Melburnian of the Year | Dr Bronwyn King AO
2019 Melburnian of the Year
Dr Bronwyn King AO
Bronwyn King is a radiation oncologist, tobacco free lobbyist and an acknowledged world leader in the fight against big tobacco investment.
Melburnian of the Year
Dr Bronwyn King AO
Bronwyn started her medical career working on the lung cancer unit at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne and the devastating impact of tobacco on her patients left a deep impression.
In 2010 after discovering that her superannuation fund portfolio included investments in the tobacco industry, a discovery that hit her and her colleagues hard, Bronwyn began discussing tobacco-free investment with the finance industry. While continuing to practise as a radiation oncologist, she then founded Tobacco Free Portfolios, which has contributed to over 30 Australian Superannuation Funds divesting tobacco stocks. The initiative now has global reach with Tobacco Free Portfolios working with 100+ pension funds, Sovereign Wealth funds, banks, insurers and fund managers.
As CEO of Tobacco Free Portfolios, a not-for-profit organisation, she collaborates with the world's largest financial organisations to drive global change towards tobacco-free finance. Tobacco-free finance policies have since been implemented by more than 40 Australian superannuation funds as well as Sovereign Wealth funds, banks, insurers and fund managers in ten countries, including BNP Paribas, AXA and Australian Super. She has made a global impact in this space, with more than AU$12 billion diverted away from investment in tobacco and as such is arguably responsible for the saving of countless lives around the world.
In March 2015, at her urging, the Union for International Cancer Control launched the Global Task Force for Tobacco Free Portfolios to expand this initiative to a global platform. In 2016, Tobacco Free Portfolios was delighted to see tobacco-free investment policies implemented by AXA (1.8B Euro divested), AP4 - one of Sweden's largest pension funds, Fonds de Reserve pour Les Retraites - France's largest pension fund, the Irish Sovereign Wealth Fund and CalPERS, the largest pension fund in the USA.
In August 2018 La Trobe University was a founding signatory and the first university to sign up to the world's first Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge. The Pledge's aim is to ‘de-normalise' tobacco by ending all business and financial ties with the industry, and reduce the annual death toll of 7 million who die from preventable, tobacco-related illnesses. Launched on 26 September at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, finance leaders joined with world leaders from government and health to launch The Pledge, with over 120 Founding Signatories and supporters.
Bronwyn is married to another radiation oncologist, Dr Mark Shaw, and together they have two young boys. By her own admission, she is not the poster woman for work life balance but credits the support from her husband, parents and nanny in helping her keep up with an extraordinary number of professional commitments and her role as a mum to two young sons. Her boys, she hopes, will come to understand the dedication and sacrifice it takes to become a passionate agent of change.
She sums it up in one of her favourite quotes:
‘There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.' - Alain de Botton
Melburnian of the Year
A Melbourne Award is our city's highest accolade. The award provides the City of Melbourne with a platform to celebrate the inspirational achievements of people and organisations whose passion and commitment have helped make Melbourne one of the most liveable cities in the world.
The awards celebrate significant contributions in the areas of environmental sustainability, community, multiculturalism and strengthening Melbourne's profile.
All winners will be announced at a gala ceremony at Melbourne Town Hall on Saturday 17 November 2018.
Previous Melburnian of The Year
2018: SecondBite | Ian Carson AM and Simone Carson AM
Simone and Ian established SecondBite after watching too much good food go to waste while too many people went hungry.
2017: Susan Alberti AC
The inspirational businesswoman, fundraiser, philanthropist and footy fanatic was honoured for her lifelong work to help find a cure for diabetes.
2016: Neale Daniher AM
Neale Daniher AM is the Patron and Vice President for the Cure for MND Foundation.
2015: Bryan Lipmann AM
Chief Executive Officer and founder of Wintringham Specialist Aged Care.
2014: Professor Sharon Lewin
Professor Lewin is an internationally renowned researcher in HIV cure and the inaugural Director of the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.
2013: Major Brendan Nottle
He has become the face of our beloved Salvos, given them a higher profile and selflessly committed his life to help the downtrodden, especially Melbourne's homeless people.
2012: Michael Gudinski
Born and raised in Melbourne, Michael Gudinski built his empire, including the Mushroom Group and Frontier Touring Company, in his hometown.
2011: Harold Mitchell
Prominent businessman and media buyer, for his contribution to Melbourne's arts, health and education sectors.
2010: Jim Stynes
Melbourne Football Club president, for his tireless dedication to the welfare of Victoria's youth through his work with the Reach Foundation.
2009: Susan Barton
A founder of the Lighthouse Foundation, for supporting the youth of Melbourne.
2008: John Bertrand
A former America's Cup winning skipper, for his charity work.
2007: Lyn Swinburne
Breast cancer crusader and creator of the pink field of women events.
2006: Ron Barassi
AFL great, for inspiring others and his overall contribution to Melbourne.
2005: Andrew Gaze
A champion basketballer, inaugural Melburnian of the Year for his "outstanding contribution"and for "tirelessly giving back to both his sport and the wider community".
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