Old Sydneian of the Year
We are proud to have an award for the Old Sydneian of the Year. This award is to recognise the unique achievements of an Old Sydneian and to introduce him to current students and other Old Sydneians. We ask other Old Sydneians to nominate candidates for this award each year using the on-line nomination forms and guidance on our website.
Tips for Nominating
When you fill out the nomination form, there are a few things you should consider to ensure your nomination provides us with enough information about the achievements of the person you are nominating.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Fill out as much of the form as possible. Even if you do not know the person you are nominating try to provide as much detail as you can.
If at all possible please include the year group of the person you are nominating. If you are not certain of the person’s year group then make an educated guess and tick the box marked ‘estimate’ on the form.
- Include supporting documentation such as newspaper articles, websites, personal references and/or resumes with your nomination.
- Please include a referee if possible. A referee is someone who is also aware of the nominee’s achievements and will be able to provide any additional information if required.
- Please do not nominate the same person more than once. Recipients are selected based on selection criteria, rather than the number of times they are nominated.
You are asked to provide an email address and phone number for yourself and your nominee. Please include at least one of these details for both yourself and your nominee. This helps us get in contact with both of you if your nominee becomes shortlisted.
- The nomination form asks you to tell us about your nominee. How are they contributing to the reputation of the School and its Old Sydneians. How have they been inspirational and demonstrated excellence in their field and to the community?
In answering this question, consider the following:
- In what area and/or roles has the person excelled?
- Why should other Old Sydneians look to the person as a role model?
- How does the person stand out from the pack? How has their achievement/service been greater than what might be normally expected of a person their age and in their field. Focus on both the quality and quantity of their achievement/service.
- How much of their work has been voluntary, focused on helping others or making Australia a better place?
- Has the person overcome particular challenges or adversities to make their achievement? How difficult has their achievement been?
- How has the nominee shown achievement/service outside of their particular specialty? For example, personal interests and involvement in the wider community.
- How has the nominee’s achievement/service been acknowledged elsewhere – other awards, commendations etc.
- How does the person nominated make you proud to be an Old Sydneian? Is your view shared by others in your Old Sydneian community or the community in general? If so, who?
- What personal qualities make the person inspirational?
- Are there any particular segments of the community who would/should find the person inspirational? For example, sciences, education, politics, arts practitioners etc.
- Has the person shown great bravery, vision or particular strengths of character?
Provide examples to support your statements for all of the above. Don’t just make a statement – prove it with examples.
In choosing the recipients of the Old Sydneian of the Year Award, regard is given to the nominee’s achievements in the year immediately prior to receiving the award, as well as their past achievements and ongoing contribution to the School, Old Sydneian community and the nation.
The Committee wants to see the Award recognise someone changing lives and Old Sydneian society for the better, someone whose challenges and triumphs are manifested in their life experience and personal journey, beyond their career achievements. A person who has taken risks, done the hard yards and been a pioneer, that has had a positive impact on a wide range of people’s lives.
An individual need only be nominated once to be considered. The number of nominations received per nominee bears no weight in their selection.
The selection criteria are:
- Significant contribution to the Old Sydneian community and nation
- An inspirational role model for the Old Sydneian community
- Demonstrated excellence in their field
The selection panel will also give consideration to the following in assessing and comparing nominations against the above criteria:
- Personal, academic and professional achievements
- Contribution in the relevant field (how has the nominee ‘put back’ into their field to benefit others)
- Demonstrated leadership, innovation and creativity
- Personal interests and community involvement
- Contribution to development of community and/or economy
- Future goals and likely impact
- Degree of difficulty of the achievement and sacrifices made
- Previous awards and recognition
- Voluntary work beyond paid employment
- Nature and length of activity or service
- Achievements as an individual or as part of a group or organisation
- Availability and commitment to promote pride in Sydney Grammar and its community through the year of the recipient’s appointment
- Nominees must be Old Sydneians
- Awards will not be granted posthumously
- Self-nominations will not be accepted
- A person cannot receive a second award
- Unsuccessful nominees may be re-nominated in subsequent years
- Absolutely NO weight is given to the number of times a person is nominated
An example nomination
To help you get started writing your nomination, here is an example of an answer that provides an ideal amount of information.
Edmond Barton – Old Sydneian of the Year – 1919
Sir Edmund Barton was born in the Sydney suburb of Glebe, the ninth child of English parents William Barton, a stockbroker, and Mary Louise Barton (née Whydah). He was baptised at St James Church, Sydney on 4 July 1849. He was educated at Fort Street Model School and Sydney Grammar School, where he was twice dux and School Captain.
In 1879, Barton demonstrated his presence of mind in defusing international cricket’s first riot in Sydney. This reputedly helped him take his first step towards becoming Australia’s first prime minister, winning a state lower house seat later that year. Whilst Barton had a distinguished time in State Parliament including time as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly aged only 33 and Attorney General, his defining contribution was is role in Australia’s federation.
Barton was an early supporter of federation, taking part in producing a draft constitution, which was substantially similar to the Australian Constitution enacted in 1900.
In 1897, Barton topped the poll of the delegates elected from New South Wales to the Constitutional Convention, which developed a constitution for the proposed federation. Although Sir Samuel Griffith wrote most of the text of the Constitution, Barton was the political leader who carried it through the Convention.
Few people doubted that Barton, as the leading federalist in the oldest state, deserved to be the first Prime Minister of the new federation. However, since no federal Parliament had yet been established, the usual convention of appointing the leader of the largest party in the lower house could not apply. The newly arrived Governor-General, Lord Hopetoun, instead invited Sir William Lyne, the premier of New South Wales, to form a government. Hopetoun’s decision, known as the Hopetoun Blunder, can be defended on grounds that Lyne had seniority. Still, Lyne’s long massive opposition to federation until he changed his mind at the last minute caused him to be unacceptable to prominent federalists such as Deakin, who refused to serve under him. After tense negotiations, Barton was appointed Prime Minister and he and his ministry were sworn in on 1 January 1901.
In September 1903, Sir Edmund Barton left Parliament to become one of the founding justices of the High Court of Australia.
Barton’s commitment to the Australian community through the development of the Australian Constitution and his role as First Prime Minister of Australia and later on the High Court of Australia demonstrate the leadership and vision for which Old Sydneians’ are respected and surely supports his nomination as Old Sydneian of the year – 1919.