It's time South Australia to nominate the most inspiring person you know for the 2021 Australian of the Year Awards

James Muecke and Emmah Money, Australian of the Year winners from South Australia in 2020.
James Muecke and Emmah Money, Australian of the Year winners from South Australia in 2020.

Time is running out to nominate someone in your community to be the next Australian of the Year.

National Australia Day Council chief executive Karlie Brand urged Australians to nominate someone who is helping to make Australia better and who they admire for their inspiring work.

"This year, perhaps more than any other since the awards began in 1960, we've seen Australians overcome many adversities, help each other in times of crisis and carry out acts of bravery, leadership and kindness on a daily basis," Ms Brand said.

"It only takes one nomination for someone to be considered for the awards, but a nomination must be submitted for a person in order for them to be in the running.

"No matter how well known someone may be, a public nomination must be submitted before they can be considered for the awards."

Four national awards will be presented by the Prime Minister at a nationally televised ceremony on the eve of Australia Day in 2021 - and each state and territory has a finalist in each of the four categories.

South Australia's inspirational Australians of the Year for 2020 were: Senior Australian of the Year Sylvia McMillan; Young Australian of the Year Zibeon Fielding; Australia's Local Hero Emmah Evans; and Australian of the Year (and eventual national winner) Dr James Muecke.

Dr Muecke, eye surgeon and co-founder of eye health charity Sight For All, expects 2021 will be an opportunity "to celebrate the heroes of the bushfires and the heroes from the pandemic".

Dr James Muecke.

The South Australian Local Hero of 2020 was Emmah Money. She is a cystic fibrosis advocate who was diagnosed with CF as a newborn.

Emmah Money was given up for adoption, after doctors believed she wouldn't survive.Just before her 17th birthday, Emmah found her biological family by chance, who believed she had passed away.

Now in her 30s mother of two, Emmah has a list of credible achievements to her name. But hearing her own story in her own words is inspiration enough.

Emmah Money

Nominations for Australian of the Year must be: individuals (groups of people are not eligible); a living person (unfortunately posthumous awards cannot be granted); Australian citizens; aged 16-30 for Young Australian of the Year; and aged 65 and over for Senior Australian of the Year.

Selection criteria to consider when nominating a person for the awards include:

  • Significant contribution to the Australian community and nation
  • An inspirational role model for the Australian community
  • Demonstrated excellence in their field
  • The Local Hero award acknowledges a significant contribution at local community level


You can help find the 2021 Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year (65 years+), Young Australian of the Year (16-30 years) and Australia's Local Hero by nominating a champion in your community.

The awards are nominated by the public, so visit to nominate someone you admire who is helping to make Australia better.

The National Australia Day Council has tips for writing a top nomination.

Nominations are open until July 31.

  • ACM, the publisher of this website, is a proud supporter of the Australian of the Year Awards.