AWARDS 2009

Phil Aiken, Sir David Attenborough, Gill Hicks, Matt Wilkin, HE John Dauth

AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR IN THE UK

Gill Hicks, John Dauth
Gill Hicks
For her extraordinary courage and dedication to promoting peace around the world, the Australia Day Foundation considered Gill Hicks a truly worthy recipient of the 2009 Australian of the Year in the UK award.
 
On 7 July 2005 Gill Hicks was no more than two feet from one of the bombers when he detonated his device on a crowded Piccadilly Line train. After four days in a coma, she woke up to discover she had lost both her legs.
 
In inspirational fashion, she learned to walk again, married her partner of seven years Joe Kerr, and dedicated herself to deterring people from using violent action.
 
She was appointed an ambassador for Peace Direct in 2006 and an advocate for Leonard Cheshire Disability in 2007, and recently founded MAD for Peace, a non-profit organisation that uses art and design to promote peace-building. She carried the Olympic torch in Canberra last year, and she and Kerr devised and completed a 250-mile walk from Leeds to London called WalkTalk, designed to bring communities together. In the 2009 Queen’s New Year’s Honours list, Gill was awarded an MBE for her services to charity.
 
Adelaide-born Gill Hicks has lived in London since 1992 and has worked in design, publishing and as a curator, including becoming a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She has published a book of her post 7/7 experiences, is well known for her talks and seminars in the UK and Australia and is now a tireless ambassador for peace.
 
For her extraordinary courage and dedication to promoting peace around the world, The Australia Day Foundation considered Gill Hicks a truly worthy recipient of the 2009 ‘Australian of the Year in the UK’ Award.
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HONORARY AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR IN THE UK

Sir David Attenborough, John Dauth
Sir David Attenborough OM CH CVO CBE FRS

Through his natural history and wildlife films and books, the world has had the opportunity to appreciate the diversity of Australia’s extraordinary wildlife and terrain and the Foundation considered Sir David Attenborough a worthy recipient of the 2009 Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK award.

Australia Day UK Awards 2009Sir David Attenborough’s Natural History films are the most watched on earth and he’s brought the world and its glories to our TV screens for over 50 years. Sir David has worked for the BBC since 1952. In a dazzling career he’s produced 21 series and written 16 books as well as hosting quizzes, political broadcasts, gardening and religious shows. He’s run BBC2, introduced colour to TV to Britain and in 1969 was made director of programmes for both the BBC’s television channels. But he resigned to return to programme making and in 1979 launched the landmark series, Life on Earth.

The programme featured the ancient fossilised Gogo Reef in Western Australia. Australia found a unique way to honour Sir David’s role in highlighting the reef’s importance: he has a fossil of a prehistoric fish giving birth named after him – materpiscis attenboroughi.
 
The award recognises Sir David’s role in putting some of Australia’s most spectacular fauna, flora and landscapes in front of a worldwide audience during his extraordinary six-decade career at the BBC. According to a recent online poll, the UK’s favourite Attenborough moment came when he was filming in Australia for his 1998 series The Life of Birds - it showed Sir David watching the Australian lyrebird mimicking various noises.
 
Through Sir David’s natural history and wildlife films and books, the world has had the opportunity to appreciate the diversity of Australia’s extraordinary wildlife and terrain and the Foundation consider Sir David Attenborough a worthy recipient of the 2009 ‘Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK’ Award.
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YOUNG AUSTRALIAN ACHIEVER OF THE YEAR
IN THE UK

John Dauth, Matt Wilkin
Matt Wilkin, MS

Matt Wilkin has proved that if you work hard to achieve your goal you will succeed, and the Australia Day Foundation considered him a most worthy recipient of the 2009 Young Australian Achiever of the Year in the UK award.

A South Australian who has lived in the UK for 10 years, Matt Wilkin has won a string of awards – most recently for his newly opened Princess Victoria gastro pub in west London, which won Time Out’s award for Best Gastro Pub 2008 within four months of opening.

 
In 2005 Matt became the first Australian to qualify as a Master Sommelier - one of only 164 Master Sommeliers in the world and which he rates his proudest achievement.
 
He learned his trade in Australia, and didn’t take long to make a splash in London: he was soon in charge of the wine lists at some of the capital’s top Michelin-starred restaurants, and he has won UK Sommelier of the Year titles from Wine International, Harpers & Queen/Moet & Chandon and Trophee Champagne Ruinart.
 
Matt Wilkin has proved that if you work hard to achieve your goal you will succeed, and the Australia Day Foundation considers him a most worthy recipient of the 2009 ‘Young Australian Achiever of the Year in the UK’ Award.
 
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