The National Australia Day Council has released its list of finalists for 2021 Australian of the Year Awards, with Craig Foster being recognised for his advocacy, support of young people, and philanthropic work in the Australian community and abroad.
The national awards are given out on Australia Day every year, with nominees traveling to Canberra for the celebrations. While in the age of COVID it remains to be seen whether Craig and the rest of the honor roll will be in attendance, we want to say a big congratulations to Craig for being the NSW nominee for the annual awards.
A local hero through and through
Craig Foster’s incredible work goes well beyond the media partner role for which he is best known. Yes, his experience as both a player and broadcaster at the FIFA World Cup and A-League means he is a prominent promoter of the importance of sport in the community – whether it’s AFL or NRL, or played in Victoria, Queensland, NSW or anywhere around the world – but his work as a human rights campaigner is what really sets him apart as a local hero.
His list of accolades is extensive. Craig is a Human Rights and Refugee Ambassador for Amnesty Australia, Australia Committee member with Human Rights Watch, and Advisory Council member of the Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW. His social justice advocacy extends to several high-profile, global campaigns, including leadership of the #SaveHakeem campaign to free Bahraini Muslim refugee Hakeem al-Araibi from a Thai prison, calling for the resettlement and freedom of over 400 refugees and asylum seekers – many of them young people – indefinitely detained by Australia in PNG and Nauru for almost seven years, and the humanitarian response by global sport to the COVID-19 pandemic (#PlayForLives), which began in Australia and expanded internationally.
Young Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, and more
Craig is in good company with the other finalists, including Dr. Richard Walley OAM as a champion of Aboriginal culture, Victorian nominee Tayla Harris as an ambassador against domestic violence, and of course Professor Brendan Murphy for his exceptional work in Australia’s battle against COVID-19.
As a recent appointee to the Crescent Foundation Board, we are proud to acknowledge Craig’s achievements and ongoing endeavors to support those who need it most.
“Crescent Foundation offered a unique opportunity to partner. With an established program for refugee students at UWS, along with initiatives for the homeless and young people, there was really strong alignment and a shared vision,” said Mr Foster on his appointment to the advisory board.
“This year has created significant and new challenges for our most vulnerable communities that require immediate action. I look forward to working with Crescent Foundation to raise awareness, funds and deliver practical solutions.”