The Australian of the Year awards have been going for more than 50 years and like many Australians I watched the announcement of the winners on the ABC TV on the 25th of January. I was curious about the process and went to the website to learn more:

Australian Flag

To quote the website:

Currently, the selection committees refer to three main criteria when considering nominees:

  • Demonstrated excellence in their field
  • Significant contribution to the Australian community and nation
  • An inspirational role model for the Australian community

The third of these criteria supports the NADC’s key goal of encouraging good citizenship.

Like some others watching the awards I shed a tear more than once but also felt great elation from the stories being shared by nominees and winners. What a truly inspiring group of people.

The overall (joint) winners, Dr Richard Harris and Dr Craig Challen, demonstrated great humility on receiving the award. Their role in the saving of the Thai soccer team was extraordinary and they put their lives at risk to save those young boys and their coach. Now if only we could all be just a bit more like them or like Kate and Tick Everett who tragically lost their young daughter to suicide after severe bullying. They are now on a mission to help others avoid the same fate and what a noble and selfless act this is.

In a world where it can sometimes seem that self interest is driving the behaviour of so many people (often in roles where we expect better, but are regularly disappointed) how great would it be if each and every one of us paused occasionally to think ”how can I be just a little bit like Richard Harris, Craig Challen or Kate and Tick Everett?”

So why am I writing about this? Well it struck me that the criteria above could well describe a good accountant.

  • What are you doing to demonstrate your excellence as an accountant?
  • How are you contributing to your local community?
  • Are you a role model for others around you?

As proud Australians let us all strive to be the best version of ourselves we can possibly be. We might not win an award but we just might make the world a better place.