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TIME RUNNING OUT TO NOMINATE FOR AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR 2012

3 August 2011

There are just a few weeks left to submit nominations for the Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia's Local Hero awards as nominations close on 31 August 2011.

The National Australia Day Council (NADC) said nominations for the 2012 awards have been flowing in from around the country for people who are inspiring others with their contributions to the nation and their achievements.
"We're seeing lots of nominations for unsung heroes and quiet achievers from communities all over Australia as well as nominations for some more well known names," said Tam Johnston, National Program Director, NADC.
"Everyone has someone they are inspired by or who they admire so take a few minutes to tell us about them with a nomination - it could see your nominee awarded one of the country's greatest honours next January."
Australians can submit nominations in four award categories:

The National Australia Day Council (NADC) said nominations for the 2012 awards have been flowing in from around the country for people who are inspiring others with their contributions to the nation and their achievements.

"We're seeing lots of nominations for unsung heroes and quiet achievers from communities all over Australia as well as nominations for some more well known names," said Tam Johnston, National Program Director, NADC.

"Everyone has someone they are inspired by or who they admire so take a few minutes to tell us about them with a nomination - it could see your nominee awarded one of the country's greatest honours next January."

Australians can submit nominations in four award categories:

• Australian of the Year

• Senior Australian of the Year (60 years and over)

• Young Australian of the Year (16-30 years)

• Australia’s Local Hero

Nominations can be made online at www.australianoftheyear.org.au or by completing a nomination form available from any branch of major sponsor the Commonwealth Bank or call 1300 655 193 for more information. Nominations close at midnight on 31 August 2011.

Some of the high profile Australians nominated to date include:

• Tracey Bevan - McGrath Foundation

• Dr Andy Thomas - scientist and astronaut

• Ellyse Perry - footballer and cricketer

• Lyn White - animal rights campaigner

• Julian Burnside AO QC - human rights advocate

• Dr Jimmy Little AO - musician/singer

• Dr Hugh Wirth AM - RSPCA Victoria

•Geoff Huegill - swimmer

• Cadel Evans - champion cyclist

• Kasey Chambers - musician/singer

• Petrea King - Quest For Life Foundation

• Jan Cameron - businesswoman and environmentalist

Among the nominees who are not household names are people making a difference at the grass roots level such as:

• NSW Kelly Foran of Maules Creek, who created a website with information on services and facilities around metropolitan hospitals for rural families to access in emergencies.

• VIC Aboriginal culture and youth advocate Tim Kanoa of Cockatoo/Portland is committed to preserving his people's culture and helping young people have a voice.

• QLD Karen Croke from the Glasshouse Mountains, whose community group, Knitting For Brisbane's Needy, donates thousands of warm items to homeless people and others in need.

• WA Michael Cull of Wembley is co-founder of Sailability WA and a champion sailor. A paraplegic himself, Mike tirelessly helps other people with disabilities find their abilities through sailing.

• SA Kilkenny's Jill Chapman, whose work in suicide prevention and support includes the recent establishment of MOSH House in Thebarton (Minimisation Of Suicide Harm).

• TAS Launceston's Joan Green has spent a lifetime in fundraising and heritage preservation through the National Trust (Tas), the Australiana Fund, various charities and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

• ACT Jillian Thomsen of Acton, whose voluntary work includes co-ordinating the gathering, transport and distribution of school supplies for children in the Aceh region after the Boxing Day Tsunami and who has represented Australia at the UN global Youth Forum.

• NT Leon Snyders from Gray in Darwin, has devoted his retirement time to helping others, including cooking for Salvation Army lunches and managing Anglicare charity shops in Ludmilla, Rapid Creek and Palmerston.

The awards rely on nominations from the public so it is vital that nominations are formally submitted so that people such as these can be considered in the awards and celebrated for their efforts.

"Every day we meet many inspiring people in communities around Australia and that's why we're pleased to help recognise them as we find the next Australian of the Year," said Ralph Norris, Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth Bank.

"Nomination forms are still available in Commonwealth Bank branches so be sure to pick one up and get your nomination in before it's too late."

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