Honour roll

The Honour Roll recognises past State and
Territory and National Award recipients

Australian of the Year


2019 NSW Australian of the Year Nominee

Mr Mark Hughes

State: New South Wales

A retired Newcastle Knights NRL player, Mark Hughes was diagnosed with high-grade brain cancer in 2013. He founded the Mark Hughes Foundation in 2014, to raise awareness of the disease and help find a cure. The foundation has raised more than $10 million through the ‘Beanie for Brain Cancer’ campaign.

Mark Hughes was a successful rugby league player winning two grand finals with the Newcastle Knights in 1997 and 2001, also representing NSW in State of Origin.

In 2013, with a young family, Mark was diagnosed with high grade brain-cancer, aged just 36. While in hospital recovering from surgery, he promised his wife, Kirralee that he would make a difference with whatever time he had left.

In 2014, the Mark Hughes Foundation was formed to raise awareness and funds for research into this disease. In 4 years MHF has raised over $10 million through its 'Beanie for Brain Cancer' campaign, and increased awareness of a cancer that takes around 1,200 lives each year. The foundation has funded many research projects and the first Brain Cancer Care-Coordinator in the Hunter region.

Mark sold his business to focus his time on the foundation as a volunteer and continues his battle requiring scans every 4 months. In 2018, he was awarded the 2018 Newcastle Citizen of the Year.


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