The Western Australian Citizen of the Year Awards were first presented in 1973 by the Western Australia Week Council, later renamed Celebrate WA, to provide the community with an opportunity to honour the achievements and contribution of their fellow citizens.
Each year, the State's most prestigious Awards acknowledge remarkable individuals and organisations that motivate and inspire others through their vision, leadership, talent, humility and spirit of community service.
Talented and dedicated recipients of all the awards are positive role models and exemplary Western Australians who have worked tirelessly for the community in which they live. Through their achievements they have reached their goals, inspired others and promoted pride and confidence in Western Australia.
Western Australian Citizen of the Year Awards are presented annually in the following categories:
- Arts, Culture and Entertainment
- Community Service
- Industry & Commerce
- Indigenous Leadership Award
- Gold Swan
- Governor's Award for Regional Development
- Youth Arts
- Burswood Youth Scholarship (previous to 2011 known as Bendat Family Foundation Perpetual Youth Scholarship)
- Wesfarmers Indigenous Youth Scholarship
- Sir Ronald Wilson Leadership Award
- Children and Young People Lifetime Achievement Award
- Sir Charles Court Inspiring Leadership Award
Award recipients may choose to use the post-nominal CitWA after their name.
Past recipients include: Author Tim Winton, St John Ambulance, Sir Charles Court, burns specialist Dr. Fiona Wood, The Health Department of W.A, ericaamerica designer Lucas Bowers, sporting legend Wally Foreman and classical guitarist Mili Davies.
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“The award of a pure gold medal for poetry would flatter the recipient unduly: no poem ever attains such carat purity.”
—Robert Graves (18951985)
“It had been cold since December. Snow fell, first,
At New Year and, from then until April, lay
On everything. Now it had melted, leaving
The gray grass like a pallet, closely pressed;
And dirt. The wind blew in the empty place.”
—Wallace Stevens (18791955)
“The true use of Shakespeare or of Cervantes, of Homer or of Dante, of Chaucer or of Rabelais, is to augment ones own growing inner self.... The minds dialogue with itself is not primarily a social reality. All that the Western Canon can bring one is the proper use of ones own solitude, that solitude whose final form is ones confrontation with ones own mortality.”
—Harold Bloom (b. 1930)
“Beyond the horizon, or even the knowledge, of the cities along the coast, a great, creative impulse is at workthe only thing, after all, that gives this continent meaning and a guarantee of the future. Every Australian ought to climb up here, once in a way, and glimpse the various, manifold life of which he is a part.”
—Vance Palmer (18851959)
“Where the citizen uses a mere sliver or board, the pioneer uses the whole trunk of a tree.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)