2024 Australian of the Year Luncheon

June 21, 2024

Published: March 21, 2024

Be inspired by the changemakers in our community.

Welcome to the Australian of the Year Luncheon annual event brought to you by the Australia Day Council of South Australia. This event is an opportunity for professionals, students, researchers, and experts interested in learning about the groundbreaking health, environmental and social change initiatives from this year’s National and State Australian of the Year Award recipients.

Keynote speakers, panel discussions and building connections. 

The 2024 Australian of the Year Luncheon showcases eminent Australians who challenge us to make our own contribution to creating a better country for us all. Featuring groundbreaking melanoma researchers Professor Georgina Long AO and Professor Richard Scolyer AO, Australian of the Year 2024. Followed by panel discussions with environmental scientist and filmmaker Tim Jarvis AM, SA Australian of the Year, Sister of Mercy and social justice advocate Sister Meredith Evans, SA Senior Australian of the Year, climate change and sustainability expert Tiahni Adamson, SA Young Australian of the Year and the founder of Backpacks 4 SA Kids Rachael Zaltron OAM, SA Local Hero.

Speakers will share their stories, helping you to understand how to ignite discussion and change on issues of national importance. You will also network with like-minded individuals at this lunch time professional development session.

Professors Georgina Long and Richard Scolyer’s immunotherapy approach has turned advanced melanoma from a fatal disease into a curable one. They are the co-medical directors of Melanoma Institute Australia and advocate for melanoma prevention. Richard’s incurable grade 4 brain cancer diagnosis led to the development of world-first treatments based on their melanoma breakthroughs. He became the world’s first brain cancer patient to have pre-surgery combination immunotherapy.

Tim Jarvis AM is an environmental scientist, author, filmmaker, and philanthropist. He works on practical solutions to climate change and biodiversity loss. In South Australia, he leads the Forktree Project to restore farmland and prevent rare native plants from going extinct. He holds leadership roles at Fauna & Flora WWF-Australia, Koala Life, and the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife.

Meredith Evans, a Sister of Mercy, provides compassionate care to refugees, young people, and women facing homelessness or violence. She founded Young Mercy Links in South Australia and advocates for social justice. Meredith was crucial in reviving important movements like Justice for Refugees SA and the Young Christian Workers Movement. She also co-founded a support group for refugees in Adelaide and supports the Jesuit Refugee Service in Cambodia.

Tiahni Adamson is an Aboriginal woman passionate about sustainability. She leads community engagement at CH4Global, integrating Indigenous knowledge into climate change solutions. Tiahni has worked with CSIRO and trained under Al Gore as a Climate Reality Leader. She’s a national leader at Seed, a youth climate justice group, and contributes to the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Tiahni is one of Science and Technology Australia’s Superstars of STEM and a 2023 InDaily South Australian 40 Under 40 honoree.

Rachael Zaltron OAM founded Backpacks 4 SA Kids in 2013. Today, the organisation provides emergency kits, clothing, and essentials to children aged 0-16 facing crises like family violence or homelessness. They also support families restarting after domestic violence and aid young people aged 12-25 experiencing homelessness. Over 86,000 South Australian children have been assisted since 2012.


Ticket price:
  • $175 per person + booking fee
  • ADCSA Individual Members: $125 + booking fee.

Sponsors and Corporate Members will be provided booking promotion codes to redeem tickets.

Strategic and Supporting Partners

We acknowledge the invaluable support from our funding partners the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council and support from the Government of South Australia and supporting partners SAHMRI, Cancer Council SA, St. Peter’s College, Maras Group, Alliance College, InDaily, Adelaide PHN, Adelaide Cemeteries, Pernod Ricard Winemakers, Haigh’s Chocolates and Kytons Bakery.