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Victorian Australian of the Year Recipients Announced

Neurologist Professor Sam Berkovic AC has been awarded 2015 Victorian Senior Australian of the Year.

One of the world’s most respected neurologists, Professor Sam Berkovic’s seminal research has revolutionised understanding and approaches to human epilepsy.  Sam’s original and meticulous research over 25 years has transformed diagnosis, enabled accurate genetic counselling and significantly improved treatment for patients.

Sam’s work established the connection between genetics and epilepsy, with major global efforts now focused on gene discovery and understanding how genetic abnormalities cause seizures.  Recognised at the highest international level, Sam has published more than 400 peer-reviewed articles relating to epilepsy and genetics; these have been cited in scientific publications more than 25,000 times.

He is admired for his careful mentorship of young specialists, his leadership in building the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Austin Health, his work chairing international committees and his skill as a teacher and communicator.  Now 61, Sam leads his field with wisdom, intellect and skill and his research has put Australia at the forefront of global research into epilepsy while improving the lives of people around the globe.

Also announced as recipients of the Victorian Australian of the Year Award were  2015 Victorian Australian of the Year – Rosie Batty (Tyabb); 2015 Victorian Young Australian of the Year – Thomas King (Kalorama); and 2015 Victorian Local Hero- Louise Davidson (Balwyn)

The Honourable Chief Justice Marilyn Warren, AC, Lieutenant Governor of Victoria, said she was delighted to announce the Award winners.

“Each of the Victorian recipients have not only demonstrated excellence in their field but have significantly contributed to the benefit of our vibrant and dynamic community,” said Chief Justice Marilyn Warren.

“On behalf of all Victorians I congratulate the recipients on their achievements and thank them for their continued dedication to the betterment of our society.”

The Victorian Award recipients will join recipients from the other States and Territories as finalists for the national Awards to be announced on 25 January 2015 in Canberra.

National Australia Day Council CEO, Jeremy Lasek, said the Victorian Award recipients are four remarkable Australians.

“The Victorian Award recipients are selfless Australians using their own challenges, talents and passions to make Australia a better place for everyone,” said Mr Lasek.

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