Top honour for a great sport

Dr Judith Cousins. d419245
Dr Judith Cousins. d419245

After volunteering more than 41 years to the sport, Dr Cousins is one of 24 finalists across seven categories in contention for the 2014 Western Australian of the Year Award, which aims to recognise the achievements of West Australians from a broad cross-section of the community.

Formerly referred to as the WA Citizen of the Year Award, previous winners include Professor Fiona Stanley, Michael Chaney, Chief Justice Wayne Martin and Adam Gilchrist.

‘I was so honoured to be nominated for this award by the Western Australian Sports Federation,’ Dr Cousins said.

The Duncraig resident was introduced to badminton by one of her friends and from there, her sporting career took off.

‘I thought it was just going to be a social activity as I was a young mum with children,’ she said.

‘Then I became interested in what the state body was doing and was invited to be on the board of Badminton WA, and after my first term, I was elected to that board.’

In the late 1990s, Badminton Australia invited Dr Cousins to be on their board of management, where she served for seven years, and during this time, she was offered the second-in-charge badminton administration manager position for the Sydney Olympic Games.

‘It was a new experience for me to work at such a prestigious event, I met some of the top players in the world,’ she said.

‘At the time of the Olympics, I was a lecturer in science education at ECU and they gave me leave to go to the Olympics, where I was seconded for 1`8 months.

The ECU lecturer of 18 years has since served three terms as president of Badminton WA and recently became its secretary.

‘I still play badminton at least once or twice a week and my job as secretary is a voluntary position,’ she said.

The Western Australian of the Year will be announced on May 30 at Perth Convention Exhibition Centre.