UQ Alumni Named State Award Winner

1 Jan 2014

UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Høj AC has congratulated two UQ alumni who won their categories in the Queensland Australian of the Year 2013 awards.

Professor Adèle Green, who graduated from UQ with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and a Doctor of Philosophy, has been named the Queensland Australian of the Year 2013 for her research into the causes and prevention of skin cancer.

Physical education alumnus Laurie Lawrence received the Queensland Senior Australian of the Year 2013 award for his work in reducing the risk of small children drowning.

“These honours are testament to the passion and dedication of two inspirational people whom the University is proud to call alumni,” Professor Høj said.

“They reaffirm that one of UQ’s premium roles in Queensland is to graduate first-rate people who not only achieve academically and in their careers, but also give back to society,” he said.

“We have more than 200,000 UQ graduates, with vast collective capability and contributions that are highlighted by the individual honours to Adèle and Lawrie.”

Professor Green is a senior scientist at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, a former Deputy Director, and Head of the Institute’s Cancer and Population Studies Group.

She is also a Conjoint Professor with UQ’s School of Population Health.

Her world-first research established that daily sunscreen use can prevent melanoma.

Professor Green also led a study which determined that the survival rate of patients with thin invasive melanoma was 96 percent, offering hope and reassurance to sufferers.

Another of Professor Green’s key projects, conducted collaboratively with Professor Gail Williams, UQ School of Population Health and many other researchers during its course, is the 20-year follow-up study of almost 1,000 residents of the town of Nambour, Queensland. This study focuses on the most common skin cancers: basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

Professor Green was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2004 for service to medical research to public health including improved Indigenous health, and for leadership in the wider scientific community.

Mr Lawrence’s widely acclaimed Kids Alive - Do the Five water safety program was created in 1988 and teaches children the skills to reduce the risk of preschool drowning.

Aiming to reduce child-drowning rates to zero, Mr Lawrence demonstrates the same conviction that saw him coach the Australian Olympic swimming team at Los Angeles in 1984, Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992.

The awards will be announced to the nation at a public event in Canberra on January, 25 2013.

UQ alumnus Geoffrey Rush received the national Australian of the Year award in 2012 and UQ researcher and co-inventor of the cervical cancer vaccine Professor Ian Frazer received the award in 2006.

For more information on the awards go to www.australianoftheyear.org.au

Media: Caroline Bird, UQ Communications, 07 3365 1931 or c.bird1@uq.edu.au