Monday, 21 November 2011
Professor Donna Cross has been named the WA Australian of the Year 2012, in recognition of her work to improve the health and wellbeing of young people.
She received the award from WA Governor Malcolm McCusker and Premier Colin Barnett at a ceremony at Government House Ballroom.
Professor Cross is the Foundation Professor at ECU’s Child Health Promotion Research Centre (CHPRC). Her research focus includes bullying (including cyber-bullying), smoking cessation, nutrition and mental health.
ECU Vice-Chancellor Professor Kerry Cox congratulated Professor Cross on the award.
“On behalf of the ECU community, I’m delighted to congratulate Professor Donna Cross on being named WA Australian of the Year for 2012,” Professor Cox said.
“This award recognises Professor Cross’s tireless work to improve the health of our young people through research and community programs to address issues including bullying, drug use, road safety and obesity.
“Her work, and the work of the Child Health Promotion Research Centre, is yet another fine example of how ECU successfully engages with the communities it was established to serve.”
In accepting the award, Professor Cross acknowledged the support of her colleagues.
“I am so fortunate to work with outstanding colleagues, I believe you are only as good as the people you spend time with and I am privileged to work with champions of child health in the Child Health Promotion Centre. I have also been so fortunate to have a very supportive family who have always encouraged and supported me to never give up,” Professor Cross said.
“There is still much work to be done to promote and protect the health of children, and particularly to help families and schools to ensure all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
“I hope we can continue to draw the community’s attention to the importance of investing in actions to strengthen the health and resilience of children so they can respond positively and effectively to any situation that may arise.”
Professor Cross is the second ECU researcher to win the award. ECU’s Foundation Chair of Ageing and Alzheimer’s Disease Professor Ralph Martins was named the WA Australian of the Year for 2010.
Professor Cross was previously a finalist in the 2011 WA Citizen of the Year Awards.
In 2010 she received the Mental Health Good Outcomes Award from the Mental Health Commission of WA.
In 2007 she was named as Bulletin Magazine’s Smart 100 Education category. She also received the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research Supervision that year.