WA Finalists for 2022 Australian of the Year Awards Announced

  • 26 October 2021

Finalists for the 2022 WA Australian of the Year Awards include a Noongar culture conservationist, a public safety expert, a man helping migrants settle, artists shining a light on disability and
diversity and the founder of an initiative giving haircuts to the homeless.

They are among 16 Western Australians in the running to be named the Australia’s Local Hero, Young Australian, Senior Australian or Australian of the Year. The nominees are among 129 people being recognised across all states and territories as part of the program, which began in 1960.

The 2022 WA finalists are:


2022 WA Australian of the Year

Julia Hales – Performance artist and disability advocate (Perth)
Dr Scott Hollier – Co-founder and CEO of the Centre For Accessibility Australia (Maida Vale)
Kirstin Butcher – Founder and CEO of genvis (Menora)
Paul Litherland – Cyber safety educator and campaigner (Success)


2022 WA Young Australian of the Year

Tom Oliver – Activist for people with autism in the justice system (Fremantle)
Dr Hayley Passmore – Child health researcher in neurodisability (Mt Lawley)
Kendall Whyte – Founder/CEO of the Blue Tree Project (Claremont)
Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa – Spoken word artist, writer and performer (Mt Pleasant)


2022 WA Senior Australian of the Year

Dante Maribbay – Community leader (Ballajura)
Emeritus Professor Cheryl Praeger AC – Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at UWA (Nedlands)
Janice Standen – President of Grandparents Rearing Grandchildren WA (Heathridge)
Professor Nigel Laing AO – Winthrop Research Professor at UWA (Kingsley)


2022 WA Local Hero

Craig Hollywood – Founder/CEO of Short Back & Sidewalks (Inglewood)
Kenneth Gibbons – Founder of Telethon Community Cinemas (Morley)
Catrina Aniere – CEO of Millennium Kids (Yokine)
Professor Leonard Collard – Professor at UWA’s School of Indigenous Studies (Perth)

Find out more about each of the finalists here.

The 16 finalists were chosen from 39 nominees by a panel of judges. The selection panel was hosted for the day at the University of Western Australia, as they carefully and thoroughly deliberated. Professor David Sadler, DVC Education opened the panel session by welcoming the judges to campus, firmly admitting he did not ‘envy the difficult task at hand’.

The four WA 2022 Australian of the Year award recipients will be announced at the WA division of the Australian of the Year Awards ceremony in Perth on Thursday 4 November, which will also be available to watch online via livestream. All guests will enjoy pre-drinks at the Chevron Australia Welcome Reception followed by a stunning 3-course dinner.

WA recipients will then join the other state and territory recipients as national finalists for the national awards announcement on Tuesday 25 January 2022.

Mr Bradley Woods, Chairman of Auspire – Australia Day Council WA, congratulated the finalists on making history.

“The 16 finalists have earned their place alongside an impressive and distinguished list of past Australian of the Year nominees. We thank them for their dedication and contribution to our State and Nation.”

National Australia Day Council CEO Karlie Brand echoed Mr Woods’ sentiments.

“The Western Australia finalists are achieving and contributing in many different ways,” said Ms Brand. “From grassroots community to a global scale, they are making an impact.”

For more information on the Australian of the Year Awards visit

Back to news