Doug Hilton crowned Melburnian of the Year


Australian biologist Professor Doug Hilton AO has been crowned Melburnian of the Year in the City of Melbourne’s 2020 Melbourne Awards.

Hosted by Melbourne’s newsreaders Peter Hitchener and Livinia Nixon, the awards celebrate the inspirational people who dedicate their lives to making the city a better place.

Instead of the usual glittering ceremony, the winners of the awards were announced at 2pm on Nine and 9Now today.

Professor Doug Hilton, Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. (Fairfax Media)

The theme for the 2020 awards was “COVID Heroes”, with six categories including: Digital Innovation Champion, Business Champion, Community Champion, Essential Services Champion, Arts and Culture Champion, and Youth Champion, as well as the coveted Melburnian of the Year.

“Every night on we share incredible stories of human compassion from across the globe. It is fantastic to be able to share the stories of Melburnians who have gone above and beyond during the COVID chaos,” Hitch said.

The goal of his research is to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of blood and immune disorders such as blood cancers, arthritis and asthma.

Prof. Hilton was recognised not only for his work on developing treatments for coronavirus and being on the cusp of a rapid COVID test but also for promoting diversity and women in science.

The Melbourne dad even set up a childcare facility at the institute to help mums balance family life and lab work.

“I think as a Melbourne boy – growing up in Melbourne, raising my kids in Melbourne – it’s just a fantastic honour,” Prof. Hilton said.

The other winners included:

Digital Innovation Champion

The Royal Melbourne Hospital – Dr Martin Dutch

Providoor – Shane Delia

Cory Memery (Public Housing Residents Network)

Essential Services Champion

Arts and Culture Champion

City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said she was thankful the awards were still held in 2020, despite being under different circumstances.