Professor Georgina Long AO and Professor Richard Scolyer AO

Melanoma treatment pioneers

2024 Australian of the Year

Professor Georgina Long AO and Professor Richard Scolyer AO’s enduring partnership has saved thousands of lives from melanoma, known as Australia's national cancer. 

Less than a decade ago, advanced melanoma was fatal – but thanks to Georgina and Richard’s immunotherapy approach, which activates a patient’s own immune system, it has become a curable disease.  

The co-medical directors of Melanoma Institute Australia are sought-after media commentators and advocates for sun-safe behaviour and melanoma prevention. 

In June 2023, when Richard was diagnosed with incurable grade 4 brain cancer, he and Georgina developed a series of world-first treatments based on their melanoma breakthroughs.  

Richard became the world’s first brain cancer patient to have pre-surgery combination immunotherapy. By undertaking an experimental treatment with risk of shortening his life, he has advanced the understanding of brain cancer and is benefiting future patients. 

Richard has generated widespread public interest by publicly documenting his own cancer treatment and progress.