Changing the world through science

Changing the world through science

Welcome Professor Georgina Long AO, 2024 Co-Australian of the Year and proud Pymble parent

We were delighted to welcome to our International Women’s Day Assembly one of our Pymble parents, who is also the 2024 Co-Australian of the Year. Professor Georgina Long AO is just as proud of her title of ‘Mum’ as she is of her recent award and her professional titles, Co-Medical Director of the Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA), and Chair of Melanoma Medical Oncology and Translational Research at MIA and Royal North Shore Hospital, The University of Sydney. She spoke to students about the important lessons she learned as a child – those ‘aha’ moments when she realised she could do anything if she applied herself and was prepared to try and fail – and how they led to her pioneering work in melanoma treatment that is saving lives around the world today.

I realised that the extraordinary is only achieved when we think big. We’ve got to think outside the box, we’ve got to take big risks

Professor Long offered two ideas for our girls who wish to make the world a better place:

1.  Reconsider tanning and use your influence to reverse what her colleagues in melanoma research have dubbed ‘the Kardashian Effect’, where tanning is seen as a sign of beauty, health and success.

2. Consider Science as a career.

Professor Long and her co-Australian of the Year, Professor Richard Scolyer AO, who have worked in partnership for many years to make melanoma a curable disease. When Professor Scolyer was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer last year, the duo put their heads together to develop a series of world-first treatments for Professor Scolyer, who became Patient Zero. The ground-breaking treatment has already prolonged Professor Scolyer’s life and has enormous implications for brain cancer patients in the future.

“I’m incredibly grateful that Richard is still here with me so that we are still changing the world together,” Professor Long told our girls.

Besides tanning, I want to leave you with something else to think about today.

“I hope that my story has justified why you should consider science as a career. Not only do we need more smart women doing more smart things to make the nation a better place, but when faced with a life-defining moment, and you will, Science will give you the courage to change the world.”

Thank you to Professor Long for taking the time to share your inspirational story and for being a wonderful role model for all our girls.