Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim

27 JANUARY 2017

I take great pleasure in congratulating Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim on being named Australian of the Year for 2017.

Being named Australian of the Year for 2017 not only acknowledges both the world class research and inspiring personal story of Professor Mackay-Sim, but also his contribution as an outstanding role model for all Australians striving to be the best in their field.

He is living proof of Winston Churchill's saying that an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

Having dedicated his life to innovation in biomedical research, Professor Mackay-Sim is now recognised as a world leader in stem cell research.

He is right to remind us to take the long view when it comes to research and the need to invest in new treatments that reduce future health costs for all Australians.

Professor Mackay-Sim inspires us to aim to be the best in the world in whatever field we can and that is my aspiration for Australian industry, innovation and science.

Young Australian scientists should take great encouragement from the recognition of Professor Mackay-Sim this year and I hope we have reached a turning point in this country where we praise the achievements of our scientists in the same way as high achievers in other fields.

I am committed to building world class careers for our young scientists and addressing the barriers to all Australians, regardless of background or gender, wanting to play a part in the future of scientific research in Australia.