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Community gets behind Senior Australian of the Year Award.

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Bronwyn Bishop, MP

Minister for Aged Care

Member for Mackellar



3 September 1999




The National Australia Day Council had received more than 400 nominations from across Aust ralia for the Senior Australian of the Year Award, the Minister for Aged Care, Bronwyn Bishop, said today.


The Senior Australian of the Year Award will be announced in Canberra on 30 September, the eve of the International Day of Older Persons in this, the International Year.


“Nominations closed on 1 September and I am very pleased with the enthusiasm and interest being shown throughout the country,” Mrs Bishop said.


However, Mrs Bishop also expressed concern at Labor’s unwillingness to adopt a positive, bipartisan spirit to the International Year of Older Persons.


“Their latest attempt at creating confusion around award programs risks denying some older Australians the opportunity of being honoured in the International Year.


“The Government has two major initiatives to celebrate the achievements of older Australians. There is the Senior Australian of the Year Award, which is being managed by the National Australia Day Council and which will honour a Senior Australian who is an outstanding person and a role model to the nation.


“But it is also important to have a series of separate, local awards across Australia, to celebrate the contribution of quiet achievers in local communities. These are the Commonwealth Government Recognition Awards, which are administered in every electorate across Australia, in a bipartisan approach through each Member of the House of Representatives.


Information about the Recognition Awards was sent to all members, Government, Independent and Opposition, on 27 July 1999 (see attached confirmation). Enquiries were received from all parties, starting on 28 July.


However, some Members have indicated that they are unable to complete the process for selecting Recognition Award recipients within the proposed timeframe. Mrs Bishop has responded to these requests by extending the timeframe by another six weeks.


“My overwhelming concern is that older Australians in every electorate have the opportunity to have their contribution to their local community recognised,” Mrs Bishop said.


The Recognition Awards will culminate on 19 November, when one Recognition Award winner from each electorate will be invited to Canberra, with their spouse or companion, for a series of special celebratory events.


Media contact: John Wilson, 0407 437 317, (02) 6277 7280.




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