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Australians of the Year Walk

Home > Canberra > Australia Day | Free | Outdoor | Walks
by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun!
Published June 16th 2015
Look closer at this walk - it has a clever musical surprise
As you wander along Lake Burley Griffin towards the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, there is a row of concrete plaques along the waters edge that attracts your attention. A lot of them are blank, however as you walk along you see that the plaques start to have pictures on them. This is the "Australians of the Year Walk", with every Australian of the Year recipient on each plaque since as far back as 1960, with the empty plaques the recipients in the future.

Australian of the Year Walk, Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra
An interesting walk back through Australia's history.

As you walk past, it may not be obvious, however an interesting part of this display is the five metal strips in the pathway under the plaques which represents the lines in sheet music, and then the plaques (representing musical notes) are arranged in a pattern to create the score to "Advance Australia Fair".

Australians of the Year walk, Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra
Have a closer look next time you walk past - the lines and plaques represent sheet music (like example below) of our national anthem

There are now four awards each Australia Day - Australian of the Year, Young Australian if the Year, Senior Australian and the Local Hero Awards. Australia Day is held on 26th of January each year, marking the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet into NSW.

The 2015 recipients show the nature of these awards - they represent a variety of Australians with a diverse range of achievements.

Australians of the Year Walk, lake Burley Griffin, 2015 recipients
2015 recipients..

Rosie Batty is the Australian of the Year, a campaigner for domestic violence. Australia was shocked by her story after the death of her 11 year old son at the hands of his father. A brave and strong woman, all Australians applauded this award on Australia Day, 2015.

Drisana Levitzke-Gray is Young Australian of the Year. She is the fifth generation in her family to be born deaf and has made it her mission to help other deaf people and advocate for human rights.

Jackie French is the Senior Australian of the Year, author of 140 published books in 32 languages (including the childrens classic "Diary of a Wombat"), winner of over 60 literary prizes, and an advocate for children with learning difficulties as she has dyslexia herself.

Juliette Wright is the recipient of the Local Hero's Award. Juliette established an online platform in 2009, GIVIT, which matches people in need to people who want to donate. For example, in 2011 Queensland was hit by devastating floods and GIVIT became the state government's official website for matching donors and people in need with 1.8 million website hits resulting in 33,500 goods matched in three weeks.

These are the inspiring stories for 2015, represented by one plaque on this walk. Every year has equally inspiring stories from everyday Australians.

Australians of the Year Walk, Lake Burley Griffin
A walk of national pride.

So when you are out for a walk along Canberra's Lake Burley Griffin, have a closer look at this clever display of our past Australians of the Year.

It is guaranteed to take you back down memory lane and stir up some good ol' Aussie pride.
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Why? An interesting and clever walk into our past.
Phone: 02 6271 2888
Where: Lake Burley Griffin, near Commonwealth Bridge
Cost: Free.
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