Scientist takes top WA honour

Natalie Brown
Scientist Lyn Beazley has been named the 2015 WA Australian of the Year. Picture:WA News

Scientist Lyn Beazley has been named the 2015 WA Australian of the Year.

Professor Beazley was given the title at a ceremony at Government House this evening by WA Governor Kerry Sanderson for spending more than 30 years researching neuroscience.

Professor Beazley has researched recovery from brain damage and changes in the treatment of children who were born prematurely.

She worked as WA’s chief scientist until last year and has been the science ambassador both nationally and internationally.

“Lyn has been determined to demonstrate that science is not just a theoretical exercise, but a practical one too,” organisers said.

Professor Beazley is now in the running to be named Australian of the Year in the national awards next year.

Former 6PR radio presenter and social justice leader Graham Mabury was named the WA Senior Australian of the Year.

The awards organisers said Mr Mabury was a “light in the darkness” for hundreds of thousands of radio listeners and went beyond the call of duty to provide companionship, entertainment and encouragement for listeners.

Mr Mabury’s work in establishing the Lifeline WA support service in 1986 was also acknowledged.

A young deaf woman who has campaigned for human rights of other deaf people was named the WA Young Australian of the Year.

Disana Levitzke-Gray, 21, is the fifth generation of her family to be born deaf and was born into a family where her parents, brother and expended family were also deaf.

Stacy Dunbar, whose eight-month-old son Nate was killed after a drunk driver crashed into his bedroom, was named the WA Local Hero for her work as a road safety campaigner following his death.

Ms Dunbar launched the Pledge for Nate campaign with The West Australian and Channel 7 to encourage people to sign a pledge not to drink and drive.

Organisers said the campaign led to WA recording its lowest rate of Christmas period drink driving offences in more than 60 years last year.

“In the face of great loss, Stacy showed tremendous courage and dignity and responded to a terrible tragedy with an unswerving commitment to make her community a safer place to live,” organisers said in a statement.

The award winners will join recipients from other States and Territories in the running for the national awards in Canberra on January 25.