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A message from the Governor – Congratulations to Dr Craig Challen SC OAM

Tuesday, 29th January 2019

On behalf of all West Australians I congratulate Dr Craig Challen SC OAM, Western Australia’s 2019 Australian of the Year recipient, who was named overall Australian of the Year 2019 with his friend Dr Richard Harris OAM, on Friday evening.

This announcement is a wonderful outcome for Dr Challen and his family, and for our State. It is a magnificent tribute to the courage and resourcefulness that both he and Mr Harris showed during the Thai cave rescue that occurred in June and July 2018.

I have had the privilege of meeting Mr Challen a few times now, including shortly after the rescue last year. His description of technique and dangers in the extraction of the kids reflected his typical Australian laconic style. My take was the breadth of our skills in resilience and recovery.

I would also like to congratulate Professor Cheryl Kickett-Tucker, WA 2019 Local Hero; Mr Frank Mallard, WA 2019 Senior Australian of the Year and Ms Noelle Martin, WA 2019 Young Australian of the Year for their outstanding contributions to our State and for representing us in Canberra at the national announcement.

Read more about Mr Challen and Mr Harris’ story on the National Australia Day Council website.

Governor stands with guests at stairs
July 2018 – The Governor and Ms Annus hosted a lunch in honour of Dr Craig Challen, and his wife Ms Heather Endall, in July last year. Also at the lunch was the Hon Alanna Clohesy MLC, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier; Minister for Health; Mental Health, the Hon Samantha Rowe MLC, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education and Training and the Hon Donna Faragher MLC; Shadow Minister for Education and Training; Women’s Interests.