Sidney Prize is an award that recognises a person or group for their contributions to Australia’s culture, society and economy. It is awarded on a national basis and the winner is decided by a panel of judges. The winner is also chosen on the basis of their potential to make further contributions in the future. This is an important aspect of the award and it is a great way to honour the work that people are doing in the country.
Sid Altman was a scientist who had many accomplishments during his life but he is best known for discovering the role that RNA plays in gene expression and cell development. This discovery helped pave the way for genetic engineering and stem cell research. He shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Thomas Cech for their work on RNA.
In addition to a career in science, Sid was a well-known art historian and editor of several textbooks on the subject. He was particularly adept at interpreting the meanings of works in relation to the history of ideas and cultural traditions. In his later years, he was active in promoting Jewish heritage and education.
He was a founding member of the American Jewish Historical Association and was the author of numerous articles on art, history and politics. He was a frequent contributor to The New York Times and other major newspapers. He edited two important benchmark publications in the field of art history: The Nature of Art and Images of Man: Selected Readings in Western Civilization.
His writings have been translated into many languages and he has been the recipient of numerous awards and honorary doctorates. In 2004 he won the SS Sidney prize for his essay, The Coddling of the American Mind, which discussed student hypersensitivity and how this can lead to depression and a lack of self-reflection.
Another of his achievements was his involvement in establishing the Sydney Peace Prize. This is an annual award that honours a nominee who promotes peace with justice, human rights and non-violence. Past recipients have included Julian Burnside, Noam Chomsky and Mary Robinson.
This year’s Sydney Peace Prize has been awarded to the Black Lives Matter movement. This international coalition of activists was founded in 2013 by Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi after George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering the black teenager Trayvon Martin. The group has since spread around the world.
The 2022 Neilma Sidney short story prize was won by Yeena Kirkbright for her piece “Camperdown Grief Junk.” It will appear in Overland’s Summer 2023 issue. The prize is worth $5,000, and the runners-up will receive $2,500 each. The judged would like to thank all of the writers who entered this year’s competition.
Sidney is a city with a fascinating and unexpected history. Whether it is the Nobel prize-winners, Elizabethan brickwork, charming Cloister Court or exquisite rococo halls, there is something to be discovered in this little-known treasure.