Sidney Prize – The award is made in recognition of a person or organisation that has contributed to social change and the improvement of human life. It is open to people of any nationality and can be awarded for anything from academic achievement, personal attributes, community service, a requirement for start-up funding or the ability to inspire others.
Awarded to a group or individual that has made a significant contribution to the development of Australia’s culture, society or economy, the sidney prize is decided on a national basis and is presented at a ceremony at the end of each year. In addition to past achievements, it is also important to consider the potential for the recipient to make further contributions to Australia in the future.
This year’s Sidney prize has gone to the Black Lives Matter movement, an international coalition of activists dedicated to promoting human rights and non-violence. The organisation was founded in the United States in 2013 by Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi after George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering black teenager Trayvon Martin.
The winner will receive a cash prize of $1500 and the prize money will be used to support their work. In particular, the winning group will be able to help them develop their own online presence and marketing strategies to increase their reach and impact.
Keeping Stepping – This documentary follows Gabi, a Chilean-Samoan dancer who is competing in an international street dance competition and her Romanian partner Patrix, who is looking for a better life. Their story of finding their way in a new country and a new city is inspiring to many viewers, including director Luke Cornish, who worked on the film for seven years and won the prize for his directorial skills.
Formed by the Sydney Peace Foundation, this annual prize is awarded to a person or organisation that has promoted “peace with justice”, “human rights” and “non-violence”. It is open to individuals and groups worldwide who have been at the forefront of these issues.
Professor Sidney Altman – Sterling Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale – was a Nobel Prize-winning researcher who died last month at the age of 82. A leader in the field of RNA biology, he shared the 1989 Nobel Prize with Professor Thomas Cech.
A renowned teacher and mentor to many, Sid’s most enduring achievement was his ability to foster an atmosphere in the laboratory that allowed young students to learn and grow. A devout believer in the value of science, he insisted that all students should be given the opportunity to learn from all the different fields in their discipline, while simultaneously pursuing excellence in their chosen field of study.
This is why Sid’s legacy remains so profound, and why his life remains such a remarkable testimony to the power of education. During his long career, he inspired and encouraged thousands of students, and in the process built a university whose reputation was firmly based on a deep appreciation for the complexities and interconnectedness of the natural world.