Congratulations to marine research scientist Dr Jessica Melbourne-Thomas, our 2020 Tasmanian Australian of the Year.
Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas grew up exploring Tasmania’s spectacular coastline and wilderness. Her love of the environment led her to pursue a career as a research scientist – first with the Australian Antarctic Division, and now with CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere.
Jess uses interdisciplinary research approaches to understand how marine socioecological systems respond to climate change and other human activities, and to inform decision-making for sustainable development. Jess also co-presents the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Marine and Antarctic Science, which has reached over 17,000 students.
A passionate advocate for female leadership in science, Jess co-founded the Homeward Bound project, which took 78 women working in science on a leadership journey to Antarctica in 2016. Jess also co-founded the Women in Polar Science network, which has more than 4,000 members worldwide.
We also congratulate our other category recipients:
Tasmanian Senior Australian Of The Year, Landcare Activist, Dr Graeme Stevenson
Dr Graeme Stevenson has promoted healthy soils in Tasmania for more than 30 years, in particular the role of dung beetles and earthworms in soil management. Through his project management, consultancy and volunteer work with Landcare Tasmania, he has made a significant contribution to improving the health of natural and working landscapes.
Tasmanian Young Australian Of The Year, Social Justice Activist, William Smith
Devonport Police officer Will Smith’s desire to help disadvantaged young people has taken him from local football clubs to the Lebanese and Syrian border. He is the founder of JCP Empowering Youth, which enables successful leaders to improve the lives of young people through school, leadership and community programs.
Tasmania’s Local Hero, Advocate for Men’s Health, Thomas Windsor
Thomas Windsor is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for major health issues affecting men, including depression and prostate cancer. After losing his father to suicide, he started the Mobart Mo Bros, Australia’s top Movember fundraising team for four years running, raising more than $750,000 in the past 13 years.
Congratulations to all 16 nominees whose outstanding contributions make our State an even greater place to live. Our four recipients – Jess, Graeme, Will and Tom – will represent Tasmania at the 2020 Australian of the Year Awards to be announced in Canberra on January 25, 2020.