SORRY, Australian of the Year judges, but you got it wrong this time.
The selection of doctors Richard Harris and Craig Challen as joint Australians of the Year is wonderful recognition for two great men, but has missed the mark for our nation's greatest honour.
The South Australian and Western Australian nominees for the award had been recognised for their pivotal roles in one of the biggest global news stories of 2018 - the incredible rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand.
National Australia Day Council chair Danielle Roche praised the pair for their “selflessness, courage and willingness to help” - and fair enough. Australia should rightly be proud of Dr Harris and Dr Challen. We can all admire their professionalism and can all learn from their example of giving.
But, as amazing as the Thai cave rescue was, should that single act qualify them to be named joint Australians of the Year?
Or should our top honour go to someone whose CV includes a career - and a lifetime - of achievement against the odds and of inspiring a nation?
Should the top honour have gone to someone who has used their own success and profile to clear a path for other people facing challenges in their lives?
Should the Australian of the Year be someone who has been given a public voice and used that voice at every turn to promote inclusion and equality – not for a single year, but for a decade and more?
Kurt Fearnley was the outstanding nomination for Australian of the Year in 2019 and would have also been the popular pick.
Australia has watched and admired Fearnley's achievements on the race track for almost 20 years and we've been enchanted by his humility throughout that time.
We've watched him crawl the Kokoda Track and we've seen him lead Australia's Paralympics campaigns.
But it has been his words, even more than his actions, that should have seen him named the 2019 Australian of the Year.
In particular, his passionate words after winning his final Commonwealth Games gold medal in April and again after being named NSW’s Australian of the Year in November showed him, beyond question, to be a leader – and a leader for all Australians.
Richard Harris and Craig Challen are remarkable Australians and in any other year might have been standout recipients of the Australian of the Year title.
Not this year, though.