It is with some reservation that Miles Franklin Award-winning author Kim Scott speaks about being awarded WA's highest honour last year.
Since he was named the inaugural Western Australian of the Year, the Noongar author and academic has enjoyed a higher profile and a new level of intensity in his work.
But Professor Scott, who is based at Curtin University, said while he was honoured by his win, there were so many other Noongar people doing work worthy of recognition and he wanted to "shine the light" on others.
"One of the reasons for getting the award is because of the sorts of things I am doing anyway," Professor Scott said.
"It was extremely flattering, but it was also somewhat embarrassing because I am aware of a great number of other people around, particularly Noongar people, who are doing really good work and functioning really well in leadership capacities, not only for Noongar people but for the wider population as well."
The awards, organised by Celebrate WA, were renamed last year to coincide with changing Foundation Day to WA Day.
Professor Scott said he was proud to be recognised in the year the move away from Foundation Day was made and it was important the new name was inclusive of both the Noongar culture and other cultures in the State.
"To me, the change suggests all sorts of possibilities and in some ways changes the limitations of the way we are accustomed to thinking about ourselves as West Australians," he said.
"This is the oldest continent on the planet and Noongar society is intrinsically connected to that."
Professor Scott encouraged more people to nominate those who played important roles in strengthening an individual, a family or a community.
The award was an opportunity to talk about who West Australians were and how they were connected.
Nominations close on Wednesday and six category winners and one overall winner will be announced at Crown Perth on June 1.The overall winner is chosen from the category winners and goes in the running for Australian of the Year awards. Past winners include Fiona Stanley, Michael Chaney, Adam Gilchrist, John Longley and Malcolm McCusker.
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