2022 Australian of the Year Awards: How young people can benefit from award recognition

The Australia Day Council of South Australia is calling for nominations for the 2022 Australian of the Year Awards. This encourages all ages to engage in putting South Australia’s best forward to receive national recognition. (Image Source: Australian of the Year Awards Gallery)

By Ashleigh Buck | @ashkbuck

The Australian of the Year Awards acknowledge those who have made a significant contribution to our community. Dating back to 1960, these awards are an important part of our culture and allow us to celebrate the achievements of individuals who consistently go above and beyond for their families and communities.

The awards have become quite a public event in recent years, with the ceremony being televised. Offering an insight into “Australian identity”, they reflect the nations evolving relationship with not only Britain but the world. Inclusive of sport, Australian culture, multiculturalism and Indigenous communities, the award has provided a focal point for the recognition of outstanding achievement.

Many passionate young Australians are forging a future as change-makers, and the awards offer a platform to recognise that. Such was the case with Isobel Marshall, the 2021 Young Australian of the Year.

Isobel is a co-founder of social enterprise, TABOO – a team on a mission to “eradicate period poverty” and her effort through TABOO did not go unnoticed.

“It’s humbling to know that the hard work of our TABOO team has been recognised by the community, media and the Australia Day Council of South Australia since the Young Australian of the Year awards for 2021 were announced,” said Isobel.

“This award has truly changed the trajectory of our social enterprise and has helped us grow towards our mission in a shorter amount of time. 

“We’ve put our heart and soul into ensuring that menstruators all over the globe have access to safe period products, and the appropriate education to deal with their menstrual health, so it’s been incredible to reach so many more ears this year through the awards, sparking the conversion, breaking down the stigma and practically supporting our charity partners.”

As a result of her positive experience, Isobel encourages all young Australians to nominate those they believe are deserving of recognition.

The Australian of the Year awards are held at the National Arboretum in Canberra. This is where nominees from across Australia come to support each other and await the announcement of the winners.

While the event is a place of support and celebration, it is also a place for individuals to express their passions and show their support of bigger issues going on in the world.

During the 2020 award ceremony, nominee for Young Australian of the Year, Madeline Diamond showed her passion for the increasing climate issue, portraying the words “Climate Justice” across her chest.

Causing quite a stir, this inspirational young woman was applauded across multiple social media platforms for her “magnificent message” and strong-willed display to promote a more sustainable way of living to all Australians.

CEO of Australia Day Council of South Australia, Jan Chorley, a spokesperson for the Australian of the Year Awards, expressed the importance of getting all ages involved in this community event, especially the youth of today.

“The Australian of the Year Awards provides four different categories to cater for all walks of life. One of these categories is the Young Australian of the Year Award which is all about celebrating inspiring 16 to 30-year-olds who have accomplished great things.

“Nominating young people in our communities is so important to encourage our young generations to strive for big things and help them along their way to making a positive difference in their homes, communities, or even the globe.

“At the end of the day, our young generations are those who will mould the future so it’s our job to ensure they are supported, encouraged and recognised along the way,” said Jan.

“We all know a person within the community that deserves to be recognised for their outstanding contributions,” said Jan, “These contributions can make an impact on the day to day lives of everyday South Australians or across our nation or globally.”

If you would like to nominate someone, visit australianoftheyear.org.au by Midnight 31 July 2021 to share who they are, what they have achieved and why you would like to see them recognised.

The following are the four categories that a person can be nominated for:

  • Australian of the Year: Celebrating the achievements and contributions of eminent Australians who are role models.
  • Senior Australian of the Year: Recognising Australians aged 65 and over who continue to achieve and make a difference.
  • Young Australian of the Year: Celebrating inspiring 16 to 30-year-olds who have accomplished great things in all walks of life.
  • Australia’s Local Hero: Established in 1999, Australia’s Local Hero acknowledges people making a difference in their local community.

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