Professor Ian Frazer - a National Treasure

5 Mar 2012

Professor Ian Frazer has been named as one of seven of Australia's new National Living Treasures in Sydney yesterday.  

Professor Frazer was awarded the accolade alongside other winners such as singer Olivia Newton-John and pop princess Kylie Minogue, as were conservationist Harry Butler and mining magnate Clive Palmer.

Science guru Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and world champion Formula One driver Sir Jack Brabham, were also given the title, totalling the seven new National Living Treasures for 2012.

Accepting the title at an event in Sydney on Sunday, Professor Frazer said of the award, "I think one of the reasons I'm delighted, is because it speaks for the importance of science in Australian society.”

"We live for the present and the media is all about the present, but we also have to plan for the future. And that's what science is all about."

Professor Frazer was nominated for his invention of the cervical cancer vaccine, and for fulfilling the National Trust’s criteria of having achieved substantial accomplishments, and for contributing constructively to a unified Australian identity.

The seven new additions join the list of 100 Australians who have been chosen as National living treasures since 1997.

Voted by more than 10,000 people nationwide, the new titles were prompted by the recent death of the national living treasurer artist Margaret Olley.

The award, which is run by National Trust of Australia (NSW) and Woman's Day magazine, invited readers to cast their vote for "exceptional Australians'.

The National Trust’s president Ian Carroll said the titles recognised that the country's culture was more than just our buildings and natural heritage.

"Today we recognise seven individuals who have chosen to share the rich treasures of their souls for the benefit of their fellow Australians," he said.