By Melissa Keogh
Accomplished craniofacial surgeon Professor David David AC has taken out the state’s top honour.
The medical veteran who founded the world-renowned Australian Craniofacial Unit based at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Women’s and Children’s Hospital was named the 2018 South Australian Australian of the Year at a ceremony at Adelaide Oval last night (October 30).
The 76-year-old has dedicated the past 45 years to working with patients with facial deformities and disfigurements.
Over time he has helped more than 17,000 people from all over Australia, South East Asia and beyond, with many of his patients first coming into his care within hours of being born.
Prof. David works alongside a team of top medical professionals – one of just two multidisciplinary craniofacial teams in the world.
He was awarded the honour alongside three other recipients of the esteemed SA Australian of the Year Awards.
The 2018 SA recipients will join 32 others from across the country at the national awards on January 25, 2018, in Canberra, where the four Australian of the Year awards will be announced.
2018 SA Senior Australian of the Year – Barbara Spriggs
Barbara lifted the lid on the abuse of residents at Adelaide’s Oakden Aged Care home and continues to be a passionate campaigner for treatment of aged care patients.
She blew the whistle on a story of systematic abuse and neglect after uncovering her own husband Bob’s experience at the facility.
Bob has since passed away, but Barbara’s push for justice has led to an Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry.
Her persistence at a time when she was experiencing personal grief honours her beloved husband with a legacy of better care and respect for seniors across Australia.
2018 SA Young Australian of the Year – Kyran Dixon
Kyran, 24, is a role model for Indigenous youth in his community.
The talented Australian Rules footballer stalled his sporting ambitions after being diagnosed with a bone tumour in his hip at the age of 11.
But he worked his way back, joining the Port Adelaide Football Club before illness struck again.
This time it was acute myeloid leukaemia in 2014, causing him to endure rounds of chemotherapy.
The proud member of the Kaurna and Narungga clans still maintained his university studies, graduating in 2016.
He now promotes cancer awareness and research and is a founding member of the Aboriginal Youth Cancer Advisory Group.
2018 SA Local Hero – Andrew ‘Cosi’ Costello
The much-loved face of TV show South Aussie With Cosi and I Choose SA ambassador is renowned for sharing wonderful places to visit across SA.
The radio host and media personality has hosted the Channel 9 show for the last seven years, in aim of expanding the state’s tourism industry and inspiring locals to appreciate what’s on their doorstep.
‘Cosi’ is also recognised as a community champion, through his willingness to help people who are doing it tough.