The previous winners of the award were its namesake kernel hacker, Rusty Russell; past Linux Australia president, Pia Waugh; and intellectual property lawyer, Kim Weatherall.

The award had previously been presented to a person chosen by the last recipient of the award, in consultation with Linux Australia Council. This year, the process begins with a call for nominations, a shortlist will then be created by the Linux Australia Council, with the final word going to the three previous winners of the award.

Nominations are open until the end of the year.

The award will be presented for the first time since 2007 at 2012, which is being held between 16th-20th January next year in Ballarat.