Ambassador takes her message home
The 2018 WA Australian of the Year will be in the Shire of East Pilbara on Australia Day to talk about inclusivity.
Tracy Westerman, who was raised in Tom Price, will be in Newman on Saturday as an ambassador for Australian of the Year and will be encouraging all Australians to come together.
“There is lots of noise around changing the date and my role is around educating people why that day is a difficult one for indigenous people,” she said.
“However, I’m conscious of the fact it’s our national day of celebration, so my big thing with the Shire has been instead of change the date, I want it to change the meaning of Australia Day.”
Dr Westerman hopes to be a role model for young indigenous people in the region, telling them about the power of education.
“There aren’t many examples of people born and bred in the Pilbara who are indigenous and have had success to the extent I have,” she said. “My big thing is about saying if you’re from the bush, or a young female, or indigenous, education can take you to places you never expected.”
Dr Westerman will give an address in Newman and will also attend a citizenship ceremony to welcome the Shire’s newest Australians to the community.
Shire president Lynne Craigie described Dr Westerman as an inspirational Pilbara woman who had dedicated her life to helping indigenous Australians affected by mental health issues.
“We are thrilled that Dr Westerman has been named as the Shire of East Pilbara’s Australian of the Year ambassador and we look forward to hearing her inspirational address as we celebrate our nation.”
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