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Strong field of outside players

AS the name implies, the miscellaneous group comprises influential and prominent Western Australians who do not fit neatly into any other category.

It is led by Fiona Stanley, Australian of the Year and head of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research.

Professor Stanley is reputed to have the ear of the Prime Minister and an unrivalled ability to attract financial backers.

She has a passionate commitment to tackling the issue of youth suicide and has leveraged her profile to advocate policy change.

Professor Stanley also chairs the WA Government’s Advisory Council on the Prevention of Deaths of Children and Young People.

Author Tim Winton has won both critical and popular acclaim for his best selling books.

Last month he received the Australian Society of Authors’ inaugural medal for his contribution to the community and public life.

At the same event, his novel Cloudstreet was voted Australia’s best novel.

Mr Winton has used his high public profile to promote environmental campaigns, most notably against commercial developments near Ningaloo Reef.

Peter Nattrass recently won a third term as Lord Mayor of the City of Perth, meaning he will continue to be a thorn in the side of the State Labor Government.

Dr Nattrass, who has been linked with Federal Liberal MP Julie Bishop, is known to revel in the pomp of high office.

He is also a canny political operator who has battled hard to maintain the City of Perth’s influence, which is a big challenge when the State controls the purse strings. However, the increased influence of Deputy Mayor Bert Tudori, who some believe holds more power on council after this year’s election, will lead to some fascinating politics.

WA Governor Michael Sanderson has used his high office to advocate some relatively provocative views.

A prime example was his comment earlier this year that Australia’s involvement in the war in Iraq would increase the risk of Australia becoming a terrorist target.

Chief Justice David Malcolm, by virtue of his office, is a highly influential figure in the WA community.

Last year’s Bali bombing thrust surgeon Fiona Wood into the national spotlight.

Dr Wood was head of Royal Perth Hospital’s surgical team dealing with victims of the bombing and was also co-founder of Clinical Cell Culture, a commercial venture that has developed innovative spray-on skin to help the healing process for burns victims.

Malcolm McCusker QC is one of WA’s best-known barristers and, should he want the job, could be head of the WA Government’s planned Crime and Corruption Commission.

He has been involved in the Government’s plan to replace the Legal Practice Board with a new tribunal, is chairman of the Legal Aid Commission and chair of the WA constitutional committee.

Mr McCusker was also a co-founder of the McCusker Foundation for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and has been involved in changes to the WA Football League.

The chairman of the WA Football Commission Neale Fong (brother of West Perth legend Les Fong) is the key driver of the local football league.

Dr Fong is also chief executive of Perth’s largest private hospital St John of God Healthcare Subiaco.

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