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Australian of the Year

Inspiring a Nation

Friday 22 January until Monday 26 April 2010

The Australian of the Year Awards have often provoked controversy about who is selected and whether their achievements are remarkable. The awards also generate debate about what it means to be Australian. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of these unique national awards a selection of portraits from the collection are on display throughout the gallery. In partnership with the National Australia Day Council.

Lee Kernaghan near Broken Hill, 2005 by Ian Jennings
Lee Kernaghan near Broken Hill, 2005 by Ian Jennings

The Australian of the Year Award was established in 1960 to acknowledge the achievements of Australians whose contribution to the nation’s culture, economy, sciences and arts is recognised as particularly outstanding.

Over the years the Award has expanded to include the categories of Young Australian of the Year (1979), Senior Australian of the Year (1999) and Local Hero (2003), recognising the individual achievements of up to 128 inspiring Australians every year.

A selection of portraits from the collection celebrates the 50th anniversary of these awards in partnership with the National Australia Day Council.