NOMINATIONS FOR 2024 ARE NOW CLOSED
Learn exactly how the Australians of the Year are decided from nomination right through to the national announcement.
You can nominate any amazing Australian all year round! Nominations made after 31 July 2023 will be considered for the 2025 Awards.
In choosing the recipients of the Australian of the Year Awards, regard is given to the nominee's achievements in the year immediately prior to receiving the award, as well as their past achievements and ongoing contribution to the Australian community and nation.
Research suggests the public want to see the Awards recognise someone changing lives and Australian society for the better, someone whose challenges and triumphs are manifested in their life experience and personal journey, beyond their career achievements. A person who has taken risks, done the hard yards and been a pioneer that has had a positive impact on a wide range of people’s lives. The Award should ideally bring focus to the area of work the person has achieved in for the year they have been recognised.
An individual need only be nominated once to be considered. The number of nominations received per nominee bears no weight in their selection.
The selection criteria are:
- Significant contribution to the Australian community and nation
- An inspirational role model for the Australian community
- Demonstrated excellence in their field
- The Local Hero award acknowledges a significant contribution at local community level
Selection panels will also give consideration to the following in assessing and comparing nominations against the above criteria:
- Personal, academic and professional achievements
- Contribution in the relevant field (how has the nominee 'put back' into their field to benefit others)
- Demonstrated leadership, innovation and creativity
- Personal interests and community involvement
- Contribution to development of regional community and/or economy
- Future goals and likely impact
- Degree of difficulty of the achievement and sacrifices made
- Country of residence
- Previous awards and recognition
- Voluntary work beyond paid employment
- Nature and length of activity or service
- Achievements as an individual or as part of a group or organisation
- Availability and commitment to promote national pride and active citizenship through the year of the recipient's appointment
In ensuring that the Australian of the Year Awards recipients are representative of our diverse nation consideration may be given to:
- Remote, regional, city locations (particularly in relation to the Local Hero Award)
- Field of endeavour
- Nominees must be Australian citizens
- Awards will not be granted posthumously
- Self nominations will not be accepted
- Nominees must be at least 16 years of age on 26 January of the Awards year.
- Sitting state and federal politicians and current vice-regal officers are not eligible
- Retired politicians and vice-regal officers will be considered for work undertaken in addition to their official duties
- At the national level a person cannot receive a second award in the same award category, but can be considered for recognition in a separate category in following years, for example Young Australian of the Year and then Australian of the Year
- Unsuccessful nominees may be re-nominated in subsequent years
- Individuals can be nominated in only one state or territory, for example a person who has recently moved interstate will be eligible for consideration in only one location. Selection panels may choose to contact the nominee for them to determine which jurisdiction is most appropriate
- Groups of people or couples will not normally be eligible though in exceptional cases the selection panels reserve the right to consider such nominations
- Current members of the NADC Board and state based Australia Day Board are not eligible
- Absolutely NO weight is given to the number of times a person is nominated
- All nominees will be considered for the Australian of the Year Award
- Nominees aged 16 to 30 years will also be considered for the Young Australian of the Year Award
- Nominees aged 65 years and over will also be considered for the Senior Australian of the Year Award
- All nominees will be considered for Australia’s Local Hero Award
- Ages are as at 26 January of the Awards year.
Each year, we receive thousands of nominations for the Australian of the Year Awards. There are four categories open for nominations:
- Australian of the Year - celebrating the achievements and contributions of eminent Australians who are role models for us all
- Senior Australian of the Year - recognising those Australians aged 65 and over who continue to achieve and make a difference.
- Young Australian of the Year - celebrating inspiring 16 to 30 years olds who have accomplished great things in all walks of life.
- Australia’s Local Hero - acknowledges people making a difference in their local community.
You don’t need to be daunted by the task of nominating your role model or inspiring colleague, community champion, friend or family member. The best nominations are those that tell a story. They’re not always the best written or have a long list of attachments and referees, but they capture the characteristics of an extraordinary Australian making a difference.
Where do you start?
Firstly, check the nomination criteria to ensure your nominee is eligible. Our selection panel is looking for people who demonstrate excellence in their field, make a significant contribution to the community and who are role models for all Australians. Try to address these in your answers.
