Australia Day 2020 HomeVisiting Western DownsEventsSpecial EventsAustralia Day 2020 The Western Downs Regional Council Australia Day Awards are presented annually and recognise those outstanding persons or groups who make a real contribution and difference to the communities of the Western Downs. These prestigious awards are one of the highest honours a Council can bestow to publicly acknowledge those in the community who are making an outstanding contribution. Nominations for the 2020 awards are now closed Please stay tuned for more information regarding the 2020 Australia Day services and awards presentations. Award Categories Regional Award Winners will be selected from nominations received across the Western Downs Regional Council area in the following categories: Citizen of the Year Young Citizen of the Year Local Award Winners will be selected in each district across the Western Downs: Local Volunteer of the Year Local Community Organisation Achievement Award Local Creative Arts Award Local Sports Award Frequently Asked Questions When do nominations close? Nominations closed at midnight Thursday 31 October 2019. Are late nominations accepted? No late nominations will be accepted. Can I submit a handwritten nomination? All nominations must be submitted via the online portal. When will I know if the person I nominated was successful or not? If the person you nominated is successful, you and the person nominated will be notified by email no later than Friday 20 December 2019. If your nominee is unsuccessful, you will not receive a notification. When will the winners be announced? Winners of the Local Awards will be announced on Thursday 16 January 2020. Regional Award winners will be announced at Australia Day Award Ceremonies on Sunday 26 January 2020. If I win an award, can I tell anyone before Australia Day? If you win a Local Award, you will be contacted prior to Christmas. This gives you a chance to let your family and friends know so that they can join you at the Australia Day Awards Ceremony on Sunday 26 January 2020. Winners of the Local Awards will be announced on Thursday 16 January 2020. If you are a Regional Award winner, you will also be notified prior to Christmas. Regional Award winners will be announced at Australia Day Award Ceremonies on Sunday 26 January 2020. We ask you to keep this confidential before this time. Hint: We understand that you may like to invite family and friends to your local Australia Day Award Ceremony. To tell them without spoiling the secret, let them know you’ve been nominated for an award and would like them present in case you’re announced the winner. Are there Local Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year Awards? On Wednesday 21 August 2019, Council resolved to introduce new Award Categories. The Regional Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year Awards are the highest honour that can be given to a Western Downs resident and recognise outstanding achievement, innovation, creativity, leadership and vision. One winner in each of these categories will be selected from nominations received across the region. Can the same person win an award more than once? If the nominated person has won a Regional Citizen or Regional Young Citizen of the Year Award from 2009 onwards, they will be ineligible to win this award again. If the person or group has won a Local Award in the last five (5) years, they will be ineligible to be nominated for a Local Award until five (5) years has passed. If you are unsure whether the person or group you would like to nominate has received an award previously, contact Council’s Australia Day team. The person I would like to nominate is a voluntary coach of a sporting team. Do I nominate them for a Sports Award or Volunteer of the Year? Any person who is volunteering their time in any area, including sport, should be nominated in the Volunteer of the Year category. Do I need to answer all the questions on the nomination form? Yes. The more information you can provide the assessment panel about your nominee, the better they will understand the outstanding achievements of the person or group. Assume that the assessment panel do not know anything about the person or organisation being nominated, so please give as much information as possible. Can I upload supporting information? Yes, you can upload a large amount of supporting material. This can include (but is not limited to) media articles (social and print media), copies of other awards and achievements, personal references, copies of written feedback and photos. How are the winners decided? The Australia Day Awards are selected by Council based on responses to the selection criteria. Councillors meet to make their selection on Wednesday 4 December 2019, which will be ratified in a confidential Council. Can my nomination remain anonymous? The nominee is not provided with the name of the person that nominated them, however as the nominor, you will be provided with an acknowledgement that the nomination has been received. If the person you nominated is successful, you and the person nominated will be notified by email no later than Friday 20 December 2019. If your nominee is unsuccessful, you will not receive a notification. Can I nominate someone in multiple categories? A person may be nominated in multiple categories; however, a separate nomination is required for each category. Questions are different for each category so you must provide the information required specifically for each one. If I nominated someone last year and they didn’t win, can I nominate them again? Nominations each year can be very strong and choosing a winner is difficult. If the nomination wasn’t successful last year, this doesn’t mean they weren’t a worthy applicant. You may submit an application again; however, you must fill the nomination out using the online nomination portal (link). We are unable to carry over an application from last year automatically. If someone has won an award in one category can they win an award in another category? Yes. Nominations can be received for individuals or groups that have won an award in a different category previously. Does the volunteer work have to be undertaken in the Western Downs to be eligible? The contribution made by nominee must be to the Western Downs Regional Council community. Is there a junior and senior category for the Sports Award and Creative Arts Award? There is no upper or lower limit on age for nominations for the Sports Award and Creative Art Award.