Nominations Open

Nominations for our 2019 awards are now open.

The National Awards Program is an exciting opportunity to celebrate our dedicated athletes and volunteers. We are delighted to have the following awards to recognise the contribution of outstanding athletes, coaches and volunteers.

Awards to be awarded are:
Athlete of the Year and Young Athlete of the Year (16 to 26 years old)
Coach of the Year and Young Coach of the Year (16 to 26 years old)
Volunteer of the Year and Young Volunteer of the Year (16 to 26 years old)

You can find the full list of our award guidelines here.    |   Nominations can be made using this form

The final day for nomination for our 2019 awards is Friday 13 December 2019. For any questions please contact Gareth Hogan on 1300 225 762.

EKS Award

EKS Award

The EKS Award is presented annually to an athlete who has shown great leadership skills, both on and off the sporting field. The award is open to all Special Olympics Australia athletes.

This award honours Special Olympics founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Australian volunteer, Dr John Day inspired this award when he donated the medal he received from Mrs Shriver in 1976 to mark the beginning of Special Olympics in Australia.

Let an athlete know their efforts are making a difference and nominate them today.

Honour Roll

2018 |Allister Peek (ACT)
2017 |Miles Fisher (QLD)
2016 | Martin Smith (QLD)
             Nicole Bartley (QLD)
2015 | Liam O'Donnell (ACT)
2014 | Joshua Frost (NSW)
2013 | Mel Eustace (NSW)
2012 | Steven White (VIC)
             Russell Nelligan (WA)
2011 | Andrew Williams (VIC)
2010 | John Faulkner (QLD)
2009 | Saxon Graham (NSW)
2008 | Gabrielle Clark (NSW)
             Kelly Wren (NSW)
2007 | Christopher Farmer (SA)

EKS Award Winner 2018

Allister Peek, Greater Canberra, ACT

Allister has a long history with Special Olympics and has won gold medals at the last two Special Olympics World Games. He was nominated and voted in as Vice Chair of the Greater Canberra Club this year. He undertakes many promotional speaking engagements and represents Special Olympics in a distinguished manner. He continues to be heavily involved in our ALP’s course, and attends many of the ALP’s sessions, including running ice breaking sessions and teaching participants some sailing knot tying skills. He also assists the trainer with providing practical demonstrations and works with the athletes and mentors to encourage active participation. He has represented the ACT and Greater Canberra Club at a number of state competitions and Nationals Games and has won several medals through his sailing. He recently came 9th in the world at the World Hansa Championships in Japan.

EKS Award 2018 Nominees: Shane Cooks Reynolds, Mackay (QLD) | Will Brunsdon, North West New England (NSW) | Keiran Corry, Hunter Valley (NSW) | Dylan Shearer, Central Coast (NSW) | Kie Wilson-McNaught, Sunshine Coast (QLD)

National Awards

There are so many people that make the Special Olympics Australia community rich, rewarding and welcoming. Special Olympics Australia has a range of annual rewards to say thanks.

National Awards:

The National Awards Program is an exciting opportunity to celebrate our dedicated athletes and volunteers.

The National Awards categories are:

  • Athlete of the Year and Young Athlete of the Year (16-26 years old)
  • Coach of the Year and Young Coach of the Year (16-26 years old)
  • Volunteer of the Year and Young Volunteer of the Year (16-26 years old)


2018 National Award Winners

Athlete of the year Winner

Catharine Keir, Greater Canberra, (ACT)

Catharine has been sailing over the last 10+ years. Following fantastic results at the National Games this year; she has been selected to be part of Team Australia at next year’s World Games. Beyond her fantastic sporting achievements with sailing she is an active participant in club social and fundraising activities. She promotes the values of Special Olympics, but also promotes community awareness of Special Olympics activities, having participated in expo activities over a number of years. She always models the values of Special Olympics. Catharine is a popular member of the sailing team and the wider club community.


Young Athlete of the year Winner

Chelseann Osborne, Mackay Fire, (QLD)

Chelseann is 17 years old and has been sailing for 9 years. She has sailing experience in the Sabot, Pacer, Hansa and Laser. She started sailing with Special Olympics in 2011. At the age of 13, she competed in the Albert Park Yacht Club Sailability Programme in Victoria. She was selected in the 2018 Special Olympics National Games and won gold and silver. Chelseann is excited to be selected to be part of Team Australia for Abu Dhabi in 2019. She exhibits outstanding sportsmanship on and off the water with her support of her teammates and other competitors. She understands that she must ensure a positive environment for her and others to achieve success.


