An insight into the Australia Day Awards

This year I was invited to sit on the WA panel to select the 2009 WA candidate for the Australian of the Year awards… filling in for my boss.

I felt completely unworthy to judge such amazing men and women and as I read through the applications – neatly filed for me – I felt even more selfish and callow.  And humble.

Anyway I made my notes and my shortlist and went along to the meeting in which we were to discuss and vote for our candidates.

We were upstairs in a board room at a city hotel and found ourselves with coffee in hand and mints at the ready sitting around a large U-shaped table… cabinet style.

The chairman sat at one end and explained to us how we would select the candidates.  First Australian of the Year WA, then Senior Australian, Youth and finally Local Hero.

First up we each put forward our top 5 shortlist.  Then after some discussion we had a second vote – this time giving 3 points to our top candidate, 2 for our second and 1 for our third.  Then we looked at the candidates again to make sure we were happy with the way the votes fell.

I was pleased to see one of my favourites make it into the top group.  Maybe I could do this judging thing. 🙂

It was a really rewarding day and I felt proud to be an Australian with all these fabulous worthy extraordinary people really contributing to my society and making Australia a great place to live.

Anyone can nominate anyone else and really, if you know someone who is worthy of recognition it is a worthwhile thing to do.  Next year’s round will open around July 1, 2009.

5 Replies to “An insight into the Australia Day Awards”

  1. Wow, what a huge honor to get to be a judge. I would be terrible at it, I used to have to narrow down applicants at my old job and I felt terrible every time I cut someone out of the running. That was just for a help desk job, I would have been in shambles if I had to narrow down the Australian of the Year award. Plus there’s the fact that I’m not Australian….

  2. It was a huge honour! You wouldn’t be terrible. For a start you are not the only judge – there is a panel of 12 or more – and secondly the discussion is quite robust so you get a good feel for the candidates.

  3. There’s no way I could ever do something like this. I have trouble deciding which chocolate flavour tastes best. I could never pick one person out of a bunch.

  4. This would be so difficult, It’ll be two years in January that I’ve blogged and this past eight months were filled with chemo etc from Ovarian Cancer so it slowed me down, however, when I read other blogs they are so wonderful..Choosing would not be easy.

    Sounds like this was such a wonderful experience. Thanks for sharing..

    Dorothy from grammology

  5. What a great thing to do! I’d just like getting to know more about some of these fabulous, inspiring, people. I wander ‘though – were there any complete duds?

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