Australian Humanist Awards

Australian Humanist of the Year (AHoY)

Photo of Professor Gillian Triggs receiving Australian Humanist of the Year 2018 award
AHoY 2018: Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs

Beginning in 1983, the humanist movement in Australia selects annually an Australian Humanist of the Year (AHoY). This award is given to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to public life, consistent with humanist principles and values. The award recipient is decided by State humanist societies with final endorsement by the Council of Australian Humanist Societies (CAHS). The annual AHoY Award assists in raising the profile of humanism in Australia by increasing public awareness of humanist values and activities.

To be nominated for the award, the person must display a reasoned and compassionate approach to human affairs, be a well-known public figure at either a state or national level and not be affiliated formally with a religious institution. Recent AHoY recipients include Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, voluntary assisted dying advocate, Dr Rodney Syme, international human rights defender, Geoffrey Robertson AO and feminist and media commentator, Jane Caro. Find out more about Australian Humanist of the Year recipients.

Young Australian Humanist of the Year (YAHoY)

Photo of Jason Ball receiving Young Australian Humanist of the Year 2016 award from Julian Burnside
YAHoY 2016: Jason Ball

In 2016, the humanist movement in Australia bestowed for the first time a Young Australian Humanist of the Year (YAHoY) award. As with the Australian Humanist of the Year (AHoY) award, this honour is given to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to public life, consistent with humanist principles and values. The award recipient is decided by State humanist societies with final endorsement by the Council of Australian Humanist Societies (CAHS). To be nominated for the Award, the person must display a reasoned and compassionate approach to human affairs, have actively promoted humanist values and be no more than 30 years of age.

The inaugural recipient of the YAHoY award in 2016 was Jason Ball. This honour was in recognition of his activism in atheist and freethought student groups and for his tireless efforts in tackling homophobia in sport. View Jason Ball’s address to the Australian Humanist Convention on Sunday 29 May 2016.

Outstanding Humanist Achiever (OHA)

Photo of Stephen Stuart receiving Outstanding Humanist Achiever 2015 award
OHA 2015: Stephen Stuart

From the year 2000, the Outstanding Humanist Achiever (OHA) award honours humanist activists who have made a substantial contribution to furthering humanism. In contrast to the Australian Humanist of the Year (AHoY) Award, recipients are not necessarily well-known public figures. The recipient is decided by delegates from each of the state humanist societies meeting at the Annual Convention of the Council of Australian Humanist Societies (CAHS). The OHA certificate is then formally presented to the recipient at the CAHS Saturday evening dinner celebration.

To be eligible for nomination, the nominee must be a current financial member of a state humanist society and have publicly demonstrated a rational and compassionate approach to human affairs in the service of humanism. They must also have been recognized for outstanding achievement in the community, in their local humanist society or on the Council of Australian Humanist Societies, or otherwise contributed significantly to public awareness of humanist values and objectives. Find out more about Outstanding Humanist Achiever recipients.

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