Australian of the Year Awards trophies ‘set a high bar for excellence in Australian glass making’

Cathy Newton and Dr Jeffrey Sarmiento
Cathy Newton and Dr Jeffrey Sarmiento
Monday 12 December 2022

The outstanding achievements of 2023 Australian of the Year Awards recipients will once again be recognised with trophies by The Australian National University (ANU).

The stunning trophies, designed and produced by the ANU Glass Workshop, represent the multiple facets that have shaped Australian society, embodying a nation that is confident in its leadership, contemporary in its outlook, and distinguished by its diverse community.

Cathy Newton, who has been involved in the project over the years, says the design of the award is an apt representation of the real identity of an Australian. The trophy captures the points of the Southern Cross, the star of the federation, and the blue colour represents the Australian sky.

Since the start of the project, students were involved in all aspects of designing and making the trophies. However, that was impacted after Canberra went into COVID-19 lockdown. Cathy looks forward to the involvement of students once again in the future and considers it a great learning experience for them.

“Previously, students were deeply involved in the project. It is a great opportunity for the students to be involved in the processes as they learn skills that are inherent in glass making, particularly in glass casting like grinding and polishing,” Cathy said.

“It will be great to have them involved again and hopefully, we are able to do that by next year.”

For the first time this year, the makers are using Australian glass to make the awards. In previous years, they had been made using glass sourced from New Zealand.

“I am humbled that the workmanship that goes into making these awards are recognised as it involves hard work. There are many skills and excellence of working ethic involved to maintain the high standard of presentation and design.”

Dr Jeffrey Sarmiento, Senior Lecturer in the School of Art and Design said, “I believe that The Australian of the Year Award is a distinguished commission that sets a high bar for excellence in Australian glass making. Because trophies are produced in the very same workshop where our students learn, recipients will know they can make great work here.”

For those who'd like to have a closer look at the trophies, they can visit the Glass Workshop which sits with the ANU School of Art and Design to view the feature trophies on display until early next year.

The ANU School of Music students will once again be a part of the Australian of the Year Awards.

Kim Cunio, Head of the School of Music, said, "The ANU is delighted to once again be a major partner in the Australian of the Year Awards. Our Chamber Choir led by Toby Cole has been a part of the event for a number of years and there is something very special about our young singers singing with some of the most famous musicians in the country for our National Day.    

"For our choir and Toby to work on the song I Am Australian is very significant for our country. This is a piece that is becoming almost another de-facto anthem for our country, not our national anthem but an anthem of our shared aspirations for unity and diversity."  

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Updated:  13 December 2022/Responsible Officer:  CASS Marketing & Communications/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications