Yesterday the National Australia Day Council called on all Australians to begin nominations for the 2015 Australian of the Year at the official opening in Sydney.
For over 50 years these prestigious awards have given extraordinary Australians the acknowledgment they deserve, and each year have honoured 128 people in the categories of Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia’s Local Hero.
Aussie heroes and current award nominees from across the country gathered at the event to recognise the value of the awards and to promote the importance of nominating. The Governor-General and 2001 Australian of the Year Sir Peter Cosgrove officially opened the nominations for 2015.
“These awards have honoured those who have made us proud to be Australian,” he said.
It was made apparent by Sir Peter Cosgrove that this program has not only acknowledged the work of amazing Australians but has also inspired others to do the same, encouraging “selflessness, excellence and service”.
National Australia Day Council Chair Adam Gilchrist mentioned the work and leadership is noticed through these awards. “These awards are about people who inspire us,” he said.
Current award holders, Australian of the Year Adam Goodes, Senior Australian of the Year Fred Chaney, Young Australian of the Year Jacqueline Freney and Australia’s Local Hero Tim Conolan, all spoke on their view of the awards. Besides speaking so highly of the program, the general consensus from the award holders was that more Australians need to vote, with Goodes adding “it only takes one nomination”.
Nominations are open from now until 1 August 2014 with complementary advertisements showing on ABC with the slogan “One nomination is all it takes” to encourage all Australians to nominate the exceptional people among us. – Jacinta Scott
Photo taken by Daniel Walker.