Inspiring Australians Leadership Breakfast

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister

Auspire – Australia Day Council of WA

Opening Address


I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we gather, the Wadjuk people of the Nyoongar nation, and pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

I extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with us here today.

I’d like to thank the Auspire – Australian Day Council for the invitation.

It’s my privilege to represent the Prime Minister here today.


  • David Michael MLA, Premier’s representative
  • Hon Mia Davies MLA, Leader of the Opposition
  • Bradley Woods, Chair, Auspire – Australia Day Council of WA
  • Morgen Lewis, CEO, Auspire – Australia Day Council of WA
  • Melissa Smith, Partnership Manager Corporate Affairs, Chevron Australia
  • Lenda Oshalem, Auspire Board Member
  • Barry Winmar, Managing Director, Winmar Enterprises
  • Dr Ken Michael AC, former Governor of Western Australia and Auspire Board Member
  • Members of the Auspire Board
  • Cr Clyde Bevan and Cr Brent Fleeton from the City of Perth

I love Australia and I love Western Australia.

I know that love is something we in this room all share.

It unites us.

As John Curtin once said:

“There will always be an Australian Government and there will always ben an Australian people. We are too strong in our hearts, our spirit is too high, the justice of our cause throbs too deeply in our being for that high purpose to be overcome.”

I think the timing of today’s event is helpful.

It’s a reminder of how united we are as a country.

Right before this weekend when we have an event that tries to divide us.

I think I speak for a lot of Western Australians when I say we find the NRL State of Origin a bit confusing.

I know we can’t begin to imagine creating a rivalry based on what state you come from.

Or to be obsessed with just three letters.

Whether it’s NRL or AFL or GST.

Although this is one WA sporting event where all Western Australians are free to choose who they support.

But today, we get to support four outstanding Western Australians.

Western Australia’s first-ever Australian of Year, Dame Raigh Roe, said that the guiding principle of her work was:

“to broaden contact and understanding between people and through this friendship to help with common problems.”

And it is clear that our 2022 recipients are just as motivated:

  • Paul Litherland, WA’s Australian of the Year
  • Jan Standen, WA’s Senior Australian of the Year
  • Kendall Whyte, WA’s Young Australian of the Year
  • Craig Hollywood, WA’s Local Hero

Each has made a remarkable contribution to our state and to our nation.

Each has a different gift.

But, together, they are joining their voices and their efforts for the good of our society.

By knowing their stories we are all bound closer together.

We better understand each other and who we are as a nation.

Through their passion and persistence, Paul, Kendall, Jan and Craig have inspired us all.

Through their collective efforts, they compel us to see the common values that we share.

The ideals to which we all aspire.

I am looking forward to hearing from our recipients.

Stories bring people together.

The stories of inspiring Australians bring hope.

That adversity can become triumph.

That a better future is possible.

And while we celebrate inspiring individuals.

We learn again that bringing people together is how we achieve big, lasting change.

Bringing our nation together is an important job.

And we all have a role to play in it.

One way we can do that is in nominating someone for one of these awards.

Nominations for 2023 are now open.

I would encourage you all to consider who you might be able to nominate.

Thank you.

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