Alumni News Articles

1000 great Australians nominated

29 July 2009

Well-known names submitted to date for the prestigious awards include:
• Brain surgeon Dr Charles Teo
• Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham
• Sustainable farming advocate Peter Andrews
• Former Victorian police chief Christine Nixon
• Organ donor advocate Oliver Zammit
• Rugby league player Hazem El Masri
• Victims of crime advocate Ken Marslew
• Actress and fundraiser Paula Duncan
• Cross-Tasman kayakers James Castrission and Justin Jones
• Formula One driver Mark Webber
• Film director Baz Luhrmann

The great majority of nominations submitted are for everyday people whose contributions to their community or ‘quiet achievements’ have earned the admiration of their fellow Australians.

“The nominations received so far reflect the type of people  Australians find inspiring - from high profile heroes to people in towns and suburbs all over the country who give back to their community and help others,” said Tam Johnston, National Program Manager Director for the National Australia Day Council.

With four weeks to go until nominations close on 31 August, Ms Johnston warned against complacency and encouraged people to express their opinion about who should be recognised with an award by submitting a nomination.

“Sometimes people make the mistake of assuming the person they admire will already have been nominated.” said Ms Johnston

 “Just because someone is well known or you think they may be an obvious choice for the award doesn’t mean their name has been submitted yet.

“So I encourage all Australians to tell us who they think should be Australian of the Year and why by nominating them.”

There are four award categories in which you can nominate a great Australian:

• Australian of the Year - open to all Australians who deserve recognition for their extraordinary achievements, contributions to the community and nation and who are inspirational role models to all Australians;
• Senior Australian of the Year - recognises those Australians aged 60 years and over who continue to achieve and contribute to the community;
• Young Australian of the Year - recognises those extraordinary young Australians aged
16 - 30 years;
• Australia’s Local Hero - recognises Australians who make a real difference in their local communities and whose outstanding contributions enrich the lives of those around them.

Nominate now online at or pick up a nomination form at branches of the Awards program’s major sponsor, the Commonwealth Bank or call 1300 655 193 for more information. 

Nominations close Monday 31 August 2009.

The Commonwealth Bank has been the major sponsor of the Australian of the Year Awards for more than 30 years and Commonwealth Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Ralph Norris says the roll call of names in the awards is a living history of the nation.

“The Commonwealth Bank is proud to continue our support of the Australian of the Year Awards in 2009,” said Mr Norris.

“The previous recipients honoured reflect the changing makeup of this great country and highlight those we can all admire. 

“I encourage all Australians to be part of the 50th Anniversary of these awards by nominating someone they find inspiring.”

State & Territory award recipients in each category will be announced in November.  These State & Territory award recipients then become the finalists for the national level awards which will be announced on the eve of Australia Day, 25 January 2010.

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