Walking into the Lodge on Thursday for morning tea with the prime minister, Samuel Johnson promised one thing: "I've just got to be careful I don't change".
"Oh my god, the prime minister's 20 seconds away, I gotta go," he said, before heading in.
Johnson, who was the Victorian finalist for the Australian of the Year, was in Canberra to do the round of events before the big announcement on Thursday night.
He joked before the announcement that he would be shocked if he did win Australian of the Year.
"I imagine I'll have a heart attack and die on the spot if it happens," he said. "I don't think I'll be alive to feel anything."
Johnson was tipping the eventual winner, quantum physics professor, Michelle Yvonne Simmons.
"Look, it should go to Michelle and for good reason, she's doing a lot of significant things," he said.
Australia Day was another significant date for Samuel and his late sister Connie Johnson, who was posthumously included in the Australia Day honours.
Connie last year received the Medal of the Order of Australia and was visited by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove on September 7 when she was in the Clare Holland House hospice in Canberra, in the final stage of her years-long battle with breast cancer. The honour was in recognition of her support of breast cancer patients, raising money and awareness to rid all types of cancer, through the organisation she and Samuel founded, Love Your Sister.
She died a day later on September 8, aged 40.
A Government House confirmed that while the investiture occurred last September, the official announcement of the OAM for Connie went to the next honours list, which was the 2018 Australia Day list.
The Lodge morning tea was just the start of a big day for Samuel, who always had Connie on this mind."
"I'm here with my sister Hilde and Connie's very much present because all the other nominees are talking about her," he said.
"Her fingerprints are still everywhere."
Johnson again praised the Love Your Sister community for their commitment to the cause of getting rid of cancer and for being a constant support to him and his family.
"Connie and I were genuinely cushioned by the whole country it feels like and that hasn't changed which is great."
Love Your Sister was born after Connie was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she dared Samuel to unicycle around Australia.
In 2013 and 2014, Samuel did just that, covering 15,465 kilometres and raising $1.4 million for the Garvan Research Foundation.
Love Your Sister has since raised more than $7 million for cancer research, including $2.5 million in five-cent coins, in an event in Canberra last year.
Samuel was also awarded the Gold Logie in 2017 for his performance as Molly Meldrum.
Making his family's tragedy and pain a public cause, Samuel has vowed to put his acting career on hold until Love Your Sister raises $10 million.
The story 'Her fingerprints are everywhere' Connie and Samuel recognised first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.