Property developer and arts philanthropist Adrian Fini was named on Friday evening as 2016 Western Australian of the Year.
Premier Colin Barnett congratulated Mr Fini, saying he made a significant contribution to the WA community as chairman of the Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation and a board member of The University of Western Australia Business School and Perth International Arts Festival.
“Through his property development businesses, Adrian has also helped to shape a new, contemporary Perth city,” Mr Barnett said.
“His company’s work on the restoration of the State Buildings was exemplary.”
These include the Claremont, Leederville and Rosemount hotels and the Jus Burgers chain.
He has been active in the property sector since 1977, after joining his father’s business.
The recent opening of the restored State Buildings, including the COMO The Treasury hotel, was the culmination of more than 15 years’ of planning and development.
Mr Fini is working on several new developments, including at Elizabeth Quay and Innaloo.
Former Peet managing director Warwick Hemsley won the Arts and Culture award.
He serves on the national boards of Churchill Trust and the National Gallery of Australia, and in WA on the boards of Curtin Business School, Chamber of Arts and Culture WA, WA Opera and Anglicare Appeal.
The Chamber of Arts and Culture said Mr Hemsley’s award recognised not only his philanthropic but also his governance and advocacy related contribution.
The community award was won by the founder of Fair Game Australia, John van Bockxmeer, who was also a 40under40 award winner this year.
Rishelle Hume received the Aboriginal award, oncologist Professor Arlene Chan the professions award, while netballer Caitlin Bassett and footballer Nathan Fyfe were joint winners of the sport award.
Speaking at the awards event, organised by Celebrate WA, Mr Barnett said WA Day was not only about looking forward, but also recognising Aboriginal and subsequent settlement of WA and the enormous contribution migrants had made to the State.
Celebrate WA is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for promoting and organising WA Day celebrations