COOBER PEDY News & Events


Dean Walker

Dean Walker and wife Janice accepting the Local Hero award

Senior Community Constable Dean Walker was last year named the South Australian Local Hero in the prestigious Australian of the Year Awards – with the national winners to be announced this coming Saturday night.

At a Moving Ceremony in the Convention room in the Western Stands of the SACA, Adelaide Oval, on the evening of Tuesday 5th November 2013 Dean Walker was awarded the SA ‘Local Hero’ in the Australian of the Year Awards.

Recognised for his efforts to improve relations between police and Aboriginal communities in the state’s far north he has been a lynchpin in Coober Pedy and Oodnadatta for the last six years – continually going beyond the call of duty to make a difference in the community.

“As with all community constables I see myself as a role model for the Aboriginal community,” he told SA Police’s Blueprint magazine after the receiving the SA award.

“We all want the best for our people and our culture. I worked hard to get where I am so it’s important to instil the belief in young Aboriginal people that nothing is impossible for them if they put in the effort.”

Friends and family were in attendance for the Awards including Dad Robin Walker, wife Janice Bailes, as well as Joanne O’Toole, Julia Chamberlain, Patrick and Priscilla Larkins and George Laslett. Sisters Hayley and Chloe Nunn came down from Oodnadatta for the awards and it was great to the see the bush scoop the awards.

Across SA local people had been nominated for local hero; Dean got in the top four finalist and then won the award..

In Deano’s acceptance speech he spoke of the uniqueness of Coober Pedy and working in the SA Police. Deano was a little speechless to start with, the whole room giggles as Deano announced it was his first time at Adelaide oval, which he was quiet excited about.

Deano & Janice will now travel to Canberra in January for the National section of the awards.

Best of luck in the national awards Senior Community Constable Walker!

The announcement of the Australians of the Year for 2014 will be made outside Parliament House in Canberra on Australia Day eve (25 January) from 6 pm and will be broadcast live on ABC1.