Recognising individuals whose lifelong work has benefitted the Australian community.

This annual award provides $50,000 to an Australian individual in recognition of their exemplary and inspiring lifelong body of work.


The 2022 winner will be announced at the Adelaide Film Festival, running 19-30 October 2022.

About the Award

Commencing in 2015, the Award was established to recognise Australians who have contributed a lifelong body of work of high achievement and community benefit.

The Award is administered by the Adelaide Film Festival for the Jim Bettison and Helen James Foundation. Presented by the Foundation on an annual basis, it provides the beneficiary with the possibility to extend, record or disseminate aspects of their life’s work.

The award recipient’s area of expertise may be in the arts and humanities, social justice, the environment, the sciences or any other area where benefit to the community results from their work.

The Foundation’s Selection Committee reviews all submissions before making its final decision. $50,000 is awarded to single or multiple recipients, based on eligibility and strength of application.

Past recipients

  • Dr Bob Brown (2021)
  • Professor David Vaux (2020)
  • Professor John Long (2019)
  • Jackie Huggins (2018)
  • Robert McFarlane (2017)
  • Meryl Tankard (2016)
  • Tim Jarvis (2016)
  • Greg Mackie OAM (2015)

Read more about previous Bettison & James Award recipients.

How to nominate


Please check back in late 2022 to nominate someone for the 2023 award.


  • The nominee must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident. 
  • The Award is only available for individuals. 
  • Candidates for the Award may be invited by the Foundation, or nominated by a third party. 
  • All recipients of the Award should seek advice on the mitigation of tax related to the Award. 
  • The Recipient may be invited to present a paper or speak about their lifetime work and achievements. 
  • The decision of the Selection Committee remains final and no further correspondence will be entered into.  

About the Foundation

The Jim Bettison and Helen James Foundation was established to realise the vision of Dr Jim Bettison and Ms Helen James, who were committed to supporting a wide range of activity in the community through philanthropy and professional engagement. Jim co-founded Codan, a successful and award-winning Adelaide company, established the Developed Image Photographic Gallery and served as Deputy Chancellor at the University of Adelaide. Helen was an exhibiting studio artist. She served on various key arts committees and was a founding member of the National Library of Australia’s Foundation Board.AFF aims to garner innovative partnerships and to create opportunities for Australian key thinkers and practitioners. 

AFF administers the Bettison & James Award for the Bettison and James Foundation. Perpetual acts as trustee for the Foundation.

If you have further enquiries about the Bettison and James Award, please contact us on (08) 8394 2505 or via [email protected].

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