West Australians gather to send off WA’s 2024 Australians of the Year

  • 19 January 2024

On Thursday 18 January, Auspire – Australia Day Council WA hosted the Reflect Respect Celebrate Australia Day Launch to bring West Australians together to share stories, celebrate our common bond, and send off the WA 2024 Australian of the Year Awards’ recipients to Canberra for the national Awards’ ceremony.

Auspire’s network of supporters, community leaders and inspiring Australians from Auspire’s awards alumni, gathered at Perth Zoo. As the sun was setting beyond where the animal residents were resting, guests enjoyed refreshments, music from Phil Walley-Stack and his band and heard from each of the WA recipients.

people at outdoor event

WA 2024 Young Australian of the Year, Kate Kirwin, spoke about getting to know her fellow category recipients in the other states and territories and WA 2024 Senior Australian of the Year, Charlie Bass, told us how he has taken some time in recent weeks to reflect on the incredible diversity of the entrepreneurs and start-up founders he stewards through his Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Nick Hudson, WA’s 2024 Local Hero had the crowd in stitches admitting he looks forward to personally challenging the Prime Minister to a Push-Up Challenge when he gets some one-on-one time with him in Canberra, and WA 2024 Australian of the Year, Mechelle Turvey, opened up about what makes her be her true self.

people on stage during event

“My grandmother” said Mechelle, when asked if she had a mantra that guided her. “From the stories of my grandmother, I applied those learnings to my life. I am an Aboriginal person and my identity will never be stripped from me.”

Reflection on what it means to be Australian and the part we all can play in Australia’s story continued with Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, the Honourable Patrick Gorman MP, delivering his first Australia Day address for 2024.

“This is a week where we bring Australians together – sharing stories and sharing hope for our future, recognising there’s not one homogenous Australia Day. It means something different to every one of the 27 million Australians. It is about celebrating that nation that we are building together. The Australian of the Year Awards are part of building that stronger Australia.”

people watching a welcome to country at outdoor event

Guests were given the opportunity to celebrate First Nations culture with a captivating Welcome to Country from Aboriginal Elder and Noongar leader, Mr Barry Winmar.

See all photos from the evening here.

There are hundreds of events happening around Australia to mark our national day. Visit to find an event close to you. To watch the 2024 Australian of the Year Awards live from 4.30pm AWST on Thursday 25 January, tune into ABC TV or online with ABC iView.

This event was assisted by the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council.

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