Zimmet awarded 2018 Victorian Senior Australian of the Year

PROFESSOR Paul Zimmet has been announced as the 2018 Victorian Senior Australian of the Year at the state awards ceremony held at Government House this evening (Thursday).

Zimmet is an international leader in the field of diabetes, and has been a pioneer in the area for more than 40 years. His research studies in the 1980s predicted the current global epidemic of Type 2 diabetes and he has been ranked in the top 10 diabetes researchers for global impact.

Speaking to The AJN, the 75-year-old expressed his “disbelief” at receiving the award.

“I’ve worked hard for diabetes for so many years, to get it on the map,” said Zimmet.

“I hope to leverage this honour as an opportunity to pursue further diabetes advocacy, taking it to the next level to continue that work with government and health administrators.

“I’ve got at least another 25 years of work ahead,” he affirmed.

The Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau expressed her delight in having “the opportunity to recognise some of our most outstanding Victorians, and their impressive achievements.”

“It’s a privilege to celebrate those who strive to be better, to do better and to make our community a better place,” said Dessau.

Joining Dessau in presenting the award to Zimmet was Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who said that the state’s greatest strength is “our people”.

”Tonight we celebrated some truly remarkable Victorians who will do our state proud when they represent us at the 2018 Australian of the Year Awards in Canberra,” Andrews added.

Other 2018 recipients announced included Samuel Johnson for Victorian Australian of the Year and Mat Bowtell, who was awarded Victoria’s Local Hero. Meanwhile, Madeleine Buchner, Zimmet’s fellow Jewish nominee, was succeeded by Georgie Stone for the title of Victorian Young Australian of the Year.

The four Victorians will join a cohort of 32 recipients from around the country, converging on Canberra for the National Awards on January 25, 2018 where the Australians of the Year will be announced.

REBECCA DAVIS