A Curtin MBA student has been named WA Young Australian of the Year for 2011 after founding MelanomaWA to support people who live with skin cancer.
Five years ago, Graduate School of Business student Clinton Heal, 27, was himself diagnosed with Melanoma.
Over the past four years he has had more than 24 secondary tumours removed from his body.
When Mr Heal was initially diagnosed he learned there was nowhere to go for help, support or information in WA.
It took him more than two years to research the information he needed to take effective control of his life with cancer.
He particularly noticed the lack of information available about alternative and natural cancer therapies.
So in 2008, the Subiaco resident founded MelanomaWA to help others access information and support during the early stages of cancer to improve their prognosis.
Due to the lack of support groups that help people live well with cancer, Mr Heal also established a group that brings in guest experts from a range of areas.
Mr Heal also organised Perth’s March for Melanoma.
He is also a volunteer speaker to school students and mine site workers about safety in the sun.
This year Mr Heal was appointed CEO of the Melanoma Cancer Support Association WA.
His WA award qualifies him as a finalist in the Young Australian of the Year Awards to be announced in Canberra on January 25 2011.