Dedicated South Aussies named as state's new Australians of the Year

Honoured: South Australia's newest Australians of the Year are Monique Bareham, Dr Trudy Lin, Mark Le Messurier and Professor Helen Marshall. Photo: NADC/Salty Dingo
Honoured: South Australia's newest Australians of the Year are Monique Bareham, Dr Trudy Lin, Mark Le Messurier and Professor Helen Marshall. Photo: NADC/Salty Dingo

For her work in public health and infectious diseases, Professor Helen Marshall has been named the 2022 South Australian of the Year.

At the 2022 SA Australian of the Year Awards held at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Thursday, October 21, Prof Marshall was bestowed the title ahead of co-founder of the Living Without Limits Foundation, Phillip De Pinto; surgeon and educator Dr Samanth Pillay and gender equality advocate Natasha Stott Despoja.

A vaccination researcher at the University of Adelaide's Robinson Research Institute, Prof Marshall studies infectious diseases, with a focus on meningococcal B.

Her work in the 'B Part of It' study, which assesses the effectiveness of meningococcal B vaccines in Australian teens and young adults, is the largest if its kind in the world.

Prof Marshall has be awarded three National Health and Medical Research Council Fellowships during her years of dedication.

When presented with the award, she said working in medicine as a young professional in Western Samoa had guided her interest in vaccinology.

"We have a program here in South Australia which is the envy of the world because here in South Australia we have meningococcal vaccines which cover every strain that causes disease in infants and adolescents," she said.

"It is so exciting for me to see the numbers plummet (in SA) from 35 cases a year down to seven last year."

Adelaide Convention Centre in the presence of Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia and The Honourable Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia.

Professor Helen Marshall has been named the 2022 South Australian of the Year.

Professor Helen Marshall has been named the 2022 South Australian of the Year.

Senior Australian of the Year

Mark Le Messurier was announced as the state's senior South Australian title for his work as a counsellor, educator and author.

His work counselling youths to improve their wellbeing and mental health has given children and young adults the confidence to set goals and change their lives.

Mr Le Messurier's work has culminated in a number of books written for teachers and parents which is now used in by teachers, social workers and health workers in over 90 countries.

On receiving the award, Mark said he was blessed to have a job in which he loved getting up for each morning.

Other finalists in the category were Peter Clark, director of Monarto Safari Park; Bill Denny, war veteran and RSL SA ambassador; and foster carer Dawn Jennings.

2022 SA Young Australian of the Year

Dentist Trudy Lin's passion for her craft began as a child and it has grown to encompass a very niche speciality which has bettered the lives of so many people.

As one of only 20 doctors practising special needs dentistry, she is providing health care for people with a disability, psychiatric illness or medical issues such as cancer.

Her work, which includes a thesis on implementing a triage tool to help people with a disability, is well regarded across the country.

Trudy said people needed good oral health care to eat, to speak and to smile for a better quality of life.

"This award means so much because it will be an amazing platform for me to be able to advocate for access to oral health for all Australians."

Other nominees in the category were swimming champion Kyle Chalmers, Renegade Records founder Bianca Nilsson and Mount Gambier Hay Run founder Zoe Simpson.

2022 SA Local Hero

Monique Bareham is South Australia's newest Local Hero, earning the title for her work with the Lymphoedema Association SA Inc.

Ten years ago she was diagnosed with cancer, but the treatment she needed to battle the disease left her with lymphoedema, a chronic and incurable condition causing swelling of limbs.

After years of attending meetings, hearing stories from sufferers, advocating and lobbying South Australian authorities she was able to have a compression garment subsidy scheme endorsed in 2020.

Monique said she was humbled and amazed on winning the award. She accepted the trophy while wearing a compression garment on her right arm.

"My absolute vision is well-managed lymphoedema for all sufferers," she said.

The three other finalists in the category are Anthony Hart, founder of Invigor Wellbeing; Sarah Tinney, founder of the Marilyn Jetty Swim; and Raelene Wlochowicz, founder of the Playford Women's Shed.

National Australia Day Council chief executive Karlie Brand congratulated the South Australian award recipients, who will now go onto the national awards.

"The South Australian award recipients are extraordinary people making a difference to the lives of many," she said.

"We look forward to welcoming the recipients to Canberra in January for the national Australian of the Year Awards."

For more information on the Australian of the Year Awards visit australianoftheyear.org.au.

This story Dedication honoured at SA Australian of the Year Awards first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.