2019 Stroke Awards Finalists Announced

A real estate agent with a passion for fundraising, avocado-smashing motorheads, a former private eye, a prodigious professor and a tenacious Taswegian were among 28 outstanding Australians, named as finalists in the Stroke Foundation’s 2019 Stroke Awards.

The 2019 Stroke Awards celebrate the stroke survivors, carers, volunteers, health professionals and researchers who work tirelessly to improve the lives of those affected by stroke.

Finalists were chosen from almost 70 nominations across six categories: Improving Life after Stroke, Creative, Courage, Fundraiser of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and President’s Achievement.

Achievements of this year’s finalists include:

• Raising more than $50,000 for the Stroke Foundation.

• Driving a rally car more than 19,000 kilometres across Europe and Asia.

• An internationally recognised author demonstrating there is life after stroke.

• A ‘saxy lady’ using music as a recovery tool.

• An internationally recognised researcher who has dedicated her career to driving quality improvements to stroke care across the health system.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan congratulated the finalists.

“Every single one of this year’s finalists is an inspiration,” Ms McGowan said.

“Their amazing efforts go a long way to supporting the more than 475,000 stroke survivors living in our community.

“I’m certain they will inspire other Australians to look at what they can do to prevent, treat and beat stroke.”

The 2019 Stroke Awards winners will be announced in Melbourne on May 7.


Improving Life After Stroke Award – Proudly sponsored by Australian Physiotherapy Association

This category recognises stroke survivors, carers and members of the general public who work to improve the state of stroke in a voluntary capacity.

• Priya Sharma – West Pennant Hills NSW

• Bill Gooley – Pennant Hills NSW

• Emma Gee – Kew VIC

• Hailey Anna McKirdy – Reservoir VIC

• Stephanie Ho – Darlinghurst NSW

• Sue Bowden – Bathurst NSW

Creative Award – Proudly sponsored by Marmalade Melbourne

This category recognises stroke survivors’ contribution to creative industries.

• Dane Peters – Woodbine NSW

• Lynette Gordon-Smith – Allora QLD

• Maria Lewis – Newtown NSW

• Michael Robert Young – Mount Eliza VIC

Fundraiser of the Year Award – Proudly sponsored by Precision Fundraising

This category recognises individuals who have gone above and beyond in fundraising for the Stroke Foundation.

• Helen Woodhouse – Wagga Wagga NSW

• Hannah Crole – Strathmore VIC

• Lachlan Stephenson and team Smashed Avo – Cape Woolamai VIC

• Ernesto Diaz – West Footscray VIC

• Jo Cordell-Cooper (Tasmanian Iconic Walks) – Geilston Bay TAS

Courage Award

This category recognises the indomitable courage and hope shown by survivors and carers in stroke recovery.

• Rob Goyen – Bicton WA

• Shane Isles – Kepnock QLD

• Tania Shirgwin – Tanunda SA

• Tracy and Stephen Ward – Denman NSW

• Brooke Parsons – Docklands VIC

Volunteer of the Year Award

This category recognises outstanding community members whose dedicated time and service to improving the lives of those with stroke has made a significant difference.

• Shelagh Brennand – Pelican Waters QLD

• Denise McGaw – Bundaberg QLD

• Nic Stephen – Geilston Bay TAS

• Tracey Arendse – St Kilda VIC

• Kevin English – Albert Park VIC

President’s Achievement Award

This category recognises exceptional dedication, outstanding contributions and exemplary service to the Stroke Foundation.

• Associate Prof Mark Brooks – VIC

• Anthony Finneran Padstow NSW

• Prof Dominique Cadilhac – VIC

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