FightMND advocate Neale Daniher has been awarded Victorian of the Year for his campaign to find a cure for motor neurone disease.
The former Essendon player and Melbourne coach is the public face of the deadly condition, co-founding the FightMND charity after revealing his diagnosis in 2014.
MND attacks nerves controlling movement, breathing and speech but the 68-year-old is determined to be a voice for other sufferers.
July 1 is Victoria Day, marks the 168th anniversary of the official separation of Victoria from New South Wales and the formal proclamation as an independent State by Governor La Trobe.
This day celebrates not only its separate geographic boundaries, but also Responsible Government with the formation of the Victorian Parliament. Other Victorian institutions including the Supreme Court and the Public Service also commenced on this significant day.
Daniher is being honoured on Monday alongside Young Victorian of the Year, Skye Kinder.
The junior doctor is a fierce advocate for better rural health policy and was earlier named Victoria’s Young Australian of the Year for 2019. The 28-year-old is training to be a psychiatrist while also studying medical law and running health advocacy workshops for other doctors.
Other recipients honoured by the Victoria Day Council include not-for-profit community TV station Channel 31.
It has been handed the Victoria Day Award for the Arts, while refugee and asylum seeker charity Water Well Project is the Community Organisation for 2019.
Victoria Day Council chair Tony Cree said the four winners had gone above and beyond for their communities, and he was thrilled to see them recognised.