Each year, we sift through thousands of nominations for the Australian of the Year Awards. Some of those stand out – and they aren’t always those that are the best written or have a long list of referees. The best nominations are those that tell a story and capture the characteristics of an extraordinary Australian making a difference.
So, don’t be daunted by the task of nominating your inspiring colleague or community champion, friend or family member. Just consider our tips for writing a stand-out nomination:
Open with the important information
Start with a clear and specific statement that outlines why your nominee is worthy of an Australian of the Year Award. Ask yourself: What activities or actions has the nominee undertaken that stand out? What has the nominee accomplished that goes above and beyond their job description? What special skills or talents have they employed? How has the nominee changed their community, city or the nation? Why are you motivated to nominate this person?
Consider your audience
The people on our selection panels are everyday Australians from all walks of life. They hail from business, not-for-profit organisations and community groups, and span various fields of endeavour and profession. Imagine you are talking to an intelligent, engaged audience without specific expertise in your field. Spell out acronyms the first time you use them and avoid using jargon, overly scientific language or terms that may not be familiar to people outside your industry.
Share their story
Strengthen your nomination by painting a picture of the person. What motivates them to make a difference? What personal challenges have they overcome in their life? Why do they inspire others? How does this person make you feel?
Don’t just say it, prove it
Use real-world examples that demonstrate why your nominee is an inspiring role model. Whether your nominee is the first one to lend a hand at the local football club or the person staying back late each night in the lab, we want to know the stories of their life and the impact they have made.
Tell the facts
Support your nomination with hard facts and reliable statistics. Can you provide specific measures of this person’s success?
Aim for quality, not quantity
A long nomination isn’t always a better nomination. Try to keep your sentences short and concise, and avoid repetition. Steer clear of detailed job descriptions or work histories, or providing multiple referee statements that don’t offer new information.
Stick to the selection criteria
Our panel is looking for people who demonstrate excellence in their field, make a significant contribution to the community and who are role models for all Australians, so ensure your nomination addresses these criteria.
Don’t forget to fill in the referee field, naming someone else that supports your nomination, who is aware of the nominee’s achievements and will be able to provide any additional information if required.
Take the time to check that your nominee meets the eligibility criteria.