It's time for Western Australians to nominate the most inspiring person you know for the 2021 Australian of the Year Awards

WA Australian of the Year Annie Fogarty and WA's Australia's Local Hero Suzy Urbaniak.
WA Australian of the Year Annie Fogarty and WA's Australia's Local Hero Suzy Urbaniak.

Time is running out to nominate someone in your community to be the next Australian of the Year.

National Australia Day Council chief executive Karlie Brand urged Australians to nominate someone who is helping to make Australia better and who they admire for their inspiring work.

"This year, perhaps more than any other since the awards began in 1960, we've seen Australians overcome many adversities, help each other in times of crisis and carry out acts of bravery, leadership and kindness on a daily basis," Ms Brand said.

"It only takes one nomination for someone to be considered for the awards, but a nomination must be submitted for a person in order for them to be in the running.

"No matter how well known someone may be, a public nomination must be submitted before they can be considered for the awards."

Four national awards will be presented by the Prime Minister at a nationally televised ceremony on the eve of Australia Day in 2021 - and each state and territory has a finalist in each of the four categories.

Western Australia's inspirational Australians of the Year for 2020 were: Senior Australian of the Year Professor John Newnham; Young Australian of the Year Yarlalu Thomas; Australia's Local Hero Suzy Urbaniak; and Australian of the Year Annie Fogarty.

WA Australian of the Year Annie Fogarty

With her husband Brett, Annie Fogarty AM founded the Fogarty Foundation in 2000 to help advance education, support young people to reach their full potential and to build stronger communities.

Under Mrs Fogarty's leadership, the foundation identifies areas of need, supports partner organisations with philanthropic funds, connections and knowledge, and develops initiatives that deliver educational opportunities, inspire community leadership and enrich lives.

Through the foundation, Mrs Fogarty has developed the Fogarty EDvance program, which improves the educational outcomes of children who attend schools in lower socio-economic communities.

The foundation's scholarship program for tertiary students provides financial support, a leadership program, enrichment opportunities, and supportive networks to help develop future leaders. Mrs Fogarty is involved with several boards and committees to help foster innovation and creativity in young people.

WA's Australia's Local Hero Suzy Urbaniak

Suzy Urbaniak wants young people to understand how to apply science to the real world. The former Newcrest geoscientist, WA science teacher, and mentor developed and is lead of her own earth sciences program, the Centre of Resources Excellence (CoRE).

An innovative science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) program, CoRE brings together education, industry, community and government to create meaningful careers in the resources industry.

The CoRE program builds on Ms Urbaniak's years of practical geology and education experience, which includes more than 74 national and international field trips. Ms Urbaniak contributes to the ongoing development of the national earth sciences curriculum, and supports the Young Persons' Plan for the Planet Program, a joint initiative of Questacon UN Information Centre and other organisations, to promote sustainable development.

Her work as an educator was recognised with the Prime Minister's Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools in 2016. She was inducted into the WA Women's Hall of Fame in 2018.

What you need to know to nominate somebody

Nominations for 2021 Australian of the Year must be: individuals (groups of people are not eligible); a living person (unfortunately posthumous awards cannot be granted); Australian citizens; aged 16-30 for Young Australian of the Year; and aged 65 and over for Senior Australian of the Year.

Selection criteria to consider when nominating a person for the awards include:

  • Significant contribution to the Australian community and nation
  • An inspirational role model for the Australian community
  • Demonstrated excellence in their field
  • The Local Hero award acknowledges a significant contribution at local community level


You can help find the 2021 Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year (65 years+), Young Australian of the Year (16-30 years) and Australia's Local Hero by nominating a champion in your community.

The awards are nominated by the public, so visit to nominate someone you admire who is helping to make Australia better.

The National Australia Day Council has tips for writing a top nomination.

Nominations are open until July 31.

  • ACM, the publisher of this website, is a proud supporter of the Australian of the Year Awards.