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.
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)
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.
The National Awards Program is an exciting opportunity to celebrate our dedicated athletes and volunteers.
The National Awards categories are:
Bradley has been a member of Special Olympics since 2007 and participates in bocce and ten-pin bowling. Bradley is actively engaged with all facets of the club and often assists with fundraising. He is the number one achiever in the club for fundraising and excels in recruiting sponsors to donate goods. Bradley has a positive can-do attitude and he always helps others whenever possible. Bradley knows the rules and etiquette of his sport and will assist other athletes who need help in understanding and playing the sport. He assists the coaches with the setup of courts and with the distribution of equipment. He helps confirm which team the athletes are on, tells them their scores and whose turn it is to play next. Bradley was selected for the 2018 National Games, he was nominated for the club’s Athlete of the Year 2019 and has been the best athlete fundraising in the club for 3 consecutive years.
2020 Athlete of the Year Nominees: Stephen Lawley, Brisbane (QLD) | Carl White, Mackay (QLD)
Bronte started teaching the Northern Beaches’ dance program in 2018 after their rhythmic gymnastics program was halted due to lack of coaches. This made the athletes sad and anxious as they did not want to stop their weekly program. Bronte stepped in and took on a group of very novice dancers, with a wide variety of abilities and brought them to a level where they work together as a team. Each athlete is encouraged to perform in front of an audience to gain self confidence and extend themselves both as dancers and as individuals. Thanks to her passion for teaching dance, Bronte has tripled the participation of the club since she began. Bronte focuses on inclusion and participation and does not require any previous experience for the dancers to attend or perform. She works with the athletes and their families to ensure that each dancer feels welcome and supported. She works with them during rehearsals plus giving them exercises and skills to practice at home, so they all continue to reach their best potential and feel proud of themselves.
2020 Coach of the Year Nominees: John Coletti, Mackay (QLD) | Michael Harris, Sydney South (NSW) | Helen Sullivan, Melbourne Eastern Ranges (VIC) |
Nicole & Maria Vallos, Melbourne Inner East (VIC)
Michael is the Vice Chair, Fundraising coordinator and Head Bocce coach. Michael has also revitalised the annual club awards and Christmas function in which he wears multiple hats to raise funds for the athletes. Michael has been very focussed on increasing corporate sponsorship and secured funding from businesses in the community. He is also very active in engaging local media to promote the athlete’s achievements and the club. Michael oversees the club newsletter and has inspired others, especially athletes, to contribute. Michael was selected as Victoria Bocce Coach and made the shortlist of nominees for the local council Volunteers Awards in 2019. Michael was also the creator of the club registration and invitation day, whereby the club increase their focus on new young athletes and volunteers. Lastly, Michael established MY-MER, an online ideas box for athletes to make suggestions and comments for the club committee to consider and discuss.
2020 Volunteer of the Year Nominees: Colin Beeby, Melbourne Southern (VIC) | Judith Dal’Bo, Mackay (QLD) | Catherine Vineburg, Sydney Northern Beaches (NSW)
Kimberly has been a long serving volunteer with Special Olympics for many years. She is currently the Chair, Sports Coordinator and Basketball coach of the Mackay club in QLD. Kimberly consistently attracts volunteers, sponsors, and athletes by taking every opportunity to advance the cause of people with an intellectual disability. Kimberly has a genuine passion to support athletes in maintaining a positive outlook. Kimberly has a strong coach-athlete relationship with every athlete which ensures she knows their motivation and this leads to high standards of performance and behaviour both on and off the competition area.
2020 Community Hero Nominees: Karen Fox, Melbourne Inner East (VIC) | Ron Mckinnon, Rodney Mark Pty Ltd (VIC) | Dolores Richardson, Moreton North (QLD) | Kelly Wren, Sydney South (NSW)
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
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)