The WS Lonnie Awards were established in 1984 following a bequest from Mrs H.L. Lonnie in memory of her late husband Mr W.S. Lonnie MC CBE MVO. Mr Lonnie had a long and distinguished career in the State public service, culminating in his final post as Under Secretary, Premier’s Department during the premiership of Sir Charles Court.

The primary vehicle for accountability in the Public Sector has been and always will be the way Public Sector agencies report their performance. The Awards recognise the importance of being accountable and transparent in a succinct and independent way.  It encourages and celebrates excellence in annual reporting, which is central to good corporate governance.

The Institute organises and host these important annual awards which recognise and highlight excellence and improved accountability standards in annual reporting across the WA State Public Sector.  This is a mammoth task as all State agencies are eligible and considered as part of the judging process.


An independent panel of leading figures assesses all entrants against the established criteria.


Professor Carmen Lawrence
Professor, School of Psychological Science, The University of Western Australia

After training as a research psychologist at the University of Western Australia and lecturing in a number of Australian universities, Dr Lawrence entered politics in 1986, serving at both State and Federal levels for 21 years. She was at various times W.A Minister for Education and Aboriginal affairs and was the first woman Premier and Treasurer of a State government.  She shifted to Federal politics in 1994 when she was elected as the Member for Fremantle and was appointed Minister for Health and Human Services and Minister assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women.  She held various portfolios in Opposition, including Indigenous Affairs, Environment, Industry and Innovation and was elected national President of the Labor Party in 2004. She retired from politics in 2007 and was Chair of the Australian Heritage Council between 2011 and 2016. She is now Professor Emerita in the School of Psychological Science at the University of Western Australia and is currently President of the Conservation Council of Western Australia.


Sheryl Fewster

Sheryl Fewster has recently retired after a career in communication, public relations and community engagement that encompassed both the private and public sectors. She Also has director experience with Government, academic, not for profit and clinical trial organisations, and remains involved as a volunteer with several groups.

Michael Day
Partner, KPMG

Michael is the Head of KPMG’s CFO Advisory practice in Western Australia. He has over 17 years professional experience in Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Through his career, he has worked with a large number of Government entities to assist them navigate complex accounting issues. This work has included the interpretation and implementation of new accounting standards, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of process and controls and the streamlining of financial statements.

Michael is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a Member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Dr Yvonne Haigh
Senior Lecturer, Murdoch University;
Vice President, IPAA WA

Yvonne teaches public policy and public sector management at both undergraduate and post graduate levels at Murdoch University since 2004. She has developed and taught units on social policy, public policy, media, politics and community development.

Yvonne has completed her PhD at Murdoch University in 2004. Her PhD examined the concept of ethics and the role it plays in our everyday decisions. This project explored the everyday decisions of police cadets attending the Western Australian policy academy and considered the range of factors that impact on their capacity to act ethically. Her current research project on corruption expands on these ideas in order to build on our understanding of corruption.

Des Pearson AO FIPAA

Des Pearson currently works as a Non Executive Director and undertakes assignments on governance, accountability and performance reporting. 

He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2014 Queens Birthday Honours for distinguished service to public sector governance. 

In his more than 40 years public service he has worked across seven Australian jurisdictions including over thirty years at senior and chief executive levels, including more than 21 years as an Auditor General (Western Australia 1991-2006 & Victoria 2006-2012). His earlier experience included financial management, program management, corporate support and regulatory roles. 

He has served as National President of CPA Australia and was subsequently elected as a Life Member of CPA Australia. He is a National and Victorian Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia and a Life Member of the Australian Institute of Management (WA) Inc. 

Judging Criteria

Click here to download Judging Criteria.


The W.S. Lonnie Awards are judged against the following categories across State government and each receive a bronze, silver and gold winner:

  • Category 1 - State Agency with less than 100 FTEs
  • Category 2 - State Agency with less than 1,000 FTEs
  • Category 3 - State Agency with more than 1,000 FTEs
  • Category 4 - Government Trading Enterprise Sector

Bronze Awards
Demonstrate high levels of accountability and good reporting to Parliament, the community and key stakeholder groups.

Silver Awards
Exceed the criteria and are considered to demonstrate particularly good reporting and accountability.

Gold Awards
Excel in accountability and annual reporting. Annual reports that receive this award have exceeded the requirements and are considered model reports.

Major W.S. Awards and Trophies

Margaret McAleer Special Commendation
This award is presented at the discretion of the panel for an outstanding report that, in some respect, establishes a benchmark to which others should aspire.

The Allan Skinner Trophy
Awarded to the best annual report in the General Government Sector.

The Margaret Nadebaum Trophy
Awarded to the best annual report in the Government Enterprise Sector.

The WS Lonnie Memorial Trophy
Awarded to the best annual report for the year.

Specialist Awards

Office of the Auditor General Award for Transparency and Accountability
State Records Commission Award for Excellence in Compliance Reporting
Ombudsman Western Australia Award for Complaints Handling

CPA Australia Award for Performance Reporting

Public Sector Commission Award for Good Governance

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Award for Chief Financial Officer of the Year