ANU and NADC unveil Australian of the Year Award trophies

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 — The Australian National University (ANU) and the National Australia Day Council (NADC) have unveiled a set of iconic glass trophies – designed and produced at ANU – to be awarded to the state territory recipients of the 2018 Australian of the Year Awards.

The trophies were commissioned in a special partnership between the NADC and the ANU School of Art and Design for forthcoming Australian of the Year Awards, while the ANU School of Music was commissioned to compose the awards’ fanfare and theme music.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC said the University was delighted to help make awards which recognise Australian excellence.

“ANU is thrilled to contribute to the Australian of the Year Awards, which embody the values of excellence and outstanding contributions to Australia,” Professor Schmidt said.
Students and lecturers from the School of Art and Design’s glassworks studios designed the trophies, cast into solid slabs of shaped glass diffused with a blue colour to symbolise the Australian sky. Each trophy is hand-worked and polished.

The trophies for the state and territory recipients for Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia’s Local Hero are being awarded in ceremonies which begin in Victoria on Thursday 26 October.

Head of the Glassworks at ANU Richard Whiteley said the ANU School of Physics helped bring the trophy design off the paper and into three dimensions, using 3-D printing technology to perfect the prototype and trophy moulds.

“The multi-faceted form represents our multi-national population and we chose sky blue to encapsulate the open-skies nature of the award,” Mr Whiteley said.

”The glass has an inherent beauty and we’ve introduced a second colour to each trophy to colour code it to the four awards - red for the Australian of the Year, yellow for Young Australian and so on.”

Head of ANU School of Music and award-winning film composer Professor Ken Lampl composed the fanfare and musical theme, which will be played at the televised 2018 national announcement.

“I wanted to compose something that would capture the profound honour of the award and inspire leadership in a way that was uniquely Australian,” Professor Lampl said.

The trophies for the four Australians of the Year recipients will be unveiled in advance of the national announcement in January next year.

Media Note: Video footage and still photographs of the glass trophies being produced at the ANU is available at


Associate Professor Richard Whiteley

ANU School of Art:

T: + 61 2 6125 6681



Professor Kenneth Lampl

Head of ANU School of Music

T:  +61 2 6125 1449


For media assistance, contact Jane Faure-Brac from the ANU Media Team on +61 2 6125 7979, +61 4598 52243 or at <>

The new design of the 2018 Australian of the Year state Awards. Image: Stuart Hay