Senior Australian of Year – have your say

Is somebody you know – or, perhaps, someone whose contribution to the community you admire from afar – worthy of being the next Senior Australian of the Year?

The Australian of the Year Awards recognise those people who go above and beyond and demonstrate our great Australian spirit, with the Senior category focussed on those aged 65 and over who continue to achieve and make a difference in their community.

The national awards are announced on the evening of 25 January. Nominations for 2024’s Australian of the Year, as well as the Senior, Young and Local Hero categories will close on 31 July 2023.

The Senior Australian of the Year was instituted in 1999, when the first recipient was country music singer-songwriter Slim Dusty.

Subsequent winners have ranged from celebrity cook and restaurateur Maggie Beer to writer Jackie French, bionic ear inventor Graeme Clark, Indigenous community leader Laurie Baymarrwangga, obstetrician John Newnham, and St Vincent de Paul volunteer James Goodge.

The current Senior Australian of the Year is the chancellor of the University of Canberra, Professor Tom Calma AO (pictured).

‘Amazing feeling’

Beer, whose Maggie Beer Foundation is on a mission to improve the quality of food in aged care facilities, told the ABC it was “totally surreal” when she won the award in 2010.

“It was an amazing feeling,” she said. “I had to pinch myself and think, ‘My gosh, how did this happen to me?'”

If you can think of somebody who deserves to be named Senior Australian of the Year, you only have until the end of July to nominate them.

By putting someone forward, you are showing that the efforts of a fellow Australian have not gone unnoticed. It takes only one nomination to elevate their voice, help them access more support, or give them the recognition they deserve.

Shortlisted nominees will be considered – and the four category recipients selected – by State or Territory selection panels comprised of people who reflect the diversity of the population.

National recipients will then be selected by the National Australia Day Council Board.


Nominations for the 2024 Awards close at midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time on 31 July 2023.

State and Territory winners will be announced in October and November, ahead of the main event in January, which will see all finalists invited to Canberra for four days of activities.

If you want to nominate somebody for Senior Australian of the Year, or any of the other categories, follow this link.

Photo of 2023 Senior Australian of the Year Tom Calma by Salty Dingo.

/Public Release. View in full here.