Passionate palliative care researcher, Professor Samar Aoun, has received the Western Australia 2023 Australian of the Year Award.

The Western Australian winners were announced at an event at Government House last night, hosted by Perron Institute Patron, the Hon. Chris Dawson APM, Governor of Western Australia.

Professor Aoun is a highly respected international research leader who champions a community-centred role in end-of-life care and bereavement support.

As the Perron Institute Research Chair in Palliative Care at The University of Western Australia, she is known as an international leader in the advocacy of public health approaches to palliative care.

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

On receiving the award, Professor Aoun said she was overwhelmed.

“The other nominees are such worthy recipients. It’s wonderful to be nominated, but I’m truly honoured to receive the award.

“My main aim is for a bigger platform for causes that I care about – palliative care, compassionate communities and motor neurone disease.

“Caring, dying and grieving is everyone’s business and everyone’s responsibility.

“You only die once. Make it a good death.

“I hope this encourages more people to have courageous conversations about death, dying and grief – it happens to everyone – so it’s important that we support each other along the journey.”

The Australian of the Year Awards recognise outstanding achievement in four categories: Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Local Hero.

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.

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Read more about Professor Aoun’s nomination.