Frequently Asked Questions


How does the Awards process work?

Australians are invited to nominate someone who makes them proud.
Nominations are shortlisted in their relevant state or territory.
An expert selection panel selects the state/territory nominees and recipients in each Award category.
State and territory nominees and recipients are announced at functions in November.
State and territory recipients then proceed to the national level of judging.
The National Australia Day Council Board selects the national recipients in each Award category.
National recipients are announced on Australia Day eve in Canberra.

When do nominations open and close?

You can nominate at any time of the year. Nominations for the 2021 Awards will close on 31 July 2020.

Who is eligible to be nominated?

Any Australian citizen aged 16 years or over as at 26 January 2021.

Who can nominate?

Any Australian citizen can nominate.

How do I nominate?

To nominate, you simply need to complete the form online or fill in a form and post it to us. 

Do I have to know the person I nominate?

No. You can nominate a friend, family member, community leader, colleague or even someone well-known - absolutely anyone, as long as they are an Australian citizen.

Who should I use as a referee?

Ideal referees are people who can personally comment on the achievement and service of the person you put forward in the awards. We suggest you ask the referee before you identify them as a referee for your nominee.
If you are nominating someone well-known or someone you do not personally know, you may find it difficult to think of someone to suggest as a referee. If this is the case it is not mandatory that you provide a referee's name.

What is supporting documentation?

Supporting documentation can include (but is not limited to):

Personal references
Newspaper articles
If you are nominating online, you can attach supporting documentation to the form. If you nominate using a nomination form and need to provide additional information, please clearly state your reference number on all supporting documentation when you send it to the National Australia Day Council.

If you are nominating online, send supporting documentation to:

Australian of the Year Awards
National Australia Day Council
Reply Paid 83032
C/O - Old Parliament House
Parkes ACT 2600

All documentation will be retained by the National Australia Day Council.

What are some tips I can use for my nomination?

Click here for some tips on nominating.

How can I check if my nomination has been received?

Once your nomination is received, you will be sent an email thanking you for participating in the program. This email will contain a reference number for your nomination. If you do not receive an email contact the National Australia Day Council on 1300 655 193.

Who is eligible to enter the Young Australian and Senior Australian of the Year Awards?

For Young Australian of the Year, any Australian citizen between the ages of 16 to 30 is eligible. For Senior Australian of the Year, any Australian citizen aged 65 and over is eligible (ages are at 26 January 2021).

What are the selection criteria for nominees?

Selection criteria can be found here.

If someone has previously received an Award, can they be nominated again?

At the national level a person cannot receive a second award in the same Awards category, but can be considered for recognition in a separate category in following years eg. Young Australian of the Year and then Australian of the Year.

At the state/territory level a person can be awarded the same award in subsequent years unless they have received the award at the national level.

If I nominate someone and they do not receive an Award, can I nominate them the following year?

Yes, you can nominate them as many times as you like.

How are the recipients selected?

Nominees and recipients at the state/territory level are selected by an independent selection panel comprising of representatives of the state/territory Australia Day organisation, National Australia Day Council, Award sponsors and community representatives.

State and territory recipients in each category are selected by the Board of the National Australia Day Council.

How can I watch the Awards presentation in January?

The Awards will be broadcast live on ABC on 25 January. Further details will be available closer to the date.

How long have the Awards been running?

The Australian of the Year Awards commenced in 1960, with the inaugural Award recipient being Sir MacFarlane Burnet OM AK KBE, a winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine. The Young Australian of the Year Award was added in 1979, Senior Australian Award in 1999, and the Local Hero Award in 2003.

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