Alumni News Articles

Victorian Australian of the Year Award 2013 recipients announced

22 November 2012

Victorian Australian of the Year Award 2013 recipients announced

Victorian Australian of the Year 2013 - Harold Mitchell AC 

Victorian Senior Australian of the Year 2013 - Emeritus Professor T John Martin AO

Victorian Young Australian of the Year 2013 - Hayley Bolding 

Victorian Local Hero 2013 - Pam Adams

Businessman and philanthropist, Harold Mitchell AC, has been awarded Victorian Australian of the Year 2013 for his support of philanthropic causes having used his wealth to support many causes close to his heart.

The founder of Mitchell & Partners and Executive Chairman of Aegis Media Australia and New Zealand, he has seen his company evolve into Australia’s largest media and communications group, with a growing presence in New Zealand and beyond.

Harold was not born into money and is no stranger to life’s challenges, overcoming alcoholism and obesity. Since 2000, his Foundation has distributed more than $7 million to projects related to health and the arts.

He is a past Chairman of the National Gallery Australia, past President of the Melbourne International Festival of Arts, and a former Board Member of the Opera Australia Council.

Harold’s current Chairmanships include CARE Australia, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, ThoroughVision, the Melbourne Rebels, Art Exhibitions Australia and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.

He is also Non-Executive Director of Crown Limited, Board Member of New York Philharmonic and Vice President of Tennis Australia.

His philanthropy also extends to providing considerable humanitarian aid in Timor-Leste and Indigenous communities.

Emeritus Professor T John Martin AO, known as Jack, was awarded Victorian Senior Australian of the Year 2013 for his work in medical science.

Professor Jack Martin is one of Australia’s most esteemed medical scientists and the founder of skeletal research in Australia. Possibly his greatest contribution has been advancing the understanding of calcium regulating hormones and the development of modern concepts of bone cell biology.

His research has had a major impact on the understanding and treatment of diseases including osteoporosis and bone tumours and the spread of cancers to the bone.

Formerly Director of St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research Jack continues to work in medical research and mentors a new generation of scientists.

In an intellectually challenging field he is seen in Australia and around the world as a current leader in the area of bone disease and cancer who continues to give his time and expertise to inspire others with his love of science.

Compassionate, generous and with a rigorously inquiring mind Jack continues to make a positive contribution to science by inspiring younger researchers and scientists to fulfil their potential and imbuing them with a sense of purpose and integrity.

Victorian Young Australian of the Year 2013 is 30 year old anti-poverty campaigner Hayley Bolding. Hayley Bolding was just 23 and working as an intern with a non-profit organisation in the Indian city of Mumbai, when

she saw an urgent need for capacity building across similar organisations.

She founded Atma – which means ‘soul in Hindi’ – to support local groups in their efforts to give children a better chance at life through education.Her work began in a local café where Hayley worked on her laptop, raising funds and establishing partnerships. Since then the foundation’s work has supported thousands of children and young adults through school, health and nutrition programs, education programs for night school students, and a kindergarten and skills centre in Dharavi – the city’s biggest slum.

Hayley’s business acumen has expanded Atma which has partnered with 15 organisations that impact the lives of over 11,000 students. With Atma’s support, one such partner organisation, Muktangan, grew from operating one school to seven.

Six years on, Hayley is a well-respected leader in her field in India, while also working tirelessly to mentor others and, at the same time, raise awareness in Australia.

Victorian Local Hero 2013 is community volunteer Pam Adams for her tireless volunteering. Pam Adams volunteers eight hours a day, five days a week at the Albury Wodonga Foodshare Centre. The Centre

collects food from local supermarkets and producers before sorting and distributing to emergency relief agencies.

Pam coordinates the volunteers and supervises the sorting, repackaging and storage and then spends her evenings making preserves, jams and sauces so that nothing is wasted.

Not one to let a plot of land lie idle, she has started a community vegetable garden in the grounds of St Stephens Uniting Church which now spills on to the nature strip.

As well, Pam is a convenor with the Red Cross Telecross service which each week involves talking to elderly people who live around the district from Talangatta to Tocumwal.

After 12 years with the service, Pam still looks forward to these conversations, knowing she is helping people maintain their independence and continue to live in their own homes.

Pam’s dedication is well known and, in talking about her, a colleague claims that ‘everybody needs a Pam.’ After 33 years of loyal service to her community Pam Adams keeps giving cheerfully and unassumingly.

The Victorian award recipients will join recipients from the other States and Territories as finalists for the national awards announced on 25 January 2013 in Canberra.

Program Director for the National Australia Day Council, Tam Johnston, said the Victorian award recipients represent a broad range of achievements and selfless contributions to Australian and international communities.

“The Victorian award recipients all make extraordinary contributions to communities on different levels, but they are all exceptional examples to Australians as to how to make the world a better place," said Ms Johnston.

The Commonwealth Bank has been the Major Sponsor of the Australian of the Year Awards for more than 30 years. Chief Executive Officer Ian Narev congratulated the Victorian award recipients.

“The Commonwealth Bank is proud to acknowledge the Victorian award recipients. You are now national finalists in the Australian of the Year Awards and should be very proud of your achievement.

“While you have each been inspiring in your own way, you all share one common quality – you continue to selflessly improve the lives of others. Congratulations to you all and enjoy your time in Canberra in January” said Mr Narev.

For more information on the Victorian Australian of the Year Awards recipients click here.

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