The head of The University of Western Australia, four UWA graduates and a UWA student have been honoured at the 2009 Western Australian Citizen of the Year Awards.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson was named WA's Citizen of the Year in the Professions category of the awards at a gala dinner on the weekend.
He was joined by UWA graduates Mark Barnaba, Chair of the UWA Business School Board and Executive Chairman of Azure Capital (Industry and Commerce category), Ross Kelly Chairman of the Clontarf Foundation (Community Service category); Elizabeth Shaw Australian Youth Representative at the United Nations (Youth category).
In addition, UWA Graduate and Chief Justice of the Australian High Court, Justice Robert French won the Sir Charles Court Inspiring Leadership Award and UWA law Student Krista Moir was awarded with the Wesfarmers Indigenous Youth Scholarship.
Professor Alan Robson was described as "a tireless worker in building a global reputation for UWA as one of Australia's leading research institutes and best comprehensive universities ... a supportive mentor to UWA students, staff-members and academics ... an energetic advocate on behalf of the university system, which has carved him an international standing in this field, as well as being a passionate supporter for research in Western Australia, especially in the field of medicine."
Mr Mark Barnaba was described as having "skilfully juggled a career as one of Western Australia's most successful businessmen with outstanding contribution to education, sport and community. In addition to a very busy and thriving professional career Mr Barnaba has made a substantial contribution to the broader community .... Mr Barnaba approaches all he does with his trademark energy, determination and selflessness."
Mr Ross Kelly was described as combining "his business prowess with his enthusiasm for football to help lead young Indigenous men to realise their potential and take hold of their life direction. Mr Kelly has been the Chairman of the Clontarf Foundation since 1999 and in these years has been instrumental in the expediential growth in numbers that the Foundation has seen."
Ms Elizabeth Shaw was hailed as "giving youth a voice ... demonstrates great leadership skills forming instant rapport with young people from all walks of life across Australia and inspiring them to be the change they want to see in their community."
Justice Robert French
In July last year, Justice Robert French was named Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia. Justice French was the first West Australian to be appointed to the position, joining other distinguished UWA graduates who have played a leading national role in law, politics and other fields of endeavour.
Ms Krista Moir
A second year law student from Esperance, who now lives at St George's College, Krista Moir hopes to become a legal officer with the Royal Australian Air Force. The inaugural winner of the Wesfarmers Indigenous Youth Scholarship is a role model and mentor for other Indigenous young people.
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716