• Jason Regan

Professor Helen Marshall named South Australian of the year

The 2022 South Australia Australian of the Year Awards were announced last night at the Adelaide Convention Centre with Professor Helen Marshall claiming the top gong.


All award recipents for the 2022 South Australian of the Year Awards. (Image credit NADC/Salty Dingo)

The South Australian of the year awards were announced in the presence of Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia and The Honourable Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia.


Professor Helen Marshall is one of Australia’s most celebrated and recognised vaccination researchers. Specialising in vaccinology, public health and infectious diseases at the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute, Helen has been involved in game-changing studies that have had a global impact.


2022 South Australian of the Year Professor Helen Marshall (Image credit NADC/Salty Dingo)

Since 2004, Helen has published 211 peer-reviewed papers and been awarded 17 research grants totalling more than $33 million. During the pandemic, 59-year-old Helen has provided advice about meningococcal B and COVID-19 to the South Australian Minister for Health and the Chief Public Health Officer.


Three other award winners were announced during the ceremony with Educator, counsellor and author Mark Le Messurier named the 2022 SA Senior Australian of the Year.


2022 Senior South Australian of the Year Mark Le Messurier (Image credit NADC/Salty Dingo)

Le Messurier has devoted his life to improving the self-worth, wellbeing, mental health and life outcomes of young people. He focuses on who he calls the ‘tough kids’ – those who are struggling in some capacity. This includes children with disabilities, global developmental delays, disadvantages, disorders, neglect, or a combination of issues.


He’s authored numerous books for teachers and parents, including co-authoring What’s the Buzz? – a world-class social and emotional literacy education program. The 67-year-old has helped many families and is a relatable role model and mentor.


Special needs dentistry consultant Dr Trudy Lin was named the 2022 SA Young Australian of the Year.


2022 Young South Australian of the Year Dr Trudy Lin (Image credit NADC/Salty Dingo)

As the youngest of only 20 practising specialists in Australia’s Special Needs Dentistry sector, 29-year-old Dr Trudy Lin provides oral healthcare to people with disabilities, psychiatric illness, and complex medical issues such as cancer. She also treats people experiencing homelessness and domestic violence.


Trudy has completed a research thesis on implementing a triaging tool to improve oral healthcare access for people with disabilities. This work has received multiple accolades, including the 2020 Australian and New Zealand division winner of the International Association of Dental Research Poster Competition.


The final award of the evening saw President of Lymphoedema Association SA Inc, Monique Bareham, named the 2022 SA Local Hero.


2022 South Australian Local Hero Monique Bareham (Image credit NADC/Salty Dingo)

Ten years ago, Monique Bareham received a cancer diagnosis. Like many people who go through cancer treatment, she was left with lymphoedema. Monique soon realised South Australia was the only state without a compression garment subsidy program.


Wanting to make a difference, Monique joined the Lymphoedema Support Group SA, now Lymphoedema Association SA Inc., and soon took on the role of president. After years of attending meetings, gathering personal experiences from people living with lymphoedema, and lobbying the state, the South Australian government announced a compression garment subsidy scheme in July 2020.


National Australia Day Council CEO Karlie Brand congratulated the award recipients from South Australia.

“The South Australian award recipients are extraordinary people making a difference to the lives of many,” said Ms Brand.
"We look forward to welcoming the recipients to Canberra in January for the national Australian of the Year Awards.”

The four SA recipients will join those from the other states and territories for the national awards to be announced on 25 January 2022.