Samantha Kerr in running for WA 2018 Young Australian of the Year award

Sam Kerr. Picture: Getty Images
Sam Kerr. Picture: Getty Images

SOCCER star Samantha Kerr is one of four West Australian nominees up for the 2018 Young Australian of the Year award.

Kerr, a Fremantle resident and international soccer player, is up against Jeffrey Effendi, social entrepreneur and humanitarian, Rahila Haidary, refugee and human rights advocate and Perth Wildcat and youth mental health advocate Greg Hire.

The Matildas player grew up playing Aussie Rules football in East Fremantle when she switched to soccer at 12 when her parents were tired of seeing her get hurt.

Kerr was surprised to hear that she had been nominated for the award.

“I only thought these awards were for people that have saved lives or changed the world. It was pretty special,” she said. “I feel very lucky to be nominated next to people who are doing such great things in the community.”

Kerr said what a great year it had been for women’s sport, especially football.

“To be a part of such a great movement for young girls to grow up with female role models is something no matter if I win or not, I’m very proud of.”

Already with 53 caps to her name, Kerr will be a leading part of the Matildas’ charge towards the Women’s Asian Cup 2018 and the World Cup the following year in France.

National Australia Day Council chief executive Jenny Barbour said WA nominees were among 130 great Australians being recognised at state level.

“The Australian of the Year Awards allow us to recognise and celebrate the achievements of outstanding Australians – people making extraordinary contributions to our society,” she said.

The recipients will be announced at Government House in Perth on Wednesday.

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