The Sydney Peace Foundation said IT awarded the honour to Assange in recognition of the need “for greater transparency and accountability of governments," Professor Stuart Rees said.
The Australian Federal Government refused to intervene or offer any diplomatic assistance last year after unrelated and dubious charges of rape were leveled at Julian Assange, in a US effort to seek extradition from the UK so they can take charges.
“By challenging centuries old practices of government secrecy and by championing people’s right to know, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have created the potential for a new order in journalism and in the free flow of information."
Julian Assange referred to the whistle-blowers whjo leak classified material to him as "heroes" - a direct reference to 23-year-old US soldier Bradley Manning, who is locked up indefinitely pending some dodgy military trail, after he leaked thousands of documents to WikiLeaks.
"WikiLeaks had played a significant role in the recent Arab uprisings in north Africa by releasing US diplomatic cables in December that were later translated into Arabic and French," Julian Assange said at the award ceremony in London.
"WikiLeaks was part of England's historic free speech traditions, these go back in the UK to the time of the English Civil War of the 1640s. The real value of this award, and the Sydney Peace Foundation is that it makes explicit the link between peace and justice," Assange said. "“It does not take the safe feel good option of shunning controversy by uttering platitudes. Instead it goes into difficult terrain by identifying organisations and individuals who are directly engaged in struggles of one kind or another."
“With WikiLeaks we are all engaged in a struggle, a generational struggle for a proposition that citizens have a right and a duty to scrutinise the state."