2015 Golden Wattle Award winners - Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson
Surfers Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson are joint winners of the 2015 Golden Wattle Award. The award is conferred around the time of National Wattle Day (1 September) each year by the Wattle Day Association to recognise a person who has brought Gold to Australia through their actions or achievements. In the case of Julian and Mick, the award recognises and honours their courage, mateship and fortitude in their responses to the recent shark attack at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa on 20 July 2015.
Julian Wilson (in red) hugs Mick Fanning, who was attacked by a shark
during the final of the J-Bay Open at on 20 July 2015. Photo: World Surf League/Kirstin Scholtz
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 have included 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 Cadell Evans (2011).
2014 Golden Wattle Award winner - VC winner Ben Roberts-Smith
VC winner Ben Roberts-Smith is the 2014 recipient of the Golden Wattle Award.
President of the Wattle Day Association, Terry Fewtrell, says that “Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith is an outstanding young Australian who has brought honour to our nation, not just by his efforts on the battlefield, but also in the work that he has done since in support of the White Cloud Foundation to help increase resources and improve access to support for people, families and carers who live with depression in Australia. He is a very worthy winner of the Golden Wattle Award”.
Melissa Irons, Community Activist from Tasmania
2013 Golden Wattle Award Winner
Mel was recognised for her ground breaking work using social media to co-ordinate vital assistance and pass on vital information during the fires and the recovery period on the Tasman Peninsula in January 2013.
Professor Brian P. Schmidt
2012 Golden Wattle Award Winner
In accepting this honorary award, Brian Schmidt said, "I hope that I can continue to use the notoriety of the Nobel Prize to remind Australians how important Science and Education is for our country's future prosperity - you never know what you might achieve if you have patience and persistence with the backing of a good education".
2011 Golden Wattle Award Winner
Photography by Mal Fairclough
As cyclist Cadel Evans rode toward his ‘Cadelebration’ in Federation Square at Melbourne following his success in Le Tour de France 2011, he carried a small bunch of wattle on his handlebars.