Professor Scolyer: “We do not let fear hold us back.”
Professor Georgina Long AO and Professor Richard Scolyer AO are the 2024 Australians of the Year in recognition of tens of thousands of lives saved thanks to their years of ground-breaking research into treatment of melanoma - ‘Australia’s national cancer’.
The co-directors of the Melanoma Institute took their research even further when Professor Scolyer was diagnosed with incurable grade 4 brain cancer in June 2023. He and Professor Long developed a series of world-first treatments drawing from the breakthroughs they had made in melanoma treatment. Professor Scolyer became the world’s first brain cancer patient to have pre-surgery combination immunotherapy.
“We do not let fear hold us back,” said Professor Scolyer.
Professor Long continued:
“We backed our strong science, tried and tested in melanoma. So, think big. Be bold, be courageous. And we must work together. This is how we grow individually. This is how we grow as communities. This is how we grow as a nation,” she said.
Australia is well known for its natural environment, landmarks and the friendliness of its people. But Professor Long and Professor Scolyer show that Australia is also a destination for world leading research, science, clinical trials and home to a highly educated scientific workforce.
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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese presented the Australian of the Year Awards to (L-R) Professor Richard Scolyer, Professor Georgina Long, Australia’s Local Hero - David Elliott OAM, Young Australian of the Year - Emma McKeon and the Senior Australian of the Year award to teacher, linguist and community leader, Yalmay Yunupiŋu. Photo thanks to the National Australia Day Council with Salty Dingo.