History of the awards
Since its inception in 1960 the Australian of the Year Award has provided a focal point for Australia Day celebrations and a forum for the recognition of outstanding achievement.
The official announcement has grown to become a major public event, with thousands of onlookers witnessing the televised ceremony in Canberra.
The award offers an insight into Australian identity, reflecting the nation’s evolving relationship with Britain and the world, the role of sport in Australian culture, the impact of multiculturalism, and the special status of Australia’s Indigenous people.
The awards today
Each year our nation celebrates the achievements and contributions of eminent Australians through the Australian of the Year Awards by profiling leading citizens who are role models for us all. They inspire us through their achievements and challenge us to make our own contribution to creating a better Australia.
The Awards honour an exceptional group of highly-respected Australians who ignite discussion and change on issues of national importance.
The Australian of the Year Awards provides everyone with the opportunity to recognise any Australian who makes them proud.