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Good Sports on Australia Day

Steve Waugh, retiring Australian cricket captain, was this week named Australian of the Year for 2004. Talk back radio carries themes of "too much sport". Lisa Curry Kenny MBE OAM, ex Olympian swimmer is Chair of the National Australia Day Council, which advises the government on Australia Day. Read Steve's bio and judge for yourself on (www.australianoftheyear.gov.au/bioSW.asp).

Young Australian of the year is Hugh Evans who founded The Oak Tree Foundation, Australia's first entirely youth-run and youth-driven aid and development agency. His inspiration came from age 12 organising forty-hour famines at school and a World Vision sponsored trip to live in a Philippines slum at age 14. Only a slim connection to sport here, with Hugh leading the construction of a sports field in an impoverished area of South Africa in 2002. But a strong connection exists to Steve Waugh's work with families with leprosy in India, an inspiration dating back to 1986 when Steve was 21.

Ages of the three 2004 Australians of the year are Steve Waugh 39, Hugh Evans 20, Tehree Gordon 61 (Senior Australian of the Year, farmer and founder of the Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary). Average age of these three is 40 compared to median population age of 35. A list of Australians of the year back to commencement in 1960 with Sir Macfarlane Burnet, has been added to the List section of Resources on this site and we have added the age distribution as a graphable Profile in the Research section. Average age is 49.5. Sport is the major category of the 48 awardees with 15 (31%) followed by Arts and Entertainement with 9(19%) and Medicine 8(17%). Women make up 9(19%) of the list with one award going to a group of men and women(The Seekers-1967).

Posted Wednesday, 28 January 2004

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