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Western Australia’s Australian of the Year 2016: The finalists

Anne Carey – Medical warrior from Esperance.
苏州美甲美睫培训学校

Anne Carey – Medical warrior (Esperance)A nurse, midwife and medical warrior, Anne Carey has spent her life helping others – even when it has been at great personal risk. Volunteering in some of the world’s hotspots, including Darfur, Papua New Guinea and most recently Sierra Leone, Anne leaves an impact on everyone she meets. During her time in Darfur, Anne and her colleagues came under attack, but while others left they courageously stayed put to help the local residents. In Sierra Leone, she spent three assignments battling on the frontline against the deadly Ebola virus and was amongst the first volunteers to assist. Every day, she was taped into a personal protection suit, and while she may have looked inhuman in her all-white sterilised suit, thick rubber gloves and perspex goggles, Anne extended humanity with a simple touch that helped people understand they were not alone. Despite the death, fear and despair felt during the Ebola outbreak, Anne was a beacon of hope and continues the desperate fight to save the lives of people most in need.

Professor Colleen Hayward AM from Perth.

Professor Colleen Hayward AM – Educator (Perth)The daughter of Western Australia’s first Aboriginal teacher and school principal, Colleen Hayward has devoted her life to education. As the head of Edith Cowan University’s Kurongkurl Katitjin Centre for Indigenous Education and Research, Colleen has been an inspiration not just to her own people, but to all Australians. She has made an enduring academic contribution through her work across a range of fields including education, human rights and children’s health and volunteers on boards focused on health, leadership, social justice and Indigenous affairs. After commencing her career as a classroom teacher, Colleen’s journey took an unexpected turn when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer that left her unable to teach or have children of her own. Overcoming her illness, Colleen was determined to become a role model for Aboriginal students. With inspiring exuberance and an enthusiasm for lifelong learning, Colleen reminds us that the values of integrity and hard work can achieve greatness.

Dr Robert Isaacs OAM from Langford.

Dr Robert Isaacs OAM – Aboriginal leader (Langford)A member of the stolen generation, Dr Robert Isaacs OAM was taken from his family as a newborn and raised in government institutions. After leaving Clontarf Boys’ Town orphanage at the age of 16, Robert embarked upon an extraordinary career and has spent a lifetime bridging the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. His many accomplishments include being the first Aboriginal person to be elected to local government as a councillor and mayor in the City of Gosnells. Chairman of the Aboriginal Lands Trust from 1980 to 1986 and Chairman of the Aboriginal Housing Board from 1980 to 1992, Robert pioneered the first negotiation between a multinational mining company and an Aboriginal community. He has led countless health and housing initiatives – including innovative housing solutions that have helped more than 8,000 Aboriginal people achieve home ownership – earning the trust and respect of people at all levels of government and within the community. Highly sought after as an advisor, mediator, mentor, ambassador and advocate, Robert honours his traditional ancestry while respecting and contributing to contemporary Australia.

Rabia Siddique from South Perth.

Rabia Siddique – Human rights lawyer (South Perth)A criminal and human rights lawyer, a retired British Army officer and a former terrorism and war crimes prosecutor, Rabia Siddique has always had a strong sense of justice and equality. However, her battle against injustice took an unexpected turn after she returned from a horrifying hostage situation in Iraq. After successfully negotiating the release of two SAS soldiers from the Iraqi insurgents, the British authorities buried her achievements, while awarding her male colleague with a Military Cross. In a landmark discrimination case, Rabia fought the UK Ministry of Defence and won. Following this ordeal, Rabia became a Crown Advocate in the British Counter Terrorism Division, prosecuting Al Qaeda terrorists, right wing violent extremists and hate criminals and advising on war crimes prosecutions in The Hague. Her story of courage, resilience and conviction has been captured in her book,Equal Justiceand Rabia now dedicates herself to giving back to the community and many not-for-profit organisations by inspiring and empowering others to become more mindful and resilient and to have the courage to stand up for equality.

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