Curtin University’s Professor Kim Scott was named the inaugural Western Australian of the Year at the 2012 Western Australian of the Year Awards on Saturday evening.
Professor Scott also won the Indigenous Award and was a finalist for the Arts and Culture Award at the ceremony which took place in front of 500 community leaders from across the state.
Professor Scott was recognised for the discussion on Nyungar culture his writing stimulates in the wider community stemming from his acclaimed novels Benang and That Deadman Dance, both of which earned him the prestigious Miles Franklin Award and a number of other literary awards.
His work on language recovery projects, helping return oral histories and archival language material to their home communities, was also recognised.
Curtin University Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor David Wood said this award was acknowledgement of the positive impact Professor Scott’s work is having in Western Australia.
“As a Professor of Writing at Curtin, Kim is a keen believer in sharing his skills, experience and gift for writing with students, staff and Western Australian communities,” Professor Wood said.
“We are privileged to have Kim on staff at Curtin and we congratulate him on this prestigious and well deserved honour.”
The Western Australian of the Year Awards were previously called the WA Citizen of the Year Awards.
The awards were renamed to reflect their standing as the State’s highest honour and to coincide with the first WA Day public holiday this year.
Professor Scott was appointed Professor of Writing in the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts late last year, and also works with colleagues in the Centre for Aboriginal Studies and the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute.
Last month Professor Scott delivered the second annual Miles Franklin Literary Oration at Curtin University.
In addition to winning the 2011 Miles Franklin Award, That Deadman Dance also won the 2011 Regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the 2011 ALS Gold Medal, the 2011 Kate Challis RAKA Award, the 2011 Victorian Prize for Literature and the 2011 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction.
Gracie Daniel, Public Relations Consultant, Curtin University
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