A psychologist who delivered culturally-appropriate suicide intervention programs to remote Aboriginal communities has won the WA Australian of the Year award.
Njamal woman Tracy Westerman, who founded Indigenous Psychological Services in 1998 to address high rates of mental illness among Aboriginal people, knocked out boxing champion Danny Green for the honour.
Green was recognised for establishing the Coward’s Punch Campaign to raise awareness, particularly among young men, about the difference between being tough and a thug.
The 2018 WA Senior Australian of the Year is66-year-old women’s health champion Kathleen Mazzella, who established the Perth-based Gynaecological Awareness Information Network.
The gynaecological cancer survivor is credited with tackling embarrassment around issues such as polycystic ovaries and hysterectomies to help save lives.
The WA Young Australian of the Year is 24-year-old footballer Samantha Kerr, who represented the nation in the Matildas when just 15 and is described as “arguably the best women’s soccer player in the world”.
Swan Valley tough-love addiction treatment specialist Peter Lyndon-James has received the WA Local Hero award, just weeks after he was elected to the City of Swan council.
Mr Lyndon-James, who himself broke free from 26 years of addiction, founded faith-based Shalom House, which claims to be Australia’s strictest rehabilitation centre.
He won by several hundred votes and made international headlines with his unconventional campaign admissions about his history of criminality, infidelity and sexually transmitted diseases, admitting he never even paid taxes until he became a Christian.