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WATCH ONLINE | Australians of the Year


Watch online via Livestream. An event for school students featuring Australians of the Year.

Start Date

31 May 2018 1:15 pm

End Date

31 May 2018 2:15 pm


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The Institute for the Study of Social Change hosted a forum for school students at the University of Tasmania's Sandy Bay campus featuring Australians of the Year.

This event facilitated by Institute director Professor Richard Eccleston can be viewed via the University of Tasmania livestream page.

About the speakers:

Jessica Manuela (pictured top right), dentist helping Indigenous communities
Dental surgeon, Dr Jessica Manuela is determined to improve oral health in Tasmanian Indigenous communities. As an Indigenous Tasmanian, Jess established her first dental practice three years ago and a second one in 2017. She now has more than 4,000 active patients, but also finds time to speak with school students about oral hygiene and to run community information evenings. Together with the Royal Flying Doctor Service Tasmania and the South East Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation, Jess has established a culturally-appropriate program that helps Indigenous Tasmanians access dental care to improve their health and wellbeing. She was the chairperson for Oral Health Promotion on the Tasmanian Dental Council and has been involved with policy making and regulating the dental profession. She is also lobbying to save important schemes such as the Medicare Child Dental Benefit Scheme. Jess is passionate about educating her patients so that they have the skills to look after their health for a lifetime.

Tony Scherer (pictured bottom left), organic farmer
A pioneer of the organic farming movement, Tony Scherer has promoted sustainable farming methods for more than 50 years. Tony started organic farming in California in the 1970s. Moving to Australia in 1990, Tony introduced several organic methods, including the first machinery to convert Sudan grass into organic compost. By passing his knowledge to other organic farmers, he’s helped the agricultural industry cut millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, while growing healthy food. A founding owner of Frogmore Creek Wines, Tony demonstrated that organic viticulture was possible and profitable, with the winery’s Pinot Noir winning multiple awards. Tony has since led a groundswell of interest in sustainable and low pesticide grape production. In 2012, he co-founded the not-for-profit Sprout Tasmania to expand organic and sustainable farming. And as the president of the Pinot Noir Forum, Tony has helped to build Tasmania’s reputation as a world leader in this wine style, creating jobs and supporting a new industry.

Judi Adams (pictured top left), breast cancer fundraiser
Fourteen years ago, Judi Adams decided to make a difference to breast cancer research. Taking on the voluntary role of chair of the Hobart committee of the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Judi began rallying support, engaging sponsors and hosting events. Since then, she’s staged breakfasts, luncheons and gala dinners, sporting events and car shows, raising a staggering $400,000 profit – with every cent going to breast cancer research. Some of Judi’s events, such as the Lumin8 Hobart soirées, Pink Ribbon luncheons, the Think Pink Cup, and the Shannons Take Your Tops Off for Breast Cancer Research car displays have proven so popular that they are now enduring annual events. In 2017, Judi tackled Spain's Camino de Santiago, raising another $15,000 for her chosen charity. Judi’s committee has no operating budget, and each event represents many hours of voluntary labour. With passion and purpose, Judi has fostered camaraderie, created an inspiring events program, brought the community together and attracted interstate visitors while raising much-needed funds for breast cancer research.

Dion Devow (pictured bottom centre), entrepreneur and community leader
When he chose a controversial name for his business, Dion Devow wanted to reclaim a derogatory term and express pride in his Aboriginal culture and heritage. Darkies Design, which Dion started in 2010, produces contemporary Aboriginal-themed apparel and print media for mainstream, sports and promotional use. Darkies Design collaborates with Indigenous artists and designers to produce his designs, and has also supplied ceremonial uniforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs for the teams participating in Australia’s First World War Centenary Commemorations on the Western Front. Quiet yet outspoken, Dion now champions other Indigenous people to build businesses and achieve economic independence. In 2014, Dion created the Canberra Business Yarning Circle, an Indigenous business owners network. An ambassador for Indigenous Community Volunteers, Dion also sits on the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body and is working hard to help other Indigenous business owners achieve their dreams.

Dr Graham Farquhar (pictured bottom right), biophysicist
One of Australia's most eminent scientists, Dr Graham Farquhar is helping reshape our understanding of photosynthesis, the very basis of life on Earth. After growing up with a Tasmanian farming family background, Graham has used his love of science to deliver practical benefits to the agricultural sector. His study of mathematics and physics formed the bedrock of a career creating mathematical models of how plants work. Graham has received a string of accolades during his distinguished career for his research examining how water efficient crops can protect food security in a changing climate. Importantly, he has worked to improve world food security by developing strains of wheat that can grow with less water. In 2017 Graham became the first Australian to win a Kyoto Prize – the most prestigious international award for fields not traditionally honoured with a Nobel Prize. From his long-term base at the Australian National University, Graham is tackling some of the most profound challenges facing humanity and the environment.

This schools event is hosted by the Institute for the Study of Social Change, the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the National Australia Day Council.


Institute for Social Change
University of Tasmania
Private Bag 44


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