The Brendan Award

Home Awards The Brendan Award

The Brendan Award was inaugurated in 1997 by the Australian-Irish Heritage Association to honour those who have given outstanding service to the Irish community in Australia and especially in Western Australia.

St Brendan is one of the most revered Saints in Ireland. He was born c489 in Ciarraigh Lua near Tralee in Co Kerry and died c578. He was known as the Navigator as he sailed around the cost of Ireland and the Scottish Isles spreading the word of God and setting up monasteries. He was famous for his seven-year voyage in a search for The Land of Delight during which he was supposed to have discovered America.

The first Brendan Award was sculpted by Irish artists Joan and Charlie Smith and has been presented for the past two decades. Subsequent awards were designed by Denis Bratton and sculpted by Dave Burke of Celtic Swan Furniture and the latest ones sculptured by Charlie Totten. The wood sculpture takes the form of an Irish Standing Stone, many of which are scattered around Ireland. They represent many things, gravesites, boundary markers, and remains of religious structures which may have been used by the druids.


Who can make a nomination?

Any person or group can make a nomination, and all relevant work, or contributions will be considered.

What are some examples of desirable work?

Examples of desirable candidates for the award are those who have contributed to the community through voluntary work over a long period, have given valuable input to the arts, or through their sporting achievements. The chief consideration is the way they have they enhanced the status of Ireland and the Irish through their activities.

What type of people have won previously?

Previous recipients have come from a diverse range of backgrounds. They include actors, musicians, politicians, footballers and youth motivators.

When do nominations close?

31st December each year

How do I nominate someone?

To nominate someone please click HERE for the Nomination form and HERE for the Guidelines.

Past Recipients of The Brendan Award

Year Recipient
1997 Mary Robinson – President of the Republic of Ireland
1997 Sean and Margaret Doherty – Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Perth
1998 Joan Walsh-Smith and Charles Smith – Sculptors Gidgegannup WA
1998 William (Bill) Motherway – Irish Theatre Players
1999 Jim Stynes – Irish AFL Footballer and charity founder
1999 Reverend William (Bill) Coffey – Irish Culture and Genealogy research
1999 Joe O’Sullivan OBE, OAM – Founder of Australian Irish Heritage Association WA Inc
2000 Richard O’Brien – Irish Ambassador to Australia
2000 Michael Nolan – Honorary Irish Consul General Perth
2001 Paddy and Lena Costello – Irish Club
2002 Not awarded
2003 Joe and Lotte Crozier – Irish Club and Australian Irish Heritage Association WA Inc
2004 Tom Kearns – GAA and Comhaltas Ceoltori, Perth
2005 Tom and Kath Quinn – Irish Club
2006 Tony and Cecilia Bray – Irish Theatre Players, Irish Club & Australian Irish Heritage Association WA Inc
2010 Colm O’Doherty – Irish History and Literature
2011 Fred and Lilly Rea – Irish Community WA
2012 Liam Barry – JB O’Reilly Commemoration
2013 Denis and Patricia Bratton – Australian Irish Heritage Association WA Inc
2016 Joan Ross – Claddagh Association
2017 Michael Manning – Shamrock Rovers Perth
2018 Peter McKenna – Claddagh Association, GAA and Irish Golf
2019 Frank Murphy – Broadcaster and Theatre
2020 Paul Tanham – Irish Club and Rose of Tralee
2021 Sean O’Casey – GAA