Nominees for the 2024 WA Australian of the Year Awards Announced




A bug-whisperer, the creator of Moodle, a nurse making chemo possible at home, a para-athlete, a scientist planting seagrass, and e-waste and STEM advocates are among nominees for the 2024 Australian of the Year Awards for Western Australia.

The 2024 award nominees are:

2024 Australian of the Year for Western Australia
Lorna Cook - Co-founder, Chemo@home (Edgewater)
Dr Martin Dougiamas - Creator, open source learning platform Moodle (Perth)
Dr Paola Magni - Forensic scientist, SmartInsects developer and RedShoes ambassador (Gwelup)
Mechelle Turvey - Advocate for victims of crime (Perth)

2024 Senior Australian of the Year for Western Australia
Charles Bass - Founder, Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation (Applecross)
Maggie Dent - Parenting author, educator and speaker
Ronald Reynolds - Community leader (Esperance)
Caroline Wood AM - Co-founder, Centre for Stories (West Leederville)

2024 Young Australian of the Year for Western Australia
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)

2024 Local Hero for Western Australia
Geoffrey Bastyan - Marine scientist and seagrass champion (Albany)
Nicholas Hudson - Founder, The Push-Up Challenge and mental health advocate (Wembley)
Catherine MacDougall - Co-founder, Prepare Produce Provide (South Guildford)
Adele Peek - Co-founder, The Cultural Intelligence Project and founder, Make It Happen HQ (Broome)

The nominees for Western Australia are among 133 people being recognised across all states and territories.

The Western Australian award recipients will be announced on Thursday 2 November 2023 in a ceremony at Government House in Perth, which will also be available to watch online at

They will then join the other state and territory recipients as national finalists for the national awards announcement on Thursday 25 January 2024 in Canberra.

National Australia Day Council CEO Mark Fraser AO CVO congratulated the nominees for Western Australia on their recognition.

“The nominees for the Western Australian Awards are a diverse group of people leveraging their skills and experience to help and empower others,” said Mark.

“They are all leaders, showing us through their own actions what we can achieve and how we can forge a better future.”


Nominee bios can be viewed on the homepage.

Nominee photos can be downloaded from this link: Western Australia Nominee Photos

MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Browne 0414 673 762 or

**NOTE** The Australian of the Year Awards program is run by the National Australia Day Council. It includes state and territory awards, including the Australian of the Year Awards for Western Australia. The Australian of the Year Awards for Western Australia are NOT connected with an awards program known as the Western Australian of the Year, run by the Celebrate WA organisation.