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WA’s 2022 Australians of the Year share their stories and hopes for the future

  • 27 June 2022

More than 250 people listened to the four 2022 WA Australians of the Year discuss their stories of determination, motivation and purpose, during an inspiring morning on Friday 24 June.

Inside a full room at Beaumonde on the Point in East Perth, Auspire Ambassador and 6PR Perth presenter, Steve Mills, introduced three of the recipients to the stage to give impassioned speeches to the audience.

WA Australian of the Year, Paul Litherland, spoke of the impact of his work with Surf Online Safe and the brutal consequences that can come with using the internet. On a more positive note, he revealed upcoming projects including a book and a film with award-winning documentary-maker, Todd Sampson.

WA Senior Australian of the Year, Jan Standen, touched on how her fellow recipients’ causes align with her own at Grandparents Rearing Grandchildren WA. After which, WA Local Hero, Craig Hollywood, reminisced about receiving the award for launching Short Back & Sidewalks, and recognised his fellow Local Hero finalists.

Steve Mills then introduced WA Young Australian of the Year, Kendall Whyte, who streamed in live due to COVID complications. With guests watching the big screens, Kendall told the story behind her mental health not-for-profit, Blue Tree Project. The morning’s emcee then asked Kendall what the next 12 months look like, to which Kendall highlighted expansion across the Eastern States and encouraged interested supporters to get in touch.

The focus went back to the three recipients in the room, where the Q&A continued. The subject of growth remained, with Jan revealing to guests plans for regional expansion in a collaboration with Country Women’s Association, and Craig commenting on future opportunities made possible from impending Government and corporate support. Meanwhile, Paul spoke about the constant struggle for parents on internet safety.

Before and after the four 2022 WA Australians of the Year, guests got to hear from special guests: Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, Patrick Gorman (pictured below); Representative of the Premier, David Michael; and Zero2Hero founder, Ashlee Harrison, who spoke on behalf of National Diversity and Inclusion Partner of the Australian of the Year Awards, Chevron Australia.

The final word went to Auspire Chairman, Bradley Woods, who thanked the guests, speakers and supporters of the Inspiring Australians Breakfast and Australian of the Year Awards. He encouraged nominations for the 2023 Australian of the Year Awards, which you can submit at https://www.australianoftheyear.org.au/nominate

View photos of the Inspiring Australians Breakfast here

Auspire thanks Chevron Australia, National Diversity and Inclusion Partner of the Australian of the Year Awards, for supporting this event.

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