+ OzTrekk Educational Services Home
 
 

Posts Tagged ‘Australian of the Year Awards’

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Griffith University scientist named Australian of the Year

Griffith University Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim has been honoured as this year’s Australian of the Year recipient.

The retired biomedical scientist, whose ground-breaking stem-cell research was instrumental in helping a paralysed man walk again, accepted the prestigious award during a live announcement at Parliament House in Canberra on Australia Day eve.

Griffith University scientist named Australian of the Year

Griffith University Professor Emeritus Alan Mackay-Sim is the 2017 Queensland Australian of the Year (Photo via Griffith University)

Professor Mackay-Sim has spent his career researching how nerve cells in the nose regenerate and pioneered a way to safely apply that same regenerative process to damaged spinal cords.

Recognised as the 2003 Queenslander of the Year and the 2017 Queensland Australian of the Year, Professor Mackay-Sim will now spend the next year fulfilling his duties for the Australian title while still overseeing several research projects at the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery.

Those projects include stem cell research into treatments for conditions such as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to talk about the importance of research on spinal cord injury and brain diseases,” Professor Mackay-Sim said in his speech.

“About new treatments using stem cells and cell transplantation, undreamed of 20 years ago. About how we must, as Australians, prioritise our spending so that we can afford not only to look after the diseased and disabled in our communities but also to afford the research for new and radical treatments to reduce future health costs.

“As a nation we must be part of this. And we must invest in young scientists.”

Professor Mackay-Sim highlighted the vital need for continued support and funding for research to ensure this life changing work isn’t compromised.

Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor congratulated Professor Mackay-Sim on his national award.

Griffith University is extremely proud to have such a remarkable man and scientist among us,” he said.

“Alan’s research has laid the foundation for global efforts to use stem cell surgery to repair spinal cord injury. It is an extraordinary field.

“He is a deserved recipient of Australian of the Year and we join the rest of the country in applauding him.”

Pro Vice Chancellor (Sciences) Professor Andrew Smith said, “We are delighted Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim and his research has been recognised at the highest level. Griffith Sciences Group remains committed to supporting this pioneering stem cell research towards new innovative treatments for spinal injury.”

*

Find out more about studying science at Griffith University! Contact OzTREKK’s Admission Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com for more information.

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

UQ engineering student named Young Australian of the Year

Selfless work creating change for homeless people has propelled a University of Queensland student to be named Young Australian of the Year

Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Commerce student Lucas Patchett and business partner Nic Marchesi established Orange Sky Laundry, a free mobile clothes-washing service for the homeless.

The pair jointly won the prestigious national award at the Australian of the Year Awards in Canberra on Jan. 25, where winners were announced in four categories.

UQ Engineering School

Lucas Patchett (left) and Nic Marchesi converted an old van into a mobile laundromat and now washing 200 loads a week (Photo: University of Queensland)

Mr Patchett and Mr Marchesi were announced as the Queensland Young Australians of the Year in November. At that time, Mr Patchett said he was shocked to receive the state awards.

“I’ve been blown away by the support we’ve been getting and seeing how generous people are,” Mr Patchett said.

Orange Sky Laundry began in September 2014 when the two best mates converted an old van into a mobile laundromat which they drove around Brisbane.

Last year they took their mobile laundry to North Queensland to wash clothes in cyclone-ravaged communities.

“We’re now washing more than 200 loads each week,” Mr Patchett said. “We also have to say thank you to our 250-plus volunteers, who are fantastic.”

The UQ engineering student said his work with Mr Marchesi was about more than just washing clothes.

“One of the first guys we helped actually studied engineering like me,” Mr Patchett said. “But after some bad luck in life he ended up on the street, and that really opened our eyes to the massive issue of how easily homelessness can happen.

“We really want to start a national conversation.”

In just over a year, services have expanded rapidly, with four vans now running in Brisbane as well as the Gold Coast and in Victoria.

The pair plans to expand across Australia and to introduce a training and employment model.

Another UQ student, Tasman Bain, was a finalist in the Queensland Young Australian of the Year awards.

Mr Bain has founded a youth-led women’s rights initiative in Papua New Guinea, served as a UNICEF youth ambassador and volunteered for many charitable organisations.

*

Want more information about engineering programs available at the University of Queensland? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.