Nominees for the Western Australia 2023 Australian of the Year Awards Announced

Photo of WA Australian of the Year nominees
WA Australian of the Year nominees announced

Wednesday 9 November 2022

Nominees for the Western Australia (WA) 2023 Australian of the Year Awards include a Lifeline ambassador, an advocate for Stolen Generations survivors, an Autism researcher, a Paralympic gold medallist, an Olympian and a tropical disease adviser.

They are just some of the 16 people in the running to be named WA Australian of the Year, WA Senior Australian of the Year, WA Young Australian of the Year and WA Local Hero.

The 2023 WA award nominees are:

Australian of the Year

Professor Samar Aoun – Researcher, advocate for end-of-life care, bereavement support (Bunbury)
Rodney Bridge – Founder, Sideffect and anti-synthetic drugs campaigner (Churchlands)
Dr Saschveen Singh – Tropical infectious disease adviser (Perth)
Professor Andrew Whitehouse – Autism researcher and science communicator (Mount Hawthorn)

Senior Australian of the Year

Vince Garreffa – Lifeline ambassador, fundraiser and Chair, Mondo Community Warriors (Mount Lawley)
Theresa Kwok – Community advocate (Joondanna)
Antoinette (Toni) Russell – Community volunteer (Kingsley)
Carole Stacey – Paediatric physiotherapist and special needs advocate (Mandurah)

Young Australian of the Year

Zahra Al Hilaly – Gender equality and youth advocate (Mirrabooka)
Nagmeldin (Peter) Bol – Athlete and Olympian (Thornlie)
Madison de Rozario OAM – Athlete, Paralympic gold medallist, advocate
Scott Guerini – Telethon fundraiser and initiator, Scott’s Great Walk (Alkimos)

Local Hero

James (Jim) Morrison – Advocate for Stolen Generations survivors and founder, Yokai (Dianella)
James (Jimmy) Murphy – Co-founder, Town Team Movement (Leederville)
Helen Shervington OAM – Co-founder and Chairwoman, CinefestOZ (Busselton)
Janine Wood – Co-founder, No Limits Perth (Madeley)

The Western Australian nominees are among 130 people being recognised across all states and territories.

The four award recipients from Western Australia will be announced on Monday 14 November 2022 in a ceremony at Government House, Perth which will also be available to watch via ABC iView from 7.00pm (local Perth time).

They will then join the other state and territory recipients as national finalists for the national awards announcement on 25 January 2023 in  Canberra.

National Australia Day Council CEO Karlie Brand congratulated the nominees on their recognition.

“The 2023 Western Australian nominees reflect the wide and varied people of the state and their extraordinary achievements,” said Karlie.

“What an inspirational group of people, all of whom have something we can learn from, be inspired by or be supported by.”

20 Years Of Local Heroes
The 2023 Awards also mark 20 years of the Local Hero category. Introduced in 2003, the award acknowledges extraordinary contributions made by Australians in their local community.

In 2009, Western Australia’s Graeme Drew was named Australia’s Local Hero for his work in sea safety education and rescue systems to save lives on the coast.

You can read more about Graeme here:


Nominee bios can also be viewed on homepage of

Nominee photos can be downloaded from this link (note all photos provided by nominees):

Media contact: Nicole Browne 0414 673 762 or