celebrating our heroes


Australian of the Year Award

Australian of the year Award recognises people who inspire us through their achievements to be better, do better. They have become role models in our communities challenging us to contribute in our own way to making Australia and the world a better place.

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Every year the national Australian of the Year Awards are awarded on Australia Day. The Australian of the Year Awards started in 1960 and is a program of the National Australia Day Council.

Present to 1991 ... 1990 to 1976 ... 1975 to 1960

Name Born Died A little bit about them . . .
1990 Fred Hollows 1921 -1993 Ophthalmologist and humanitarian, founder of The Fred Hollows Foundation, pioneered a low cost method for manufacturing intraocular lenses, trained doctors in poor communities overseas to perform simple eye surgery
1989 Allan Border 1955   Australian cricket captain, names Australian of the Year for his leading role in the historic Ashes victory
1988 Kay Cottee 1954   Solo yachtswoman, first female sailor to circumnavigate the world non-stop and unassisted. Her journey took 189 days in 1988 and set 7 world records. She also help raise over one million dollars for the Life Education Centres
1987 John Farnham 1949   Singer and musician (Sadie the Cleaning Lady) named Australian of the Year for his outstanding contribution to the Australian music industry over 20 years
1986 Dick Smith 1944   Entrepreneur, adventurer and philanthropist, completed  first solo helicopter flight around the world (1983), donated first mobile classroom to Life Education Centres (1981)
1985 Paul Hogan 1939   Golden Globe Award winning actor, his "slip an extra shrimp on the barbie' Australian tourism ad took Australia from 49th to 1st as most desired holiday destination for American travellers
1984 Lowitja O'Donoghue 1932   Aboriginal leader, health worker; inaugural chairperson of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Commission (199096),
Australian of the Year for her work in bridging the cultural gap between Aborigines and the rest of the community
1983 Robert de Castella 1957   Marathon runner, won gold at 1982, 1986 Commonwealth Games and Director Australian Institute of Sport (1990-95)
1982 Edward Williams 1921 -1999 Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland (1971), chairman Australia's National Crimes Commission (1982)and Brisbane Commonwealth Games Foundation (1982)
1981 John Crawford 1910 -1984 Agricultural economist, key architect of Australia's post-war growth, head of the Department of Commerce and Agriculture, Chancellor Australian National University
1980 Manning Clark 1915 -1991 Historian, best known for writing a six-volume A History of Australia
1979 Neville Bonner 1922 -1999 Aboriginal Australian politician, first indigenous Australian to become a Senator, elder of the Jagera people
1979 Harry Butler 1930   Conservationist and naturalist, through TV program In the Wild and his books, he helped to popularise science and natural history for Australians of all ages
1978 Galarrwuy Yunupingu 1948   Aboriginal leader and land rights activist, one of 100 Australian Living National Treasure, member of Gumatj clan of the Yolngu people
1978 Alan Bond 1938   Entrepreneur and America's Cup financier, 2003 America's Cup Hall of Fame, he was later convicted of fraud and sentenced to 7 years in prison
1977 Murray Tyrrell 1913 -1994 Official Secretary to six Governors-General
1976 Edward Dunlop
1907 -1993 As a surgeon pioneered new surgical techniques, World War II prisoner of war forced to work on the infamous Thai-Burma railway

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