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Mo Bro and marine researcher rewarded

A MEN’S health advocate and a marine research scientist from Hobart have both received one of Australia’s highest honours after being announced as recipients of the 2020 Tasmania Australian of the Year Awards.

Captain of the Mobart Mo Bros Thomas Windsor, from Sandy Bay, and marine research scientist Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas were acknowledged for their work at a ceremony at Government House in mid-October.

Along with Dr Graeme Stevenson (Somersby) and Will Smith (Launceston), the two award recipients will join the other state and territory award winners for the national awards ceremony at the National Arboretum in Canberra on 25 January 2020.

For Mr Windsor, this award came right before a busy campaign raising funds for Movember, where the Mobart Mo Bros have been the highest Movember fundraising team in Australia for the past four years running.

“We’ve raised more than $750,000 for Movember and we’ve had more than 650 participants register with our team over 14 years and created thousands more conversations about men’s health,” Mr Windsor said.

“Every day we lose six Australians to suicide, and prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in Australia.

“So when you put those two major causes together, nearly everyone in the community has a story of either being directly involved or has had a friend who has suffered from it.

“We would like to continue our work to change the face of men’s health and stop men dying too young.”

Mr Windsor received the 2020 Tasmanian Local Hero Award and said he was honoured and surprised.

“I think after it sunk in a bit with me, I realised how important it was that other people had recognised the importance of the work that we do and the causes that we’re attempting to address,” he said.

“The award winners from Tasmania are incredibly inspiring people and I never would have got to know them or learn about their work if it wasn’t for these awards.

“They’re a fantastic promotion of some of the great things Australians are doing every day.”

Dr Mebourne-Thomas received the 2020 Tasmania Australian of the Year Award for her work understanding how marine socioecological systems respond to climate change and other human activities, and how we can better use them to inform decision making for sustainable development.

She has also been active in promoting opportunities for women in science and leadership and advocating for greater diversity in senior decision making.

“I’m very concerned about what the future might look like for my kids, and doing what we can now to respond to those challenges is fundamentally important,” Dr Melbourne-Thomas said.

“I also hope that I can act as a role model for other women in science and promote that message about the importance of building greater gender equality in science and just more generally.”

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

Caption: Tasmania 2020 Australian of the Year Award recipients, from left, Will Smith, Dr Graeme Stevenson, Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas and Thomas Windsor at Government House in Hobart.

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The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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