Pilbara man Yarlalu Thomas is the 2020 WA Young Australian of the Year. Originally from the Warralong community just out of Port Hedland, Mr Thomas was the first person in his community to complete a high school certificate.
Thomas is the driving force behind the SUANFC Indigenous round and its the designer of our inaugural Indigenous guernsey
Now aged 21 he is a medical student and works with the WA Register of Developmental Anomalies, Genetic Services WA and Cliniface, to transform genetic health care services for remote Indigenous people.
Mr Thomas also works with Pilbara Faces, which is looking at 3D facial variation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) peoples to provide more accessible, quicker and non-invasive diagnosis for children with rare and genetic diseases.
He launched the UNESCO-endorsed life Languages project to translate medical terminology into ATSI languages, and indigenous languages internationally, and mentors and tutors Aboriginal boarding students, helping them adjust to their new lifestyle.
Mr Thomas will join those from the other states and territories for the national awards ceremony at the National Arboretum in Canberra on 25 January 2020 – the 60th anniversary of the awards.