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List of Australian of the Year Award recipients

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The Australian of the Year Award is given annually on Australia Day. The announcement of the award has become a major public event in Australia, and is televised nationwide. The award "offers an insight into Australian identity, reflecting the nation's evolving relationship with world, the role of sport in Australian culture, the impact of multiculturalism, and the special status of Australia's Indigenous people".[1] The award is unique in that it is sponsored by a national government and commands broad public support.

The following is a list of the recipients of the Australian of the Year award.[2][3]

Year of
Name Post
Born Died Comments
1960 Sir Macfarlane Burnet OM 1899 1985 Virologist; 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine co-recipient
1961 Joan Sutherland CBE 1926 2010 Opera singer
1962 Jock Sturrock 1915 1997 Yachtsman
1963 Sir John Eccles 1903 1997 Neurophysiologist; 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine co-recipient
1964 Dawn Fraser 1937 Swimmer; gold medal winner at 1956, 1960 and 1964 Summer Olympic Games
1965 Robert Helpmann CBE 1909 1986 Actor; ballet dancer; director
1966 Jack Brabham OBE 1926 2014 Racing driver; Formula One champion in 1959, 1960 and 1966
1967 The Seekers N/A Music group
1968 Lionel Rose MBE 1948 2011 Boxer; first Aboriginal Australian to win world boxing title (1968)
1969 Lord Casey GCMG, CH, DSO, MC, PC 1890 1976 Politician, diplomat, Governor-General of Australia (1965–1969)
1970 Cardinal Sir Norman Gilroy KBE 1896 1977 Clergyman; first Australian-born Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church
1971 Evonne Goolagong 1951 Tennis player
1972 Shane Gould 1956 Swimmer; winner of three gold medals, a silver and bronze in 1972 Summer Olympics
1973 Patrick White 1912 1990 Author; 1973 Nobel Prize for Literature recipient
1974 Sir Bernard Heinze 1894 1982 Conductor
1975 John Cornforth AC, CBE 1917 2013 Scientist; 1975 Nobel Prize in Chemistry recipient
MAJGEN Alan Stretton AO, CBE 1922 2012 Australian Army officer; managed Cyclone Tracy cleanup
1976 LTCOL Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop CMG, OBE 1907 1993 Military surgeon; World War II prisoner of war
1977 Raigh Roe CBE 1922 2014 President of the Country Women's Association
Sir Murray Tyrrell KCVO, CBE 1913 1994 Official Secretary to six Governors-General
1978 Alan Bond 1938 2015 Businessman
Galarrwuy Yunupingu 1948 Native title activist
1979 Neville Bonner 1922 1999 First Aboriginal elected to the Parliament of Australia
Harry Butler OBE 1930 2015 Naturalist
1980 Manning Clark AC 1915 1991 Historian
1981 Sir John Crawford 1910 1984 Economist
1982 Sir Edward Williams KCMG, KBE, QC 1921 1999 Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland; chairman of the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games Foundation
1983 Robert de Castella MBE 1957 Marathon runner
1984 Lowitja O'Donoghue CBE 1932 Aboriginal health worker; inaugural chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (1990–1996)
1985 Paul Hogan 1939 Actor
1986 Dick Smith 1944 Entrepreneur
1987 John Farnham AO 1949 Singer, entertainer
1988 Kay Cottee AO 1954 First female sailor to perform a single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation of the world (1988)
1989 Allan Border AO 1955 Australian cricket team captain
1990 Fred Hollows 1921 1993 Ophthalmologist; founder of The Fred Hollows Foundation
1991 Peter Hollingworth AC, OBE 1935 Bishop; head, Brotherhood of St. Lawrence; Governor General
1992 Mandawuy Yunupingu 1956 2013 Singer, Yothu Yindi
1993 No award made: period of award changed from the previous year to the year ahead in 1994; i.e. Mandawuy Yunupingu was named Australian of the Year for 1992 in 1993 and Ian Kiernan was named Australian of the Year for 1994 in 1994
1994 Ian Kiernan OAM 1940 Environmentalist; founder of Clean Up Australia and Clean Up the World
1995 Arthur Boyd AC, OBE 1920 1999 Painter
1996 John Yu AM 1934 Paediatrician
1997 Peter Doherty AC 1940 Veterinarian; immunologist; 1996 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine recipient
1998 Cathy Freeman 1973 Athlete; also Young Australian of the Year in 1990
1999 Mark Taylor AO 1964 Australian cricket team captain
2000 Sir Gustav Nossal AC, CBE 1931 Biologist
2001 LTGEN Peter Cosgrove AC, MC 1947
2002 Pat Rafter 1972 Tennis player
2003 Fiona Stanley AC 1946 Epidemiologist
2004 Steve Waugh AO 1965 Australian cricket team captain and humanitarian
2005 Fiona Wood AM 1958 Plastic surgeon; worked with victims of the 2002 Bali bombings
2006 Ian Frazer 1953 Immunologist
2007 Tim Flannery 1956 Scientist; global warming activist
2008 Lee Kernaghan OAM 1964 Singer
2009 Mick Dodson AM 1950 Indigenous leader
2010 Patrick McGorry AO 1953 Psychiatrist[4]
2011 Simon McKeon AO 1955 Philanthropist businessman[5]
2012 Geoffrey Rush 1951 Australian actor and film producer[6]
2013 Ita Buttrose AO, OBE 1942 Australian journalist and businesswoman, founding editor of Cleo[7]
2014 Adam Goodes 1980 Australian rules footballer and indigenous community leader
2015 Rosie Batty 1962 Domestic violence campaigner[8]
2016 LTGEN David Morrison AO 1956 Commitment to gender equality, diversity and inclusion[9]
2017 Alan Mackay-Sim 1951 Biomedical scientist treating spinal cord injuries
2018 Michelle Simmons 1967 Scientia Professor of Quantum Physics in the Faculty of Science at the University of New South Wales
2019 Craig Challen SC, OAM Cave diver who participated in the Tham Luang cave rescue[10]
Richard Harris SC, OAM Cave diver who participated in the Tham Luang cave rescue[10]
Plaque for the 1971 recipient Evonne Goolagong on the Australians of the Year Walk

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Australian of the Year - Honour Roll
  3. ^ Lewis, Wendy (2010). Australians of the Year. Pier 9 Press. ISBN 978-1-74196-809-5.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Australian of the Year 2013 recipients announced" (Press release). National Australia Day Committee. 2013.
  8. ^ "Australian of the Year: Rosie Batty awarded top honour for efforts to stop family violence". ABC News. Australia. 25 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Former Army chief David Morrison named Australian of the Year". ABC News. 25 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  10. ^ a b Zhou, Naaman (25 January 2019). "Australian of the year 2019: Thai cave rescue divers win rare joint award". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
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