2015 Western Australian of the Year for Community Services
Ros Worthington was born in 1951 in the town of Collie, a coal-mining region in the Darling Range 200 km south of Perth. A country girl at heart, Ros moved north to Geraldton as a very young girl where she and her younger brother were raised by foster parents on a farm outside of the city.
Life can serve up some pretty confronting and harrowing experiences and Ros has endured more than her fair share of ‘hard knocks’ and abuse growing up. But somehow, through it all, an indomitable spirit emerged that created a desire to give and keep giving despite having had so much taken from her in her youth.
Ros is living proof that where you start in life does not need to dictate the path of your journey or its conclusion. By turning pain into action, putting the needs of others first and never accepting reverses or defeat, she has been the driving force behind many well-known charities including Make-A-Wish Foundation in WA, Breast Cancer Care WA (formerly the Breast Cancer Foundation of WA), Lifeline, the Love Angels Foundation, which teaches children the lifelong values of love, compassion and philanthropy and raises funds to feed and educate orphans and widows in emerging nations around the world.
Ros was also instrumental in establishing The Cancer Wellness Centre in Wanslea House Cottesloe, which is today a major resource centre serving the needs of people suffering from cancer.
After such a selfless life, dedicated to giving to others, it is little wonder that Ros has received the recognition she so richly deserves through a number of accolades and awards that include:
• Order of Australia Medal (1998)
• Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year for the Western Region (2006)
• United Way’s Philanthropist of the Year (2010)
• Murdoch University Honorary Doctorate in 2011
• Induction into ‘The Inaugural Western Australian Women’s Hall of Fame:
Dr Worthington was selected as one of the State’s 100 most courageous and inspiring women who were inducted into the prestigious Inaugural Western Australian Women’s ‘Hall of Fame’ in 2011. This Induction was held on the eve of the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day and the annual awards continue coincide with this significant international event.
• Featured in The West Australian newspaper as one of WA’s 100 Most Influential People (2012)
• 2015 Western Australian of the Year for Community Services