Internationally recognised research leader in end-of-life care and bereavement support, Professor Samar Aoun, has received a Western Australia 2023 Australian of the Year nomination.  

Professor Aoun is a passionate and highly respected advocate for a public health approach to palliative care and grief support, with a greater community role.  

As the Perron Institute Research Chair in Palliative Care at The University of Western Australia, her key focus is on promoting a person-centred approach to end-of-life care, empowering the community to work with health service providers to ensure quality care is accessible throughout the end-of-life journey.  

In her research, Professor Aoun is giving particular attention to improving the end-of-life journey for under-served groups such as people with motor neurone disease (MND) and dementia, terminally ill people who live alone, and family carers.  

Her recent work has strengthened the global Compassionate Communities movement that mobilises and equips people to better support those facing death and bereavement.  

Professor Aoun is co-founder and chair of the South West Compassionate Communities Network and other volunteer roles include as a Director on the MND Australia Board, President of the MND Association of WA, and a board member of Palliative Care WA.  

She publishes and collaborates extensively internationally, and her work has informed policy and new practices that better support those caring, dying and grieving. 

Among numerous awards, Professor Aoun has received the Medal for Excellence from the European Society for Person Centred Healthcare in 2018 and the Centenary Medal in 2003 from the Prime Minister of Australia. 

Since its inception in the 1960s, the Australian of the Year Awards have recognised outstanding achievement. There are four categories: Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Local Hero. 

The Western Australian winners will be announced at an event on 14 November at Government House, hosted by Awards Patron and Perron Institute Patron, the Hon. Chris Dawson APM, Governor of Western Australia. 

This will be live streamed in WA from 7pm at 

Award recipients in each category will join other State and Territory winners as finalists in the national Australian of the Year Awards to be announced in January 2023. 

Listen to Professor Samar Aoun talk to Stan Shaw from ABC South West WA about her nomination here.