning efforts.
5. Ellia Green
Winger Ellia Green came off the bench to score a vital second-half try in a match in which Australia made history and won the first ever women’s rugby gold medal at the Rio Olympics in August.
The 23-year-old said her mother, Yolanda, who has battled cancer twice and is in remission, was her motivation.
"I have her name written on my wrist all the time when I’m playing," she told The Australian, "so whenever I’m feeling like my legs are burning I just look down at my wrist and remind myself that my mum is a fighter and so I’m going to fight for her as well."
6. Lilly Lyons
Western Sydney schoolgirl and sexual abuse victim Lilly Lyons is only 14 years old but already has her own community radio show.
The Pride of Australia Medal finalist and Liverpool Young Citizen of the Year wants to help other victims of child abuse.
"Most of the time it is an older person that hurts a child, so for a young person [who has suffered sexual assault] to talk to another young person, they know what I'm going through," Lyons said while co-hosting a segment with 2GB's Ben Fordham.
"I talk [on my show] about different youth events and also give people advice."
7. Murrawah Johnson
Wangan and Jagalingou youth leader Murrawah Johnson has spent the year campaigning against the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine in Queensland on behalf of the traditional owners of the land.
The group is running four separate legal challenges to the project and claims the $22 billion project would breach native title rights.
“My people are saying no to the world’s largest proposed coal mine that would completely and utterly devastate our water, devastate our landscape, destroy our animals and in turn destroy us as a people, our cultural identity, our spiritual connection," she said last month in a speech made alongside award-winning writer and environmental campaigner Naomi Klein in Sydney.
8. Rebecca Shaw
Australia's Twitter darling and SBS comedian Rebecca Shaw, who goes by @Brocklesnitch online, this year turned her wildly successful @NoToFeminism account into a coffee table book.
The account, which is followed by 168,000 people, is purposely littered with typos, and parodies misogyny, sexism, and men's rights activists.
"I don't need femims [sic] women can't be leaders what if they get periods?? They might start a war over a bad reason! a thing men have never done."
9. Nayuka Gorrie
In a year in which constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians and Indigenous deaths in custody stayed at the forefront of political discussion, Kurnai/Gunai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri, and Yorta Yorta woman Nayuka Gorrie emerged as a powerful voice.
Gorrie wrote passionately for Vice and Junkee about mental illness, the exhausting resilience of Indigenous Australians, and why she has no time for Becky feminism – a convenient type of activism in which you can flaunt a Lena Dunham pin but find "blackness inconvenient".
She has become a leading name in the group of Indigenous Australians who want a treaty over constitutional recognition: "A treaty forces you to see me as an equal with a separate identity, history, and culture that has existed for tens of thousands of years."
10. Tyler Wright
Australia's gnarliest female, Tyler Wright, became women's surfing world champion in October and said she's "never been more in love" with surfing.
The 22-year-old then finished off her stellar year by winning the World Surf League event in Hawaii this month.
11. Sabre Norris
But Wright could soon have competition from tiny grommet Sabre Norris, who won the hearts of Australians everywhere last month in a hilarious interview when she became the youngest ever surfer to compete in a major Australian event.
The 11-year-old, who is also an amazing skateboarder, said she would spend her prize money on doughnuts.
12. Caitlin Stasey
In a year when access to abortion was thrown into the spotlight in both Australia and the United States, actor Caitlin Stasey, who is based in Los Angeles, used her huge Instagram following to fight for women's reproductive rights.
Stasey shared the story of her own abortion at Planned Parenthood in California.
"It was scary, it was sad, it was eye-opening but above all it was made easy for me,” she wrote. “I didn’t have to fight any biased doctors or family members."
13. Yassmin Abdel-Magied
Mechanical engineer and writer Yassmin Abdel-Magied this year released her memoirs, but the 25-year-old's 2016 will probably be remembered for starting a beef with American author Lionel Shriver and a subsequent national conversation about writers of colour.
Just 20 minutes into Shriver’s keynote speech at the Brisbane Writers Festival, Abdel-Magied walked out, unable to listen to another word of what she described as a “poisoned package wrapped up in arrogance and delivered with condescension”.
“If I went around saying the Anzacs were kind of rubbish … I would get crucified, I mean look at me, I’m a brown Muslim woman,” she said.
“But everything I deem as sacred is fair game.”
14. Chloe Esposito
Winning a gold medal for Australia at the Rio Olympics is a pretty big deal.
But when the event involves as many talents as modern pentathlon requires, the feat is particularly impressive.
Chloe Esposito ended the contest – which involves fencing, swimming, horse riding, shooting and running – in 12 minutes with 1,372 points, a new Olympic record.