The Australian of the Year Awards recognise any Australians across four categories: Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year (over 65 years of age), Young Australian of the Year, and Australia's Local Hero.
The Awards operate at two levels - State/Territory and national. State and Territory selection committees select four nominees for each Award category, with one of these nominees being announced as the State/Territory Award recipient.
Award recipients are announced on the 26th January each year.
The awards were established in 1960.
'The Australian of the Year Awards were founded in 1960, when Sir MacFarlane Burnet OM AK KBE recieved the inaugural award. Australia Day Committees in each state and territory decided the recipient of the Award, although until 1979 the Victorian Australia Day Committee usually won the agreement of the other States with its choice of Australian of the Year. [...] The Young Australian of the Year Award was introduced in 1979, Senior Australian in 1999, and the Local Hero Award in 2003.'
(Source: Australian of the Year Awards website, http://www.australianoftheyear.gov.au/about01.asp)
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