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WA’s 2019 Australian of the Year finalists unveiled

A cave-diving rescuer, a mountaineer who overcame spinal injury, an advocate for Indigenous servicemen and women, a basketballer building kids’ self-esteem, a young Indigenous activist and a woman saving bears from bile farms are among the 16 finalists over 4 categories for the WA 2019 Australian of the Year Awards.

Announced today they are in the running to be named Western Australia’s 2019 finalists for Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Local Hero.

Auspire – Australia Day Council WA CEO, Morgen Lewis said the selection process for 2019’s WA finalists, from a short list of over 42 nominees and a pool of more than 200 put forward, was difficult and always very humbling.

“From their passion to their purpose, these outstanding Western Australians are all tremendous role models,” Ms Lewis said. “And our communities are stronger and more resilient as a result.”

The 2019 Western Australia nominees are:

WA 2019 AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR

  • Craig Challen – Cave-diver and rescuer (Wangara)
  • Dr Michael Levitt – Surgeon (Subiaco)
  • Steven Plain – Mountaineer (Burswood)
  • Dr Angus Turner – Ophthalmologist (Shenton Park)

WA 2019 SENIOR AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR

  • Dr Mary Hutton – Founder of Free the Bears (Stirling)
  • Frank Mallard – Elder, ex-serviceman and volunteer (Northampton)
  • Anne-Marie Widermanski – Surf lifesaving volunteer (Woodvale)
  • Lorraine Winchcomb – Community radio station founder (Joondanna)

WA 2019 YOUNG AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR

  • Jaimen Hudson – Drone photographer and tourism operator (Esperance)
  • Radheya Jegatheva – Film-maker, artist, poet and writer (Joondanna)
  • Noelle Martin – Feminist, activist and law reformist (Nedlands)
  • Clinton Pryor – Indigenous activist (Port Augusta)

WA 2019 LOCAL HERO

  • Ed Croft – Teacher and ANZAC tour leader (Noggerup)
  • Mervyn Eades – Social justice advocate (Belmont)
  • Professor Cheryl Kickett-Tucker – Basketballer and researcher (Guilford)
  • Ronald Reid – Founder of Perth Homeless Support Group (Bayswater)

Four Western Australian recipients will be announced on the evening of Tuesday 30 October 2018 at Government House in Perth and will then join other State and Territory recipients from around Australia in the national awards, which will be held in Canberra on 25 January 2019.

National Australia Day Council CEO, Ms Karlie Brand said the Western Australia nominees are among more than 120 people being recognised in all States and Territories as part of the 2019 Australian of the Year Awards.

“The Western Australian nominees are diverse in their contributions and achievements, but they all share passion and drive which is truly inspiring,” said Ms Brand.

“Whether it be helping others, standing up for people in need, standing up for what is right or choosing to use their skills to bring about change, their stories show us the many ways in which we can all make a difference.”

For more information on the Australian of the Year Awards visit australianoftheyear.org.au

To read more about the WA 2019 finalists, go here.

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