Associate Professor Matt Dun named Lake Mac Ambassador for 2023

Sunday, 12 March 2023

University of Newcastle cancer researcher, Associate Professor Matt Dun, has been selected as Lake Macquarie’s Ambassador of the Year for 2023.

Associate Professor Matt Dun 2023 Lake Mac AmbassadorAssociate Professor Dun took out the city’s top annual honour at Saturday night’s Lake Mac Awards ceremony at Belmont 16s, with NRLW Premiership-winning Knights star Jesse Southwell named Lake Mac Sports Star and Camp Quality stalwart Ali Kimmorley Volunteer of the Year.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said Associate Professor Dun was not only a world leader in childhood brain cancer research – he also spearheaded efforts to raise millions of dollars through his RUN DIPG charity after the tragic loss of his own daughter, Josie, to the disease.

“There could be no better representative of our city than someone like Matt, who has given so selflessly to others,” Cr Fraser said.

“He is a researcher, a fundraiser, an amazing dad, a proud Lake Mac resident and now our city’s Ambassador. We are all humbled by his work, and the way he has dealt with tremendous personal loss to provide hope for others.”

While Associate Professor Dun could not attend Saturday’s awards, he recorded a video thanking other finalists and the Lake Macquarie community.

“I’m most proud that we’ve worked tirelessly to identify new drugs and treatment strategies, and to have started international clinical trials,” he said.

“I’m also extremely proud of the critical role that RUN DIPG and our Lake Macquarie community has played in support of our vision.

“If Josie were here with us today, she would want nothing more than a future where children diagnosed with cancer are given every chance to live a long, happy and healthy life.”

DIPG research at the University of Newcastle is funded by a village of individuals and organisations whose generous donations (more than $2.3 million), enable Associate Professor Dun and his team to advance how we understand and treat this currently incurable disease.

Find out more about Associate Professor Dun’s research.

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.