Coach of the year Winner

Tom Xie, Melbourne Inner East, (VIC)

Tom has been the head coach at Melbourne Inner East for eight years and has a long history coaching main stream swimming at a National Level for China. His dedication and rapport with the athletes is incredible and has gained great respect from both the athletes and families at the club. Tom has no personal affiliation with Special Olympics and has now gone on to prepare athletes that have competed at the Melbourne 2014 and Adelaide 2018 National Games. Tom has the ability to create a training program based on a wide variety of needs and abilities while making each athlete feel special and part of the team.


Young coach of the year Merit Award

Olivia Piccone, Melbourne Inner East, (VIC)

Olivia has been involved as a volunteer coach for our weekly swimming program for over 3 years.  Her role has been to work with our less able swimmers to help them master basic swim techniques. Her dedication, patience and support has helped nervous non-swimmers gain confidence and survival skills over time. No challenge is insurmountable for Olivia! Through Olivia's coaching, she has built confidence in athletes over a period of time which has meant that they have competed at both a regional and state level.  In the past these athletes were only prepared to come to training and were very anxious about competing. Olivia has a very caring and nurturing nature and makes all athletes feel comfortable. She is able to speak to the athletes using language that they understand and is clear in her explanations. Even though she is still very young, she is at ease with each athlete and their individual needs. She is an absolute asset to our Melbourne Inner East swimming squad and club community. 


Volunteer of the year Winner

Mark Wilson, Melbourne Inner East, VIC

Mark has been actively involved in Special Olympics as a volunteer for over 15 years. His work as a volunteer has extended beyond Melbourne Inner East to a key member of the Athlete Leader Program (ALP) for Special Olympics Victoria over the past 7 years. He has shown great commitment and dedication to this program, which involves working with Special Olympics Athletes from various clubs to develop their skills to become athlete role models and spokes people for Special Olympics. Some of Mark's accomplishments include 15 years as General Committee member of Melbourne Inner East, Assistant to ALPs Vic Co-ordinator for 7 years, acted as an Athlete Leadership Mentor for Melbourne Inner East and supported fundraising activities in the club. He is an excellent role model for Special Olympics and the value of inclusion.


Young volunteer of the year Merit Award

Natalie Wilkinson, Melbourne Inner East, (VIC)

Natalie has been a volunteer for Melbourne Inner East Bowling since she was 15 years old. She has been volunteering for 8 years. She is a role model for young volunteers and is reliable, kind, encouraging and very friendly. She is a member of the Bowling League and an active player, so she has an excellent knowledge of the game and offers direction to athletes. She is very caring to the athletes, offering great encouragement and understanding. She is also very patient and a great listener. As a young volunteer, Natalie relates well with our junior athletes and her involvement fosters diversity and a youthful energy to the bowling program.


Hall of Fame Award

Hall of Fame

Each year Special Olympics Australia recognises a volunteer (or volunteers) who has shown dedication to our mission and long-standing commitment to our athletes by inducting them into the Hall of Fame. Nominations are sort from the Special Olympics Australia community and the National Selection Committee select the winner.

Hall of Fame Nominations Are Currently Closed

Honour Roll

2014 | Moira Ryde (VIC)
2013 | Albert Green, OAM (ACT)
2012 | Norm Maroney APM, OAM (NSW)
2011 | Robyn Cook OAM (VIC)
2010 | Susan Grealy (QLD)
2009 | Rex Langthorne AM (NSW)
2008 | Alan Burke (VIC)
2007 | Eric Jones OAM (VIC)
             Kurt Kraushofer OAM (VIC)
2006 | Barry Easy OAM (NSW)
             Marian York (QLD)
2005 | Robyn Hanson OAM (TAS)
2004 | Anna-Louise Kassulke (QLD)
2003 | Jan Sharp OAM (VIC)
2002 | Leon Burwell OAM (NSW)
2001 | Carol Tanner OAM (TAS)
2000 | Des Renford MBE, OHC (NSW)