Dylan Alcott, Delta Goodrem lead Australia Day honours
Dylan Alcott, the athlete, raconteur and music festival organiser who turned disability into a super power, is named Australian of the Year, and is one of several beacons from the wider music industry who are recognised for their fine work.
Alcott, a three-time Paralympic gold medallist and 14-time grand slam champion, is behind Ability Fest, Australia’s first and only completely inclusive, fully accessible music festival, which is organised by the Dylan Alcott Foundation and Untitled Group and presented by Triple J.
In its first two years, Ability Fest raised just shy of $500,000 for Alcott’s foundation, funds that are used to help young Australians with disabilities fulfil their potential through its grant program.
The 31-year-old was presented with his honour Jan. 26 during a ceremony in Canberra, on the eve of his participation in the final of the Australian Open quad wheelchair singles tournament, his career-ending match.
Alcott was keynote speaker at the 2019 Asia-Pacific Venue Industry Congress, where he addressed the audience on his ongoing mission for an inclusive society, the importance of live music and accessibility for all, and how the corporate world can better engage and support the 4.5 million folks in Australia living with disabilities.
Alcott is also a seasoned presenter, having enjoy regular stints behind the mic at triple j and Hit Network as co-presenter on ABC TV show The Set.
Also among the honourees is Delta Goodrem, who is appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for her services to the performing arts and charity.
Speaking with the Daily Telegraph, Goodrem said she cried “happy tears” when she got the good news.
“It was a strong intention to give back from the day I got into music because I believe in people and the power of kindness and I wanted to lift someone’s day through song,” explained the 37-year-old pop superstar, who is a Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor.
“As fate would have it,” she continued, “I did go through a very personal challenge which changed that dynamic and I developed these incredible relationships with the people at St Vincent’s that allowed me to strive to make a difference.”
Also, classical percussionist Claire Edwardes and Artistic Director of Ensemble Offspring was received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to music.
This year, the achievements and contributions of 1,040 Australians were lauded.
Of the 732 awards handed out in the general division, 47 per cent of recipients were women, the largest percentage of female winners since the honours system was introduced in 1975.
This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.