ALEC Coles is a relatively new to his adopted country but that does not stop him from being a proud West Australian.
The Como resident and WA Museum chief executive moved from his homeland of England and a role at the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums in Newcastle.
He is now a finalist in the Arts and Culture category in the Western Australia of the Year awards, which will take place on June 2 at Crown Towers.
“I came here seven years ago but I now consider myself a passionate West Australian but I know I’m a newcomer,” he said.
“As expected, I feel humbled by it and hugely grateful to be a finalist.
“When you look at the other names, they are extraordinary people.”
The construction of the National Anzac Centre in Albany is among his proudest achievements during his time in the role and he remains satisfied with the accolades it had received since opening in 2014.
“Lonely Planet recognised it as the 21st best place to visit in 2015 and then TripAdvisor ranked it as the best museum in Australia,” he said.
“It demonstrates that the WA Museum is about the whole state.
“The WA Museum shares the history of our state and my philosophy is to facilitate a platform that can share stories.”
The next big project that Mr Coles is working on with his team is the new WA Museum, which is expected to open in 2020.
“There is a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes with the project,” he said.
“We are also running five other museums around the state and we are looking at redeveloping the Museum of Geraldton; there are so many Mid-West stories to tell.”