Professor Juli Coffin: Telethon researcher honoured in WA Awards for work with Geraldton’s Indigenous youth

Headshot of Elise Van Aken
Elise Van AkenGeraldton Guardian
Professor of Aboriginal Health Juli Coffin.
Camera IconProfessor of Aboriginal Health Juli Coffin. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

A WA doctor credited for changing the lives of Indigenous youth in Geraldton has been honoured as one of the State’s best contributors.

Professor Juli Coffin is a finalist in the 2021 Western Australian of the Year Awards in the Aboriginal award category for her work as a prominent researcher with the Telethon Kids Institute.

She was honoured among 37 West Australians who have made an extraordinary impact in a range of fields over the past two years.

Professor Coffin has worked with the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service since 2019 to deliver the one-on-one equine-assisted learning program Nguudu Barndimanmanha, or horses making good, to almost 400 Aboriginal young people on Yamatji country.

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A school principal noted the remarkable impact on students — some of whom came from dysfunctional backgrounds featuring drugs, alcohol and violence — saying it helped them experience and feel empathy and interact more confidently with others.

The awards comprise seven categories, with winners to be announced at a dinner on June 4 to start the WA Day long weekend and the overall winner selected from category winners.

Nominations from 2020 have been carried over to 2021, ensuring the finalists represent the pinnacle of achievements in WA.

Previous Western Australian of the Year Awards recipients include some of WA’s best-known and most highly respected people, including Andrew Forrest, Dr Robert Isaacs, Professor Fiona Stanley, and Adam Gilchrist.

Celebrate WA chairman Michael Anghie said after the forced hiatus of 2020, the announcement of the 2021 finalists allowed all West Australians to recognise those who had done extraordinary work and made outstanding contributions to our State.

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