Alumni News Articles

Professor Ian Maddocks gives an insight into being Senior Australian of the Year 2013

7 June 2013

Professor Ian Maddocks gives an insight into being Senior Australian of the Year 2013

On the eve of Australia Day, Professor Ian Maddocks was named Senior Australian of the Year for 2013. Little did he know how receiving this award would change his life forever. Since that day, he has been busy travelling the country doing a number of speaking engagements and continuing his advocacy work for palliative care.  

Professor Maddocks has kindly provided us with a glimpse of what life has been like since being awarded.

Being Senior Australian of the Year

"When this award was announced in January, a previous recipient, Maggie Beer, sent a message: ‘It will turn your year upside down’.

The year has certainly not gone ahead as I had anticipated before January, and has brought a fairly chaotic series of requests, invitations and contacts in no predicable order or timing, plus many messages of goodwill.

I was impressed when Geoffrey Rush, previous Australian of the Year claimed to have answered every letter he received. I have tried to do the same, but with no secretary and a busy medical practice, it has caused some strain. 

The best part of the publicity was the renewal of contact with old friends and the recall of old acquaintances who emerged from the mists of the past. 

I was much impressed with the distinction and the contributions made to the community at large by the State finalists and the other Australians of the Year. But no doubt there were many other remarkable Australians who might just as easily have been chosen.

Because it is a pot-luck matter, it is important that a wide range of nominations is available for those who have the unenviable task of deciding on the one individual to be singled out in each of the four categories, first at State, then at Federal level. Somehow, particular persons have to be selected for the same privilege of recognition that I have endured and enjoyed, and almost certainly they will each be remarkable in a special way, but will be as surprised as I was."

If you know someone who you admire, whether it be someone you know or someone you admire from afar, you can have their achievements recognised and possibly change their life forever. Nominations for the Australian of the Year Awards 2014 are now open. You can nominate online until midnight Friday 2 August 2013. 

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