2023 Western Australian of the Year Awards

Community Award Finalists

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The Community Award is presented in celebration of excellence in commitment to, and contribution towards, improving the quality of lives in the Western Australian community, at a state, national or international level.

Meet our 2023 Community Award finalists:

Professor Marcus Atlas AM

Professor Marcus Atlas AM as a pioneering surgeon, scientist, and healthcare visionary, has achieved global recognition in the field of ear and hearing health. He is the Director of Ear Science Institute Australia (ESIA) and has received several awards, including a Member of the Order of Australia, winning the Telstra Best of Business Awards, and receiving the Australian Medical Association (WA) Award for pioneering work in the field of Otolaryngology.

Under his directorship, Marcus has helped build ESIA into a unique, world-leading ear and hearing medical research institute. He has attracted global interest in WA, advancing his vision for the state to be the global leader in ear and hearing health. Marcus leads by example, and his philanthropic work has built a following of donors to support early-career scientists and innovative research projects.

Marcus has been instrumental in providing high-quality surgery and hearing rehabilitation for the community, with ESIA serving over 44,000 people annually. He has also partnered with Mineral Resources in the Pilbara to support indigenous-led ear health programs, and ESIA has hundreds of volunteers reaching out to communities across the state. He is also leading a team working towards commercialising the world’s first bioengineered eardrum, which has the potential to create new investment and job opportunities in WA.

Marcus’s impact will be felt for generations to come. He has made an incredible contribution to WA’s healthcare system, innovation landscape, and philanthropic culture, all while remaining committed to providing cutting-edge technology and life changing treatments for all.

Robert Graham

Robert Graham is a dedicated volunteer hailing from Karratha, who has devoted countless hours to serving his community and helping those in desperate need. With a passion for emergency response and community leadership, Robert has participated in various programs, from coaching and mentoring sporting groups to serving as a team member and instructor for emergency organisations.

Robert’s commitment to his community is evidenced by his extensive volunteer work with the Karratha State Emergency Service, where he has dedicated over 4,200 hours, including 1,000 hours in the past year alone. Robert has played a crucial role in times of crisis such as Tropical Cyclones Damien and Seroja by providing relief and support to those affected by the disasters.

Somehow, Robert also finds the time to be a foster carer and a member of the local primary school board. His selflessness and dedication set him apart as an outstanding nominee for The Western Australian of the Year Award, inspiring others in the Karratha community to follow in his big footsteps. Robert’s contributions to his community in times of crisis demonstrate his unwavering dedication to helping others. Through his leadership and service, Robert has made a significant impact on the lives of those around him, setting an inspiring example for all volunteers to emulate.

Adjunct Professor Tony Pietropiccolo AM

Adjunct Professor Tony Pietropiccolo AM is a highly regarded representative of the social services sector and a compassionate community leader. As director of Centrecare for 34 years, Tony has grown the organisation from 26 staff members to 300. Centrecare offers vital counselling, social support, and training services across 11 metro and regional branches to help those in need with issues such as domestic violence, gambling, and homelessness.

Tony has served on several committees and boards, including as former President of the WA Council of Social Service, past Chair of the State Homelessness Taskforce and President and Co-Chair of Community Employers WA. He has also advised government and prominent organisations on issues including family violence prevention, child protection and homelessness.

A committed defender of the rights of children, he established the Valuing Children Initiative with the goal of creating a society where all Australian children have the support and opportunities they need to thrive. He is currently working towards harnessing support for an Australian Child Poverty Reduction Act.

Tony’s leadership has made a significant and tangible difference in the community. He was instrumental in establishing Stellar Living, a charity that aims to get people off state housing waitlists and into homes. His relentless pursuit of social justice and compassion for the community has earned him universal respect.

Tony recognises the humanity in all people and desires to see a day when society puts the well-being of others above financial success.

Major Supporters

Celebrate WA wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we meet on for all WA Day festivities. We wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this State. Paying our respects to Elders past, present, and emerging.

Award Sponsors

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