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Advance Awards : Celebrating the winners of 2020


WATCH > The Advance Awards 2020 Celebration
READ > The Advance Awards 2020 Program


A NASA research scientist and a cutting-edge technologist whose work ranges from creative design to self-driving cars have been awarded joint honours as the 2020 Advance Global Australians. 

Advance is the organisation that identifies and recognises the achievements of members of Australia’s global diaspora will celebrate global Australians Dr Abigail Allwood and Tim Kentley Klay at the 2020 Advance Awards on Thursday, 15 October. These awards recognise the outstanding achievements of Australians living and working around the world and this is the first time the prestigious top gong, has been bestowed upon more than one person. 

Dr Allwood is a world-leading field geologist, astrobiologist and research scientist with NASA’s prestigious Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She has been recognised worldwide for her cutting-edge research of space exploration and is the Principal Investigator leading the team developing the Planetary Instrument for X-Ray Lithochemistry (PIXL), which will examine rock chemistry as part of the Mars 2020 Rover expedition. PIXL is considered one of the most advanced instruments NASA has flown to the surface of another planet and is the first instrument to have AI.

Not only is she the first Australian, but also the first woman scientific lead on a Mars mission.

Yasmin Allen, Chair at Advance said: “Dr Abigail Allwood is a name every child in Australia should know. A true hero in her field of space technology and the first woman and Australian, to be invited on a Mars mission.”

Dr Allwood’s early work gained notability for finding evidence of life in 3.45 billion year old stromatolites in the Pilbara formation in Australia, which was featured on the cover of the journal Nature. Named as one of Australia’s Brightest Minds by Cosmos Magazine in 2006, she holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Geoscience (QUT) and a PhD (Macquarie).

Tim Kentley Klay is a creative and technical entrepreneur whose companies XYZ Studios and Crayon work globally in the creative arts. In 2014, Kentley Klay founded autonomous mobility company Zoox which he led for the next four years, helping the company to a $3.2 billion valuation. Kentley Klay also sat on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation, and was invited to testify to the Senate Commerce Committee on autonomous mobility policy.

“Tim Kentley Klay embodies that rare and wonderful mix of commercial and creative nous that stretches possibilities,” says Allen. “He has demonstrated what it takes to create and commercialise ideas, scale and shape new companies and markets, including his latest venture HYPR.”

Yasmin Allen says, “We can all feel very proud that Australia produces many exceptional leaders and trailblazers who are making a significant impact around the world. It’s critical that our expatriate community remains strongly connected to Australia while they live and work overseas. We want to recognise and support their contribution. The Advance Awards shine a spotlight on these high achievers and provide a wonderful opportunity to share their important work with all Australians.”

We had over 295 nominations to consider in selecting the 37 finalists and 13 winners to find the Advance Global Australians 2020,” said Allen. 

“Sharing the stories of our global Australians at the cutting edge of their chosen field, gives us all hope. It reminds us that Australians can and will continue to lead, with the determination and imagination needed to solve problems and create inspiring new opportunities.

“Our winners remind us that the global market is 7 billion people strong. They show us that the million Australians in our diaspora, including the 300,000 who have returned to Australia this year, act as an important bridge to global capital, customers and expertise. Together, we can unlock opportunities for the benefit of all Australians.” 


INTRODUCING THE WINNERS OF THE ADVANCE AWARDS 2020

Christopher Doyle is the Advance Arts Award Winner for 2020  

The Advance Award for the Arts recognises Global Australians who are using their creative skills (across art and design, architecture, fashion, film, literature, music, and other performing arts) in innovative ways, such as working across creative mediums or introducing creative concepts into new markets. The Award is presented by Robi Stanton, Vice President, International Television Distribution at Warner Bros. for Australia & New Zealand. Meet the finalists Garry McQuinn, Dr Christian Thompson AO, Christopher Doyle and former winners of this Award.


Tim Kentley Klay is the Advance Commercial Creatives Award Winner for 2020

The Advance Award for Commercial Creatives recognises Global Australians who shape the delivery of creative endeavours (art and design, architecture, fashion, film, literature, music, and other performing arts) with a focus on sustainable commercial outcomes, and in so doing, extend the audience reach and push the frontiers of innovation. The Award is presented by Carol Schwartz AO, Board Member, Reserve Bank of Australia. Meet the finalists Jess Conoplia, Charles Caldas, Tim Kentley Klay and former winners of this Award.


Olivia Humphrey is the Advance Education Award Winner for 2020 

The Advance Award for Education recognises Global Australians who have established new and innovative academic products, or approached learning disciplines with a fresh perspective, driving a positive impact for education and lifelong learning. The Award is presented by Melanie Brock, Founder Nichigo Network and Advance Ambassador in Japan. Meet the finalists Olivia Humphrey, Professor Justin Wolfers, Professor Karen Thorpe and former winners of this Award.


Jennifer Nason is the Advance Financial Services Award Winner for 2020 is 

The Advance Award for Financial Services recognises Global Australians making a difference and looking at new ways to tackle issues and/or make an impact through their work in financial services. The Award is presented by Senator the Hon. Jane Hume, she has been Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology in the Morrison Government. Meet the finalists Jennifer Nason, Paul Chapman, Shuyin Tang and former winners of this Award.


