Sunshine Coast researcher named 2017 Australian of the Year
  • Thursday 26 January 2017
Alan Mackay-Sim

Mayor Mark Jamieson has extended a hearty congratulations on behalf of the Sunshine Coast Community to Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim who has been awarded the 2017 Australian of the Year.

Professor Mackay-Sim is the Director of the National Centre for Adult Stem Cell Research at Griffith University.

He also a resident of Currimundi on the Sunshine Coast.

Professor Mackay-Sim's pioneering research has helped provide a positive future for thousands of Australians and people overseas with spinal cord injuries.  

He led the world's first clinical trial using nasal cells in treating spinal cord injuries and his research helped play a central role in the world's first successful restoration of mobility for a quadriplegic person.

"Professor Mackay-Sim is a highly deserving recipient of the Australian of the Year Award given the contribution that his leading research has made to improving the well-being of many people with injuries that previously, were largely irreversible," Mayor Jamieson said.

“Professor Mackay-Sim is a shining example of the calibre of researchers and global leading innovators that Australia is renowned for producing and one whom I am enormously proud to call a fellow Sunshine Coast resident.

"From our region's perspective it couldn't be more fitting at this time to have a leading health researcher recognised as Australian of the Year when we are about to see the opening of our new $1.87 billion SunshineCoast University Hospital in April and with the health and well-being and education and research sectors being two of the largest employers in the region.

“Every day the Sunshine Coast is demonstrating that it is healthy, smart and creative.  The recognition of one of our residents for his global leadership in a stem cell research only helps to reinforce that vision.

“The acknowledgement of the work of Professor Mackay-Sim also sends a very strong signal to our young Sunshine Coast residents about the endless possibilities that can be explored by choosing to pursue a career in health and medical research."

Mayor Jamieson has also moved to ensure there is a fitting local tribute to and recognition of Professor Mackay-Sim.

"I will be speaking with Professor Mackay-Sim within the next day or so about arrangements to present him with a Key to the City at the earliest opportunity after he concludes his official Australian of the Year commitments.

"On behalf of the Sunshine Coast Council and all residents of our region, we are enormously proud of Alan Mackay-Sim, deeply respectful of the important contribution he has made to the lives of so many people and join with him in celebrating the recognition that is so rightly warranted."