Top Aussies Prepare To Duke It Out For Australian Of The Year Awards Tonight

Before the country erupts in a plethora of pool inflatables, temporary tattoos and the Hottest 100 for Australia Day celebrations, the Australian Of The Year will be announced in Canberra tonight.

Candidates from across the nation will be thrown into a pit and forced to fight to the death in front of tens of thousands of people be waiting anxiously for the announcement from Parliament House in Canberra as to who takes home the coveted mantle of Australian Of The Year.

So, who are the nominees and why the hell should we care?

John Caldwell (VIC)
An anti-bullying advocate, John rose above a nightmarish childhood (no, seriously) to become the Chief Executive Officer of RWR Group, a world leader in recruitment. Now he commits a huge portion of his life to being a youth and anti-bullying ambassador.

Shellie Morris (NT)
Shellie is an Aboriginal singer and health campaigner. She has worked with more than 80 remote and urban indigenous communities through music workshops and is an ambassador for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

Adam Goodes (NSW)
Not only is he a legendary AFL player that has won the Brownlow Medal twice, but he also runs a foundation that aims to help young people finish their education and find employment. He also acted like an absolute gentleman and asked the public to support a 13-year-old girl who racially abused him.

Zsuzsoka Kecskes (ACT)
German-born Zsuzsoka Kecskes (pronounced – I have no fucking idea) is one of the nation’s most celebrated neonatal doctors for her work at the new Centenary Women and Children’s Hospital in Canberra.

Thomas McMeekin (TAS)
Professor McMeekin is credited with helping develop maths formulas and models to predict potential problems, such as determining the shelf life of yogurt (very practical). He’s published more than 200 research articles and is a big supported of food safety.

Li Cunxin (QLD)
Have you seen that movie Mao’s Last Dancer? Well we’re talking about the same guy here. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s a rags-to-riches tale of a young boy who was born into poverty in rural China and went on to become one of the most renowned dancers in the world. He is now the Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet.

Bruce Robinson (WA)
Professor Bruce Robinson has developed an educational mentoring program to encourage boys and men to value the role of father figures. A lack of a father figure is prevalent in an estimated 80% of cases of young men in detention.

Dr Felicity-ann Lewis (SA)
A proud supported of public education, Lewis teaches at Flinders University in Adelaide with an emphasis on health and physical education.

It would also be appropriate at this point to add some people who narrowly missed out on nominations this year…

This Bloke

This Kangaroo


Photo: Torsten Blackwood via Getty