Nominate

ALL CERemonies are Live Streamed

Thank you for nominating an Aussie hero for the 2021 Australian of the Year Awards.

Go to our Facebook page @AustralianoftheYear to catch the live stream of each ceremony.

State and territory awards dates (all times local)

VIC – Tues 27 Oct, 6.30pm
TAS - Fri 30 Oct, 1.15pm
ACT - Mon 2 Nov, 6.00pm
NT - Wed 4 Nov, 6.00pm
NSW - Mon 9 Nov, 6.00pm
QLD - Tues 10 Nov, 6.30pm
WA - Thurs 12 Nov, 6.30pm

Although 2021 nominations have closed, you can nominate an amazing Aussie all year round. All new nominations we receive after 31 July 2020 will be considered for Australian of the Year 2022.

Each year, we sift through thousands of nominations for the Australian of the Year Awards. Some of those stand out – and they aren’t always those that are the best written or have a long list of referees. The best nominations are those that tell a story and capture the characteristics of an extraordinary Australian making a difference.

So, don’t be daunted by the task of nominating your inspiring colleague or community champion, friend or family member. Just consider our tips for writing a stand-out nomination:

Open with the important information

Start with a clear and specific statement that outlines why your nominee is worthy of an Australian of the Year Award. Ask yourself: What activities or actions has the nominee undertaken that stand out? What has the nominee accomplished that goes above and beyond their job description? What special skills or talents have they employed? How has the nominee changed their community, city or the nation? Why are you motivated to nominate this person?

Consider your audience

The people on our selection panels are everyday Australians from all walks of life. They hail from business, not-for-profit organisations and community groups, and span various fields of endeavour and profession. Imagine you are talking to an intelligent, engaged audience without specific expertise in your field. Spell out acronyms the first time you use them and avoid using jargon, overly scientific language or terms that may not be familiar to people outside your industry.

Share their story

Strengthen your nomination by painting a picture of the person. What motivates them to make a difference? What personal challenges have they overcome in their life? Why do they inspire others? How does this person make you feel?

Don’t just say it, prove it

Use real-world examples that demonstrate why your nominee is an inspiring role model. Whether your nominee is the first one to lend a hand at the local football club or the person staying back late each night in the lab, we want to know the stories of their life and the impact they have made.

Tell the facts

Support your nomination with hard facts and reliable statistics. Can you provide specific measures of this person’s success?

Aim for quality, not quantity

A long nomination isn’t always a better nomination. Try to keep your sentences short and concise, and avoid repetition. Steer clear of detailed job descriptions or work histories, or providing multiple referee statements that don’t offer new information.

Stick to the selection criteria

Our 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, so ensure your nomination addresses these criteria.

Remember referees

Don’t forget to fill in the referee field, naming someone else that supports your nomination, who is aware of the nominee’s achievements and will be able to provide any additional information if required.

Check eligibility

Take the time to check that your nominee meets the eligibility criteria.

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:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Remote, regional, city locations (particularly in relation to the Local Hero Award)
  • Ethnicity
  • Field of endeavour

Eligibility Criteria 

  • 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

Category Eligibility

  • 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.

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.

November

State and territory award recipients are announced at ceremonies in each capital city. These 32 award recipients proceed to the national level of judging.

January

The National Australia Day Council Board selects the national award recipients in each of the four award categories.

January 25

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 1999, Australia's Local Hero acknowledges people making a difference in their local community.