Sydney Prize is a monthly award given to an outstanding piece of journalism published during the prior month. Nominations are made by a member of the public. The deadline for submissions is the last day of each month. Winners are announced on the second Wednesday of each month.
New York Times columnist David Brooks established the Sidney Award in 2004 to honor the year’s best long-form essays in politics and culture. He has been giving the awards — named after philosopher and political theorist Sidney Hook — ever since. Brooks has been impressed by the eloquence and originality of the writing that he’s seen.
Sidney was a conservative by nature, but he was open-minded and willing to challenge accepted dogma. He was also an idealist and believed that science should be used for the betterment of mankind. Throughout his career, he worked to promote freedom of expression and defended those who were attacked for their ideas. He also was a staunch supporter of academic freedom and pushed for more funding for scientific research.
While in high school, Sidney was a very good student and wrote several outstanding papers. He had a strong interest in history, literature and philosophy, and was an excellent debater. He went on to study physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in 1961. However, he became fascinated by the emerging field of molecular biology and decided to switch his major.
During his time at the university, he was involved with the Sydney Film Production Company PTY LTD, where he met the founders of the company, James and Nicola O’Hanlon. The O’Hanlons were so impressed with his work that they offered him a job at their film production company, which eventually led to the formation of Sydney Films in 1985.
Sidney was the first Australian to be hired as a senior editor at Disney and later became the head of the editorial department at Columbia Pictures. In this role, he oversaw the production of some of the most popular films in Hollywood history, including “The Sound of Music” and “A Star is Born.”
This year, Overland magazine is offering a sizable prize to an undergraduate or postgraduate writer whose short story has been shortlisted for their 2022 Neilma Sidney Short Fiction Prize. Yeena Kirkbright’s ‘Camperdown Grief Junk’ is the winning entry. The winner will receive $5000, while the two runners up will be paid $750 each. The full shortlist can be found here.
The Faculty of Science Postgraduate Research Prize for Leadership is awarded to HDR students who demonstrate excellence in their research and a commitment to contributing to the University’s community. This includes taking on additional responsibilities in their School, Faculty and University committees, undertaking outreach within the community, or being active participants in professional societies. This is a non-academic award and there is no application process.