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The Golden Wattle Award

 Australian underwater rescuers
are joint winners of the 2018 Golden Wattle Award

Craig Challen and Richard Harris, underwater rescuers of the young Thai soccer team, are joint winners of the 2018 Golden Wattle Award.

The contributions of each to the safe rescue of the boys, against all the odds and in the face of great danger, were outstanding examples of Australian skill, commitment and sheer bravery. As the whole world watched and hoped, Richard Harris and Craig Challen went about their task with a cool professionalism that won admiration and appreciation of people around the world. In doing so they brought enormous credit on themselves and Australia.

They brought Gold to Australia, the key criteria for the Golden Wattle Award.

The Golden Wattle Award is conferred each year, at the time of National Wattle Day (1 September), by the Wattle Day Association to recognise a person(s) who has brought Gold to Australia through their actions or achievements.

While Craig and Richard are unassuming heroes, their generosity and bravery as part of an inspiring international co-operation, marked them as outstanding Australians.

The Golden Wattle Award is an honorary one, there being no physical prize or monetary component. It does, however, endow the winners with honourable recognition of their work or actions as being noble and expressing the best of the Australian spirit.

Last year the Golden Wattle Award was won by Samuel Johnson and his sister Connie who
subsequently died of cancer. Previous recipients of this award have included Nobel Prize winner
Professor Brian Schmidt, Mick Fanning and colleague Julian Wilson, and Tour de France winner
Cadel Evans.

Richard Harris (left) and Craig Challen (right) 2018

Richard Harris (left) and Craig Challen (right) underwater rescuers of the young Thai soccer team, are joint winners of the 2018 Golden Wattle Award. Photo: Courtesy of Newsmail

 

What is the Golden Wattle Award?

The award is an honorary recognition of the actions or achievements of an Australian or Australians whose contributions in the past 12 months deserve special acknowledgement by Australians.

Determination of the award is based on an outstanding or exceptional contribution to Australia (the land) or the Australian Spirit (the people) in or from any field of endeavour. It recognises the Australian who has brought ‘gold’ to Australia that year.

The Golden Wattle Award winner is announced by the Wattle Day Association each year on 1 September (National Wattle Day)

Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) is Australia’s national floral emblem. The award is presented as part of the Week of the Wattle celebrations around National Wattle Day, celebrated nationally since 1992 on 1 September.

The award is an honorary one, there being no physical prize or monetary component. It does, however, endow the winners with honourable recognition of their work or actions as being noble and expressing the best of the Australian spirit. 

Previous recipients of this award are Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne and her champion strapper brother (2016), Steve,Champion surfers Mick Fanning and colleague Julian Wilson (2015), VC winner Ben Roberts-Smith (2014), Mel Irons a Tasmanian student and community activist (2013), Nobel Prize winner Professor Brian Schmidt (2012) and Tour De France Winner, cyclist Cadel Evans (2011).