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AFL great Neale Daniher has been named as the 2019 Victorian of the Year in recognition of his advocacy to find a cure for motor neurone disease (MND), which he was diagnosed with six years ago. Daniher, 58, played more than 100 games for Essendon in the 1980s, before going on to coach Melbourne in the AFL. In 2013 he was diagnosed with MND, a fatal condition which gradually kills off the nerve cells which control movement, speech, breathing and swallowing. The average life expectancy after diagnosis with the disease is about two-and-a-half years "but Daniher has defied those odds and co-founded the FightMND charity group, which has raised millions of dollars to find a cure. In a statement, the Victoria Day Council recognised Daniher's dedication to raising awareness about the disease in the media "despite his physical and voice issues". Daniher has previously referred to MND as "the Beast", a term which he said helped him personalise his battle against the illness.
Victorian of the YearThe Victorian of the Year is an award given to the most outstanding Victorian in any given year. The Victorian of the year is awarded in Melbourne by the Victoria Day Council as part of Victoria Day celebrations on Victoria Day, 1 July annually. The Victorian of the Year should not be confused with the Victorian winner of the Australian of the Year, awarded in Canberra by the Australia Day Council as part of Australia Day celebrations on 26 January annually. Often the same people are winners of both awards. However, only the Victoria Day award is nominated and voted by Victorians. Other awards in the same series include the Young Victorian of the Year, Organisation of the Year, Good Corporate Citizen of the Year, The Arts Award and the Local Achiever.
Victoria Day AwardsThe Victoria Day Awards are made annually on 1 July, (Victoria Day). They are specifically to reward and encourage Victorians in the areas of community and public service. The awards can be made in the following categories: 1. The Victoria Day Award for Community and Public Service. 2. The Victoria Day Award for Community and Public Service by a young Victorian. 3. The Victoria Day Award for Community and Public Service by a Victorian Organisatin or Association. 4. The Victoria Day Award to a Good Corporate Citizen. 5. The Victoria Day Award for the Arts. 6. The Victoria Day Award for a Local Achiever. The Awards are made by public nomination and selected by the Awards Committee and ratified by the Trustees of the Victoria Day Council. The award consists of a Murray Red Gum map of Victoria on a bronze stand with the name of recipient engraved.
Victorian of the Year1995 Sang Nguyen 1996 Michael Quinn 1997 Hugh Wirth AM 1998 Andrew Kay 1999 Sue Natrass 2000 Susan Barton AM 2001 Neil Comrie AM, APM 2002 Bruce Ruxton AM, OBE 2003 Jim Stynes OAM 2004 Tim Costello AO 2005 Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC, DBE 2006 Les Twentyman AO 2007 Carrillo Gantner AO 2008 Bert Newton AM, MBE 2009 Ron Barassi AM 2010 Stephanie Alexander AO 2011 Father Bob Maguire AM, RFD 2012 Moira Kelly AO 2013 Jeanne Pratt AC 2014 David Penington AC 2015 Judith Durham AO 2016 Dr Alan Finkel AO 2017 Mike Brady AM 2018 Susan Alberti 2019 Neale Daniher
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