Congratulations to NSW professor duo with top 2024 Australians of the Year honour


The extraordinary NSW duo, melanoma treatment pioneers Professors Richard Scolyer AO and Georgina Long AO have taken out top honours in the 2024 Australian of the Year awards at the national ceremony in Canberra.

The NSW Premier has commended the extraordinary work of the life-saving professors for their trailblazing contributions to our state and the nation.

The Sydneysiders’ enduring partnership has saved thousands of lives from melanoma, often referred to as Australia’s national cancer.

Professors Scolyer and Long are the co-medical directors of Melanoma Institute Australia, are sought-after media commentators and advocates for sun-safe behaviour and melanoma prevention.

Less than a decade ago, advanced melanoma was fatal – but thanks to the pair’s immunotherapy approach, which activates a patient’s own immune system, it has become a curable disease.

Last June, when Professor Scolyer, 57, was diagnosed with incurable grade-4 brain cancer, he and Professor Long, 53, developed a series of world-first treatments based on their melanoma breakthroughs.

Professor Scolyer became the world’s first brain cancer patient to have pre-surgery combination immunotherapy.

By undertaking an experimental treatment with the risk including the potential of shortening his life, he has advanced the understanding of brain cancer and is benefiting future patients.

This week, Professor Scolyer proudly announced his “brilliant news” that his eight-month brain scan showed no recurrence of the cancer.

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NSW Premier Chris Minns said:

“On behalf of the NSW Government and the entire state I want to congratulate Professors Richard Scolyer AO and Georgina Long AO on becoming the 2024 Australians of the Year. We are so proud of them.”

“The true spirit of being an Australian is helping others. This pair’s legacy is not only etched in the archives of scientific history but also in the hearts of those whose lives you have touched and transformed.

“These two Sydney trailblazers, armed with brilliance and a passion for making a difference, have turned the once-dire prognosis of advanced melanoma into a story of triumph.

“Their research has not only saved lives but painted a vibrant canvas of hope for countless individuals and their families.

“Congratulations to all the NSW Australians of the Year, for their incredible contributions to make our state and our nation a better place.”

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