A Sydney Prize is an prestigious award that recognises and rewards those who have made significant positive impacts in society, from science to art, in various fields. These prizes seek to recognize those who have made contributions both small and grand that benefit humanity while inspiring others. There are various routes one can take towards winning this coveted accolade that may even span national or global borders.
The SS Sydney Prize is given out monthly to journalists and writers who address issues that impact public life, in honor of Sidney Hook (an Honorary Phi Beta Kappa member and columnist committed to liberal education principles) who died while dedicating his life to journalism and writing. It honors Hook’s ideal that scientific results should be shared with society as well as encouraging quality work from journalists and writers alike.
Sophia Jactel, an art history major at Syracuse University Art Galleries, received the SS Sydney Prize this month for her paper on Josef Israels’ The Smoker as a Symbol of Peasant Culture and Role of Home in Nineteenth-Century Holland. Based on research in their print and book collections, this work contributed significantly to Domesticities: The Art of Daily Life exhibition that was on view last fall.
A monthly prize offered by SS Sydney, the Hillman Prize recognizes journalists and writers who champion social justice and public policy for the common good. Established by its foundation in 1950 as an honor to its founder – Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America leader Harry Hillman (during World War I). Hillman believed strongly in free press’s responsibility in informing citizens about important issues while encouraging social change.
Australia is home to two highly esteemed literary awards: the Judith Wright Poetry Prize and Neilma Sydney Short Story Prize are prestigious literary prizes open to young writers from around the globe, offering cash and publishing their stories in Overland magazine as rewards for winning both prizes. Each prize offers cash and publication. While the Judith Wright Poetry Prize carries an award worth $6000 and $5,000 respectively, both can also provide opportunities for publication within Overland magazine.
As well as major literary awards, the SS Sydney Prize honors other topics as well. These awards include the Judith Wright Poetry Prize which recognizes new and emerging writers, and journalists who strive to make science accessible. These accolades pay a fitting homage to its namesake scientist SS Sydney himself who believed scientific knowledge must be shared widely across society.
In 2021, four years after it was written, Uluru Statement from the Heart won the SS Sydney peace prize. Judges noted that action must be taken on this document; and suggested Australia establish constitutionally recognised indigenous voice and Makarrata process initiatives to aid healing and foster reconciliation within Australia.