Academy Fellows Professors Georgina Long AO and Richard Scolyer AO were named the Australians of the Year in a ceremony on 25 January, recognising their groundbreaking work in cancer research.
Professors Long and Scolyer are co-medical directors of the Melanoma Institute of Australia, where they have made significant progress towards their goal of zero deaths from melanoma. Professor Long was awarded the inaugural AAHMS Outstanding Female Researcher Medal in 2022 for her work in this area.
When accepting their Australian of the Year award (pictured above), Professors Long and Scolyer stressed the importance of funding for medical research, and the need to provide more opportunities for cancer patients to take part in clinical trials.
Professor Scolyer was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2023, and has been pursuing an innovative treatment using learnings from melanoma research.
The world-first treatment has shown encouraging results, with the hope that there will soon be clinical trials.
“We do not let fear hold us back. So, I say to all Australians, no matter what life throws at you, seek out opportunities to contribute, to participate, and to action change,” Professor Scolyer said.
Several AAHMS Fellows were also celebrated in the Australia Day honours list.
The Academy warmly congratulates all seven Fellows, who were recognised as follows:
Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)
- Professor Sally Dunwoodie AO FAHMS, for distinguished service to medical research as an embryologist and geneticist, particularly in the field of foetal, and neonatal heart disease.
- Professor Ian Hickie AO FASSA FAHMS, for distinguished service to psychiatric research and reforms as an advocate for improved mental health care and awareness.
- Professor Sarah Robertson AO FAA FAHMS, for distinguished service to medical research, particularly reproductive biology and immunology, and to professional societies.
- Professor Joseph Trapani AO FAA FAHMS, for distinguished service to medical research, particularly immunology and the development of immune-based cancer therapies, and to the community.
- Winthrop Professor Fiona Wood AO FAHMS, for distinguished service to plastic and reconstructive surgery, to medical research, and as clinician-scientist and mentor.
Member of the Order of Australia (AM)
- Professor Carmel Hawley AM FAHMS, for significant service to kidney medicine as a researcher, clinician and mentor.
- Professor Christopher Maher AM FAHMS, for significant service to physiotherapy as a researcher, clinician and mentor, particularly in the field of pain management.