Journalist and ovarian cancer research advocate Jill Emberson will be named Newcastle's Citizen of the Year for 2019 at tomorrow’s Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony.
The Newcastle media personality, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2016, was recognised for her contribution to journalism and advocacy in the fight against the disease.
Ovarian cancer research advocate Jill Emberson is Newcastle's Citizen of the Year for 2019
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes commended Emberson's energy, courage and passion in advocating for more research funding, in the face of great personal adversity.
"Jill has been an outstanding advocate in the fight against ovarian cancer," Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
"Her career in journalism has given her a platform to document the sometimes lonely battle faced by women with this disease, and we as a community are thankful to her for doing so.
"She's shown great courage and resolve to remain so focused and determined to deliver better outcomes for others, despite her own diagnosis and subsequent relapse which made her cancer terminal.
"It gives me great pleasure to announce her as this year's Citizen of the Year."
Having worked in various public and private media roles both in Australia and overseas, Emberson relocated to Newcastle in 2009 to host the Mornings program on ABC Radio.
While there she built a strong audience with popular segments like Meet the Mob, interviewing 100 members of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
Her disease abruptly forced her off air in early 2016.
In 2018 Jill returned to work to create the popular podcast Still Jill
While undergoing treatment, Emberson began to advocate for more funding and research into ovarian cancer, and in June last year gained the attention of the nation at the National Press Club with the address ‘The Cancer Down Under Killing Too Many Women'.
In 2018 Emberson formally returned to work to create the popular podcast Still Jill - in which she intimately documents her journey living with ovarian cancer.
“I am humbled and honoured to be named citizen of the year in Newcastle and will use this precious opportunity to raise more awareness about ovarian cancer,” Emberson said.
“About 1500 Australian women are diagnosed with Ovarian cancer each year but our survival rate has stuck at 45 per cent for decades.
“Research is the only solution to bring our survival into line with other more common cancers"
“Research is the only solution to bring our survival into line with other more common cancers and for that we need awareness and funding.”
Rare cancers like ovarian account for about 30 per cent of all cancers and about 50 per cent of fatalities but receive less than 20 per cent of research funding.
The official colour of Ovarian Cancer Australia – teal – will shine from the face of the City Hall clock Saturday night in a public display of support for Emberson and Ovarian cancer awareness.
Also, at Saturday’s Australia Day ceremony, Newcastle’s Young Citizen of the Year and Community Group of the Year will be announced after the City welcomes around 190 new Australians.
Saturday also marks 70 years since the Australian Government first introduced citizenship into Commonwealth law.
Just seven men were sworn in as new legal citizens at a ceremony held in Canberra in 1949, swearing their allegiance to Australia from Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Greece, Norway, Spain and Yugoslavia.
Today, Australia is one of the most successful multicultural nations in the world, having welcomed more than five million new Australian citizens to our shores during the past seventy years.