2019 McKinnon Prize nominations open

Senator Penny Wong and Senator Jordon Steele John
2018 McKinnon Prize winners Senator Penny Wong and Senator Jordon Steele-John

Nominations have opened for the 2019 McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership, an annual prize which champions political leadership across all tiers of Australian government.

The McKinnon Prize is a non-partisan collaboration between the Susan McKinnon Foundation and the University of Melbourne. This year’s selection panel is made up of political, business, military and social leaders, including former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, former Chief of the Australian Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston, and former New South Wales Premier Mike Baird.

University of Melbourne Provost and Chair of the 2019 selection panel Professor Mark Considine said the McKinnon Prize performed an important role in strengthening the national conversation about Australian leadership.

“The public’s expectation of leaders in regard to their responsiveness, ethical behaviour and effectiveness is at an all-time high,” said Professor Considine.

“Accordingly, the McKinnon Prize provides an opportunity for Australians to not only discuss the leadership qualities they expect from our leaders, but also recognize and celebrate the politicians who do an outstanding job in demonstrating those qualities.”

The Prize recognises politicians who have demonstrated outstanding leadership on a significant public policy issue through courageous and collaborative action and is offered in two categories: the McKinnon Political Leader of the Year, for politicians with at least five years in office, and the McKinnon Emerging Political Leader of the Year, for those with less than five years in office.

The 2018 McKinnon Political Leader of the Year, Senator Penny Wong, said she was grateful for the establishment of the McKinnon Prize, and was humbled and honoured to receive it.

“As someone who believes that politics matters, that our system of government matters and that the content and tone of leadership matters, this initiative that encourages political leadership is both timely and vital.

“At a time when many are eager to dismiss the possibilities of politics, and to disparage the role of government, this prize affirms our democracy.”

The 2018 McKinnon Emerging Political Leader of the Year was Senator Jordon Steele-John.

The winners will speak at The McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership Oration in March 2020, where they will be awarded a trophy of recognition. The 2019 McKinnon Emerging Political Leader will also receive $20 000 to be used for professional development and growth.

Nominations will remain open until 5 December 2019. For further information and to nominate visit www.mckinnonprize.org.au.