Waste research scientist Veena Sahajwalla has won the 2022 NSW Australian of the Year Award.
The 56-year-old scientist, engineer and inventor pioneers research into waste, helping to turn it into a new generation of green materials and products.
Professor Sahajwalla, founding director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology at the University of NSW, is best known for inventing polymer injection technology in which old tyres are melted down and used to create ‘green steel’.
She collaborates with universities, industry and community groups to develop and use recycling science.
The 2022 NSW Senior Australian of the Year is Abla Kadous, president of the Islamic Women’s Welfare Association.
Ms Kadous helped establish Australia’s first welfare service for Muslim women which offers anti-discrimination forums, school-readiness programs, youth camps, cooking classes and food for those in need.
The 2022 NSW Young Australian of the Year is 26-year-old Dr Daniel Nour, who founded charity Street Side Medics.
The GP-led mobile medical service for people experiencing homelessness has 145 volunteers and four clinics across the state.
The 2022 NSW Local Hero is Shanna Whan, who founded Sober in the Country, which offers peer support, advocacy and education.
The winners were announced at a ceremony at Sydney’s Luna Park on Monday night.