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WA Australian of the Year finalists announced

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

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ECU’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Equity and Indigenous) and Head of Kurongkurl Katitjin Professor Colleen Hayward AM has been named as one of four WA finalists for 2016 Australian of the Year.

The other WA finalists for the 2016 Australian of the Year include:

  • Anne Carey - Medical warrior (Esperance)
  • Dr Robert Isaacs OAM - Aboriginal leader (Langford)
  • Rabia Siddique - Human rights lawyer (South Perth)

Western Australia’s Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Local Hero Award recipients will be announced on Sunday, 8 November at the Government House Ballroom, Perth. 

The Western Australia’s Award recipients will then join recipients from all other States and Territories as finalists for the national Awards, which will be held in Canberra on Monday, 25 January 2016.

National Australia Day Council CEO, Mr Jeremy Lasek, said the Western Australian finalists are among more than 120 great Australians being recognised as State and Territory finalists in the Australian of the Year Awards.

"The Western Australian finalists are all extraordinary people who are committed to making the world a better place through the work they do," said Mr Lasek.

The Commonwealth Bank has been a proud sponsor of the Australian of the Year Awards for more than 36 years.

“The Australian of the Year Awards recognise people in our community for their remarkable contributions and achievements. We believe it is important to say thank you to people who make a positive difference, and inspire others to do the same,” said Mr Ian Narev, Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Bank.

For more information, please visit the Australian of the Year Awards website.

Professor Colleen Hayward AM - Educator (Perth)

The daughter of Western Australia’s first Aboriginal teacher and school principal, Colleen Hayward has devoted her life to education. As the head of Edith Cowan University’s Kurongkurl Katitjin Centre for Indigenous Education and Research, Colleen has been an inspiration not just to her own people, but to all Australians.

She has made an enduring academic contribution through her work across a range of fields including education, human rights and children’s health and volunteers on boards focused on health, leadership, social justice and Indigenous affairs.

After commencing her career as a classroom teacher, Colleen’s journey took an unexpected turn when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer that left her unable to teach or have children of her own.

Overcoming her illness, Colleen was determined to become a role model for Aboriginal students. With inspiring exuberance and an enthusiasm for lifelong learning, Colleen reminds us that the values of integrity and hard work can achieve greatness.

- Extract from the Australian of the Year Awards.

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