Lord Mayor Sally Capp has announced the Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research ((WEHI), Professor Doug Hilton AO, is the Melburnian of the Year.
Professor Hilton was announced as the Melburnian of the Year on Channel 9 today as part of a special television broadcast: City of Melbourne’s COVID Heroes – 2020 Melbourne Awards.
“Professor Hilton leads WEHI, where researchers are using their expertise in infectious diseases and immunology to work on urgent research and treatments for COVID-19,” the Lord Mayor said.
“This includes research into how immunity to COVID-19 develops, and antibody therapies that could block the virus from entering cells.
“Professor Hilton is a passionate advocate for health and medical research, diversity and inclusion, and gender equality in science.
“He spearheaded an effort at WEHI to build an on-site childcare centre to provide quality and accessible childcare to WEHI staff and students, and assist parents in transitioning back to work after having children.
“Professor Hilton’s work shows why our biomedical precinct is world renowned.”
Professor Hilton said he was humbled to receive the award, which was a reflection of the entire WEHI team and the scientific community more broadly.
“WEHI has been responding to the health needs of our community for more than 100 years,” he said.
“I’m proud to see how our researchers have rallied and worked together – with our partners around Melbourne – to respond to this public health challenge and prepare for future pandemics. We are working more collaboratively than ever before and with an incredible generosity of spirit.
“It’s a great privilege as WEHI director to be able to bring together the brightest minds from around the world who are collaborating and innovating to help people live healthier for longer. Melbourne is an internationally recognised and vibrant hub of biomedical research, and it’s wonderful that the City of Melbourne recognises and supports our amazing researchers.”
Professor Hilton grew up and went to primary school, secondary college and university in Melbourne. He has been a medical researcher at WEHI for 35 years and its director since 2009.
The City of Melbourne received 200 individual and community group entrants in this year’s awards, which celebrate the inspiring community champions who stepped up to help our community respond to COVID-19.
“Our business champion is renowned Chef Shane Delia who created premium food delivery service Providoor that brings the best restaurants in Melbourne straight to your door,” the Lord Mayor.
“Our Youth Champion is Aayushi Khillan, who is a board member for the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and advises on curriculum for every student in the state.”
An independent judging panel of industry leaders and identities selects the Melbourne Awards winners. Previous winners include Dr Bronwyn King AO, Susan Alberti AC, Neale Daniher AM, Bryan Lipmann AM, Professor Sharon Lewin and Jim Stynes OAM.
The City of Melbourne would like to thank long time partners Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Spotless, Ernst and Young, 3AW Melbourne and Epicure who have supported the Melbourne Awards and continue to do so during this time. The City of Melbourne would also like to welcome Channel Nine, Naomi Milgrom Foundation, Seppelts Wines and Wallaby Water for supporting and celebrating Melburnians.
2020 Melbourne Award Winners:
Digital Innovation Champion
• The Royal Melbourne Hospital – Dr Martin Dutch
• Providoor – Shane Delia
• Cory Memery (Public Housing Residents Network)
Essential Services Champion
• BOYE Medical Group
Arts and Culture Champion
• Arts Project Australia
• Aayushi Khillan
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