Alumni News Articles

Special Event to Celebrate 50 Years of Inspiring Australians

19 January 2010

On Sunday 24th January 2010, the 50th anniversary of the Australian of the Year Awards will be celebrated with a gala dinner hosted by Their Excellencies Ms Quentin Bryce AC, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, and Mr Michael Bryce AM AE, in the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra.

The event will be attended by many former award recipients, including: Jack Brabham AO OBE (Australian of the Year 1966), General Peter Cosgrove AC MC (Retired) (Australian of the Year 2001), Dick Smith AO (Australian of the Year 1986), Steve Waugh AO (Australian of the Year 2004), Dr Jonathon Welch AM (Australia’s Local Hero 2008) and John Farnham AO (Australian of the Year 1987).

Since 1960, the awards have recognised Australians who inspire us and make us proud.

The honour roll of award recipients is varied, with inspirational names such as Professor Fred Hollows, Kay Cottee, Robert de Castella, Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop, Cathy Freeman, Sir Robert Helpmann, Arthur Boyd, Dame Joan Sutherland, Lee Kernaghan and Dr Fiona Wood among those to be named Australian of the Year.

Over the years, new award categories of Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia’s Local Hero have been added to allow the contributions and achievements of our elders, our youth and unsung local heroes to also be recognised and admired.

National Australia Day Council Chairman Adam Gilchrist said the anniversary event would celebrate not only the great Australians who have received the award but also provide an opportunity to reflect on how our society has changed over this time.

“When you look at the list of Australians of the Year since 1960, you see changes each decade in the type of people we hold up as representatives of our values and our national character,” said Gilchrist.

“They’re all amazing Australians and will be a unique gathering of minds, talents, contributions and backgrounds.”

A pre-dinner welcome drinks will be hosted by long time major sponsor of the Australian of the Year Awards program, the Commonwealth Bank.

“The Commonwealth Bank is very proud of our 31 years of support for the Australian of the Year awards program and we are pleased to be welcoming this extraordinary group of great Australians for this landmark occasion,” said Ralph Norris, CEO Commonwealth Bank.

On 25 January 2010, new names will be added to the long list of achievers with the announcement of the Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia’s Local Hero 2010.

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