Nominations for the 2024 WA Australian of the Year have been announced.
The four nominations for WA Australian of the Year are Chemo@Home co-founder, nurse, advocate, entrepreneur and innovator Lorna Cook; Dr Martin Dougiamas creator of the open source learning platform Moodle which allows students and teachers to collaborate through forums and sharing materials helping people across the globe access quality education, regardless of location or economic status; forensic scientist, innovator and developer of the SmartInsects app Dr Paola Magni, who uses insects and other small creatures to help solve murders, suspicious deaths and cold cases; and victim of crime advocate Mechelle Turvey whose son was assaulted coming home from school and subsequently died. In 2023, Mechelle began utilising her lived experiences by training Western Australia Police Force recruits in dealing with victims of crime with empathy and support.
The 2024 Senior Australian of the Year for Western Australia nominees are: Charles Bass, 74, founder of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation (Applecross) which has provided over 600 aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools, mentorship and support needed to turn their ideas into successful businesses - including raising over $7.5 million in funds; author, educator, podcast host and speaker Maggie Dent, 68 who has volunteered in palliative care, suicide prevention and community bereavement education; Ronald (Doc) Reynolds 65, a Wudjari Nyungar Mirning Ngudju man, knowledge holder and community leader who for more than 40 years has helped integrate traditional culture with scientific research, community planning and tourism in the region of Esperance; and Caroline Wood, 70, founder, of the Centre for Stories (West Leederville), Margaret River Press and the Australian Short Story Festival.
The 2024 Local Hero for Western Australia nominees are: marine scientist Geoffrey Bastyan, who pioneered seagrass transplantion techniques to retore degraded marine environments; mental health advocate, public speaker and founder of the Push-Up Challenge Nicholas Hudson; chef, educator and trainer Catherine MacDougall who co-founded Prepare Produce Provide (PPP), a not-for-profit organisation helping young people pursue careers in education, food and hospitality; and Yawuru and Bunuba woman Adele Peek who co-founded The Cultural Intelligence Project - a multi-award-winning platform that assists organisations to increase diversity and inclusion with conscious business solutions.
The 2024 Young Australian of the Year for Western Australia are Madison Heady - para-athlete and disability advocate (Hillarys); Kate Kirwin - founder, She Codes and women in STEM advocate (Perth); Kate Raston - advocate and co-founder, We Are Womxn (Fremantle); Samuel Thomas - co-founder, Sam's Spares and e-waste advocate (Gosnells).
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