The Australian of the Year Awards, which have been a part of our national celebrations since 1960, acknowledge what individuals can do to inspire national pride, enrich the lives of their fellow Australians and make this the greatest country in the world.

Through these awards all Australians have the opportunity to nominate and recognise those Australians who have inspired or challenged us to participate more fully in the life of the nation to make a better and more vibrant Australia.

The awards are presented in four categories:

  • Australian of the Year
  • Senior Australian of the Year
  • Young Australian of the Year
  • Local Hero

Nominations are made by community members around Australia, with the first stage of the awards process being the selection of a state and territory winner in each Award category.

A panel of expert judges selects winners in each state who then become finalists in the Australian of the Year Awards which are announced by the Prime Minister on Australia Day Eve at a gala ceremony held in Canberra.

Western Australians who have been honoured to receive the top national awards are:

Australian of the Year 1977
Dame Raigh Roe
Country Women's Association

Australian of the Year 1979
Harry Butler CBE
Conservationist and Naturalist

Young Australian of the Year 2001
Dr James Fitzpatrick,
An inspiring medical student working in rural Australia

Australian of the Year 2003
Professor Fiona Stanley AC
Dedicated her life to researching the causes of major childhood illnesses and birth defects

Australian of the Year 2005
Dr Fiona Wood AM
Inventor of the revolutionary "spray on skin" burns treatment, which was used to treat seriously burned Bali Bombing victims.

Australia's Local Hero 2009
Graeme Drew
Sea Rescuer & Educator from Bremer Bay.

Young Australian of the Year 2010
Corporal Mark Donaldson VC
Courageous Soldier

Young Australian of the Year 2013
Akram Azimi

Senior Australian of the Year 2014
Fred Chaney
Reconciliation Advocate

Young Australian of the Year 2015
Drisana Levitzke-Gray
Deaf Advocate