CommBank’s Australian of the Day campaign

The Commonwealth Bank’s Australian of the Day campaign is about ‘celebrating the everyday people making Australia extraordinary’. They have partnered with eight up-and-coming photographers who are traveling the country capturing a new Australian face and story every day for eight months until Australia Day 2016.  The images and stories they capture are then shared on the Australian of the Day microsite and featured on CommBank’s Instagram and Facebook pages. [embedyt][/embedyt]

Not so ordinary Australians

“We developed Australian of the Day to extend the support of one of our longest standing sponsorships, the Australian of the Year Awards. It celebrates the everyday people that make up the fabric of our nation. Some of the extraordinary Australians we have profiled so far include a Brisbane man who created Australia’s first laundry service for the homeless, as well as a Sydney woman who has saved the lives of over 11,000 dogs at her no-kill shelter,” explains Stuart Tucker, general manager, Brand and Marketing Services at Commonwealth Bank.

Tucker notes that while the CommBank’s sponsorship of Australian of the Year Awards for the last 36 years is about celebrating exceptional Australians who have made a significant contribution to the nation, this is about acknowledging the inspiring stories and efforts of everyday Australians.

“Our country is made up of so many characters who have fascinating stories to tell, so we wanted to create an initiative to celebrate these everyday Aussies as well. We thought there was no better way to truly get under the skin of who we are as a nation than to meet people from all walks of life and hear their stories – all through the lens of the country’s most promising young photographers – which is how we landed on the Australian of the Day campaign,” says Tucker.

“At the end of the campaign, the photographs will culminate in a major national portrait celebrating who we were and what we looked like in 2015.”

Monika-Biernacki-1 Monika Biernacki has saved the lives of over 11 000 dogs at Monika's Doggie Rescue.

Connecting and celebrating communities

 “As Australia’s biggest bank with over 52,000 employees, we have a responsibility to actively support the communities we operate within. Australian of the Day is just one way we do this,” says Tucker, noting CommBank has run community initiatives for over 100 years, with recent examples including their Community Grants and Teaching Awards programs.

“Firstly we think it is important to thank those doing great work in communities, a simple thank you can be a powerful gesture,” says Tucker on the community benefits of the Australian of the Day campaign. “We also hope that through using our channels to tell the incredible stories of people in the community, we’re elevating their causes and also inspiring the wider community. An example of a wonderful story that inspired the community is the story of Queensland hairdresser Barry Faulkner. Barry discovered a potentially fatal melanoma hidden on a client’s scalp during a routine haircut. His client immediately underwent surgery and to this day holds Barry as his saviour. This story really resonated with people and started a genuine discussion around the importance of routine skin checks.”

Barry-Faulkner-1 Barber Barry Faulkner, who alerted a client to a potentially fatal melanoma on his scalp, prompting the client to undergo life saving surgery.

Every picture tells a story

Four months in, the Australian of the Day campaign features the photos and stories of all kinds of Australians – of different ages, backgrounds and locale. The images shot by the participating photographers – including James Adams, Trent Mitchell, Rhett Hammerton and James Whineray – are a testament to Australia’s diversity.

When quizzed on whether he has any personal favourites, Tucker says: There are literally so many to choose from – every single Australian of the Day has been chosen because they’re doing something amazing in their own way. One person who really resonated with me personally – and with our social community – is Tejinder Singh. Tejinder has two busy full-time jobs as an air-conditioner mechanic and a taxi driver, yet still somehow manages to find the time to give back to the Darwin community by way of a monthly food drive. He and his son spend the last Sunday of every month cooking and distributing vegetarian meals to any and all who are hungry – no matter what race or class. He’s told us that he’s rejected countless offers of monetary support from people, and instead, just wants to encourage others to begin their own food drives within their local community. “

Tejinder-Singh-1 Tejinder Singh and his son run a food drive in Darwin every Sunday, showing us what it is to selflessly give to other.

He ends: “Tejinder's story really embodies the Australian of the Day campaign, and it's uncovering stories like his that makes the initiative so rewarding.”

Know someone you’d like to nominate for Australian of the Day? You can here.

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