- Click the nominate link on this page and register your details.
- Once this is done you can start your nomination.
Tab 1 - start by providing answers to a few questions including the state that the person you are nominating lives in, the category you are nominating them for and their name.
Tab 2 asks for contact, age and citizenship details if you have them (it’s ok if you don’t) just answer what you can.
Tab 3 contains your nomination information and requires you to answer four questions:
- Why are you nominating this person?
- Please give examples of the nominee’s excellence in their field.
- Describe the nominees’ significant contributions to their local, national or global communities.
- Tell us how the nominee inspires Australians.
Why are you nominating this person (you can write up to 800 words here)
- Start by outlining why your nominee is worthy of an Australian of the Year Award in a clear and concise manner.
- What has this person done that makes them stand out?
- Why are you motivated to submit a nomination?
Please give examples of the nominee’s excellence in their field
- What is it about what they do that impresses you?
- Use real-world examples that demonstrate why your nominee is an inspiring role model.
- Whether they are the first one to lend a hand at the local football club or running a multi-national company, we want to know their stories and the impact they have made.
Describe the nominees’ significant contributions to their local, national or global communities
- How have they changed their community, city or the nation? Is it through personal or professional contributions?
- Have they changed legislation?
- Have they achieved an extraordinary human feat?
- Have they made an extraordinary scientific breakthrough?
- Do they go above and beyond within their community?
The people on our selection panels are everyday Australians from all walks of life: business, not for profit organisations and community groups, spanning various fields of endeavour and professions.
Support your nomination with facts and reliable statistics where you can.
Aim for quality not quantity, try to keep your sentences short and concise, and avoid repetition.
Check that your nomination addresses the selection criteria.
At any time, you can save and close your nomination and finish it later. We advise it should not be left any longer them seven days without completion.
Once complete please don’t forget to submit your nomination – it will not process if any of the important information is incomplete – the system will show you what needs to be completed for submission.
State and territory selection panels
State and territory selection panels aim to reflect Australia’s diversity and endeavour to include representatives with varying backgrounds - Indigenous Australians, young people, women, people from rural and remote areas, and people who come from a wide range of fields of endeavour.
The state and territory selection panels are chaired by the local Australia Day organisation and include representatives of the state or territory Australia Day organisation, program sponsor representatives and community representatives.
The National Australia Day Council Chief Executive Officer, or senior management will provide direction to the selection committee about the technical aspects of the selection process, criteria and the like, as well as provide a national perspective on the selection process.
National selection panel
The Board of the National Australia Day Council make up the national selection panel.
Withdrawal of an Award
The selection of nominees and recipients reflect the nominations received and information available to the selection panel at the time. The National Australia Day Council reserves the right to withdraw an award if further information or the recipient's conduct draws the Australian of the Year Awards into disrepute.
June – July
The National Australia Day Council calls on all individuals, groups and organisations to nominate an Australian who makes them proud for the Australian of the Year Awards.
Following your nomination, you will be sent confirmation that it was received, together with a reference number for future correspondence. It is important you provide us with current and correct details to ensure we can keep you up to date throughout the year with how your nomination is progressing.
September - October
Once the nomination period closes, all the nominations are sorted into and delivered to their relevant state/territory. An expert selection panel in each state and territory will select four nominees in the four award categories. One hundred and twenty eight Australians (16 in each state/territory) will be acknowledged for their contribution to our nation.
You will be notified by email if the person you put forward is successful in becoming a state or territory nominee.
State and territory award recipients are announced at ceremonies in each capital city. These 32 award recipients proceed to the national level of judging.
The National Australia Day Council Board selects the national award recipients in each of the four award categories.
The Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia’s Local Hero will be announced to the nation from Canberra on the eve of Australia Day.
Celebrating the achievements and contributions of eminent Australians who are role models for us all.
Recognising those Australians aged 65 and over who continue to achieve and make a difference.
Celebrating inspiring 16 to 30 year olds who have accomplished great things in all walks of life.
Established in 2003, Australia's Local Hero acknowledges people making a difference in their local community.