Australia has a talented diaspora of one million Australians overseas. A country of 24 million cannot afford to lose touch with its citizens thriving in the talent hotspots of the world. They might live overseas, but they are still part of the national conversation and economy – they are a network and an ambassadorial corps for Australia, its knowledge economy and research capacity. They are a soft-power asset. They might be out of sight, but they should not be out of mind.

Dr Richard Pestell, Director, Sidney Kimmel, Cancer Center, Thomas, Jefferson University: Dr Richard Pestell unites academic excellence and scientific discovery. His work has galvanised international teams to fight cancer with his cancer-diagnosis and treatment innovations. Pestell founded prostate cancer diagnostic and therapeutic company ProstaGene and light-activated gene therapy company AAAPhoenix. ProstaGene is currently testing a new treatment for metastatic prostate cancer that has proved effective blocking bone, brain and lung metastasis in preclinical testing. He has led cancer not–for-profits and directed two US cancer centres.

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