Professor Jill Banfield is the Advance Life Sciences Award Winner for 2020 is 

The Advance Award for Life Sciences recognises those Global Australians who are trailblazers dedicated to improving health and wellbeing outcomes and our understanding of living organisms. The Award is presented by Professor Karen Day AM, Professor of Population Biology and Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor at the University of Melbourne Meet the finalists Professor Jill Banfield, Professor David Hunter, Dr Sandro Demaio, Professor John McHutchison AO and former winners of this Award.


Nicholas Wyman is the Advance Social Impact Award Winner for 2020 

The Advance Award for Social Impact recognises Global Australians working in the profit, non-profit or public sector whose sustained actions to improve society are making a positive impact on the lives of others. The Award is presented by Deanne Stewart, the Chief Executive Officer at Aware Super. Meet the finalists Sophie Blackall, Samah Hadid, Andrew Hudson, Nicholas Wyman and former winners of this Award.


Dr Bart Kolodziejczyk is the Advance Sustainability Award Winner for 2020 

The Advance Award for Sustainability recognises Global Australians who have created, innovated, designed or delivered sustainable processes or programs that not only make a positive contribution to local and global communities, but help improve the future of our planet. The Award is presented by Professor Gregory McRae, Bayer Professor of Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Meet the finalists Professor Jenni Evans, Caroline Angoorly, Dr Bart Kolodziejczyk and former winners of this Award.


Dr Abigail Allwood is the Advance Technology & Science Award Winner for 2020 

The Advance Award for Technology & Science recognises Global Australians who harness their research expertise and experience to drive innovation, solve problems, and create new markets that propel the frontiers of science. The Award is presented by Robyn Denholm, an experienced Executive & Board Member of Tesla. Meet the finalists Dr Abigail Allwood, Professor Bryan Gaensler, Professor Daryl Williams, Dr David Pender and former winners of this Award.


WINNERS OF THE PINNACLE AWARDS

Premesh Chandran is the Advance Alumni Award Winner for 2020 

The Advance Award for Alumni recognises graduates of Australian universities who are neither resident in Australia, nor Australian citizens and have leveraged their Australian education to achieve success and impact in their chosen field. The Award is presented by Zoe Daniel, a communications specialist, journalist, speaker and author. Meet the finalists Premesh Chandran, Nukila Evanty, Dr Vandana Joshi and former winners of this Award.


Dr Rossa Chiu is the Advance Asia Impact Award Winner for 2020 

One of Advance’s Pinnacle Awards, the Asia Impact Award recognises a Global Australian who is making an outstanding contribution in the world’s most populous region. The Award is presented by Doug Ferguson. Doug is the NSW Chairman of KPMG and the Partner in Charge, Asia and International Markets. He is also on the board at Advance. Meet the finalists Thomas Ko, Cat Thao Nguyen, Dr Rossa Chiu and former winners of this Award.


Dr Susan Graham is the Advance Emerging Leader Award Winner for 2020 

The Advance Award for Emerging Leaders recognises Global Australians who represent the next generation of Australian innovators, thought leaders, creators and collaborators – the people who have the talent and the tenacity to showcase Australian ingenuity to the world. The Award is presented by Peter Verwer AO, is the Australian Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Global Business and Talent Attraction. Meet the finalists Yong in Cho, Dr Susan Graham, Dr Samuel Wills and Dr Pichamon Yeophantong.


Dr John McHutchison AO is the Advance Global Impact Award Winner for 2020 

One of Advance’s Pinnacle Awards, the Global Impact Award recognises those outstanding Global Australians who are pioneers in their field, whose sustained commitment enables them to deliver exceptional outcomes that have true global impact. The Award is presented by Mike Cannon-Brookes Jnr, the Co-founder/Co-CEO of Atlassian.


Sophie Blackall is the Advance Australia Global Icon Award Winner for 2020 

One of Advance’s Pinnacle Awards, the Australian Icon Award recognises outstanding Global Australians with immense talent who represent Australia on the world stage to diverse audiences. The Award is presented by Ita Buttrose, an Australian journalist, businesswoman, television personality, author and the new chair of the ABC.


Dr Abigail Allwood is the Advance Global Australia Award Winner for 2020 

The Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP presented the 2020 Advance Global Australian Award Winner – who is the overall winner of the Advance Awards 2020.


Tim Kentley Klay is the Advance Global Australia Award Winner for 2020 

The Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP presented the 2020 Advance Global Australian Award Winner – who is the overall winner of the Advance Awards 2020.


Resources

Watch the Advance Awards 2020 > More
Read the Program for the Advance Awards 2020 > More
Read the letter from the Prime Minister > More
Read the letter from the Chairman > More

Finalists for the Advance Awards 2020 > More
About the Advance Awards > More
Media release – 16 October 2020 > More


Media coverage

The Australian Financial Review (online): NASA scientist and driverless car pioneer crowned top Aussie expats  
SBS: Why Premesh Chandran braves court fights and death threats to protect press freedom in Malaysia


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