Kerry Stokes named WA's Australian of the Year

Businessman Kerry Stokes says he is humbled to have been named as Western Australia's Australian of the Year for 2013.

Mr Stokes received the award at a ceremony at Government House in Perth on Saturday.

He was recognised for his efforts in preserving Australian military artefacts, including purchasing several Victoria Cross medals which he donated to the Australian War Memorial.

Mr Stokes says his passion for Australia's military history is deeply personal.

"Cause that's a part of who we are," he said.

"That's the foundation upon which the Australian pride is built.

It's something we look back on now and we understand the sacrifices that were made.

"And I think it's really important that those sacrifices continue to be recognised." BRW magazine earlier this year estimated his net wealth to be $2.79 billion.

Mr Stokes says his motivation for philanthropy comes from the positive stories he hears through the wider community.

"I think it's important to be judged by what you do, not what you say you do," he said.

"And we try and make a contribution." The 72-year-old is now on the shortlist for the Australian of the Year Award, to be named by the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, on the eve of Australia Day next year.

Lorraine and Barry Young will represent WA at the awards in the Senior Australian of the Year category.

The couple have dedicated much of the past 15 years to raising awareness of the meningococcal septicaemia bacteria.

The disease killed their only daughter Amanda in 1997.

Western Australia's Young Australian of the Year is 25-year-old Akram Azimi for his work mentoring young indigenous people.

Mr Azimi arrived in Australia from Afghanistan 13 years ago.

In 2011 he co-founded a student-run initiative designed to raise awareness about indigenous issues in universities.

His other roles have included mentoring young indigenous people in the Kimberley and young students in the small farming community of Wyalkatchem in the Wheatbelt.

Caroline de Mori has been named WA's Local Hero 2013 for her work in establishing a not-for-profit foundation aimed at overcoming chronic health problems in indigenous communities.

The aim of the foundation is to help the communities grow their own fruit and vegetables.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9285-0.008-0.85%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5533-0.0033-0.59%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6720-0.0064-0.94%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg