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Mechelle Turvey named Australian of the Year for WA

Australian Associated Press -

Mechelle Turvey, the mother of fatally bashed Indigenous teenager Cassius Turvey, has been named WA's 2024 Australian of the Year.

Ms Turvey became an advocate for victims of crime after her 15-year-old son was assaulted coming home from school in Perth in 2022. He died in hospital 10 days later.

His death sparked a national day of action across Australia, with his mother leading the march in Perth.

She gave a powerful speech about her son, calling for calm and non-violence and the need for proper care for victims of crime and their families.

In 2023 Ms Turvey began training WA Police Force recruits in dealing with victims of crime with empathy and support.

"Through her life, 57-year-old Mechelle has volunteered to support her community, including helping people in prison," a statement announcing her receipt of the honour said.

"She has donated much of the money raised for Cassius to youth organisations. Her courage, care and compassion for others are exemplary."

At the award ceremony in Perth on Thursday evening Ms Turvey said: "I'm here because of my son and I hope I have made him proud."

The 2024 Australian of the Year Award recipients for WA were announced at a ceremony in Perth on Thursday evening.

Cassius Turvey, 15, was allegedly bashed with a metal pole while walking home from school.

Charles Bass, founder of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation, was named Senior Australian of the Year for WA for mentoring hundreds of start-ups and being a "powerful supporter of innovation and sustainability" in WA.

Kate Kirwin is Young Australian of the Year for WA as founder of She Codes Australia in 2015 and being an advocate for women in STEM, helping women learn coding skills and enter technical careers.

Nick Hudson was named 2024 Local Hero for WA as founder of the fitness promotion The Push-Up Challenge and for being a mental health advocate.

The four WA recipients will join those from other states and territories for the national awards to be announced on January 25 in Canberra.

Australian Associated Press

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