Past Award Nominees and Recipients
Australian of the Year
2018 NSW Australian of the Year Nominee
Geoff Coombes and Gary Bertwistle and Samantha Hollier-JamesState: New South Wales
Cancer fundraisers and Tour de Cure founders
Three friends determined to find a cure for cancer, Geoff Coombes, Gary Bertwistle, and Samantha Hollier-James established the now iconic Tour de Cure in 2007. Drawing on their professional backgrounds in branding, marketing and events, the trio decided to create a life-changing bike ride to raise money for pioneering Australian cancer research, support and prevention projects. The first Tour de Cure, from Brisbane to Sydney, brought together 29 people and raised just over $400,000. Today, Tour de Cure’s signature Tour is considered a ‘bucket list’ experience that raises more than $2.5 million annually. As the charity expands, Tour de Cure hosts a calendar of cycling tours and non-lycra fundraising gala events. Geoff, Gary and Samantha have also established a kids’ cancer prevention project that has encouraged more than 95,000 Australian school children, to be fit, healthy and happy. Tour de Cure has raised $32 million to fund 266 world-class Australian cancer research, support and prevention projects, that has resulted in 21 breakthroughs.