The next "great social justice movement" will be animal protection, if members of the animal rights group Voiceless has its way.

The independent, non-profit group was set up in 2004 by businessman Brian Sherman (AM) and his daughter, Ondine to alleviate the suffering of animals in Australia.

Author and one of the sponsors of the $5000 inaugural Voiceless media award, Bryce Courtenay, will announce the winner at a ceremony at The Mint in Sydney on December 1.

The competition attracted more than 80 entries with issues including factory farming, horse racing, rodeos and kangaroos.

Voiceless general manager Elaine Morris described the awards as "the Oscars of animal protection" and said she was "overwhelmed" by the number and quality of the entries. 

Neurosurgeon Dr Charles Teo who is a sponsor of the event considers that any money he contributes would be well-spent.

"I became involved with Voiceless because of my own personal love of animals and my philosophy that we should speak for and support those who can’t speak for themselves," he said.

Judges of the print, online, radio and television entries include author and winner of the Nobel Prize for literature JM Coetzee, former New South Wales Premier Bob Carr, and Professor David Weisbrot (AM), president of the Australian Law Reform Commission.

Two articles about rodeos by Fairfax Media journalist, Kate Dennehy of The Sun-Herald and have been short-listed for the prize.

Actor and Voiceless ambassador, Hugo Weaving will present more than $100,000 worth of grants to 100 non-profit groups, councils or universities running projects that improve animals’ lives in Australia.