Her advanced clinical training in Haematology included a PhD characterising the natural anticoagulants protein C and protein S and her post-doctoral studies were undertaken in the field of intracellular signalling in Prof Phil Majerus’ laboratory at Washington University Medical School, St Louis, USA.
In 1991 she returned to Australia and became an independent investigator at the Department of Medicine, Box Hill Hospital. Eight years later she was appointed Prof and Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University and in June 2006, she was appointed Head of School of Biomedical Sciences at Monash University.
Prof Mitchell’s work has focused on the molecular mechanisms of intracellular proteins that upregulate muscle hypertrophy and cell differentiation.
In 2007 Jamie began hosting the US television series The Victory Garden that runs on PBS. He also appears regularly on The Oprah Winfrey Show where he provides landscape and horticulture advice to Oprah’s millions of viewers around the world.
In his native Australia, Jamie has starred in such shows as The Outdoor Room, BackYard Blitz and Dancing with the Stars – winning many accolades for his work.
Passionate about the environment, Jamie was trained to be a Climate Change Ambassador by former US Vice President Al Gore.
Jamie is an ambassador for PLAN International, Children’s Cancer Institute, Planet Ark, National Tree Day – and now the FSHD Global Research Foundation.
His career started in Melbourne under Herman Schneider, of ‘Two Faces’ fame. After completing his training, Luke persuaded Michel Roux of the 3 Michelin starred ‘Waterside Inn’ in London to give him a chance. He believes that working under these great chefs in the early years were the two most important steps he took to learn his craft.
Luke currently owns and operates glass brasserie, Hilton Sydney; Salt grill, Hilton Surfers Paradise; Salt grill and Salt tapas & bar, Singapore; Salt and the adjoining World Wine Bar, Tokyo; and Salt grill on board three P&O cruise liners. He is also the consulting chef for Virgin Australia.
While Luke’s restaurants range from casual to fine dining establishments, they share the common thread of Luke’s cooking philosophy – which is to source the finest and freshest local and Australian ingredients and showcase them with a clean and contemporary twist. Luke is renowned for his unexpected creations, which highlight his French classical training and Asian influences, married with simple, fresh, clean flavours. Luke’s cooking aims to enhance and accentuate, rather than mask, the natural taste of the ingredients.
In addition to running eight busy restaurants, Luke has written four best-selling cookbooks and most recently, his autobiography ‘The Making of a Chef’. He has launched his own range of gourmet products and also makes regular appearances on number of TV shows, both in Australia and internationally.
Further testaments to Luke’s excellence are the requests he has received to cook for, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Richard Branson, Tom Cruise and at the wedding of Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary.
Luke regularly donates his culinary skills to both community and industry organisations to raise money for charity. He supports Camp Quality, Newman’s Own Foundation, Cure The Future and FSHD Global Research Foundation, amongst numerous others.
He is the co-founder of the Appetite for Excellence hospitality awards program which promotes the development of young chefs, waiters and restaurateurs in Australia.
Luke was recently presented with a ‘Friend of Australia’ award; the program which is run by Tourism Australia, is extended to a select few, whose outstanding achievements and contributions give them a voice on the world stage, assisting to promote Australia as a travel destination.
She lives independently despite having a severe form of FSHD that now requires her to spend her time lying on her stomach.
Before FSHD took its toll, Monica completed a visual arts degree at the University of Western Sydney. While studying stage design she also wrote a play. Her professors were so impressed that they encouraged her to apply to the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA).
Monica was accepted into NIDA which boasts such alumni as Mel Gibson, Cate Blanchett and Baz Luhrmann.
Monica’s work at NIDA received excellent critical reviews but “sadly” and Monica wouldn’t use that word, she developed pneumonia, spending the next four months in hospital. During that time she was told by physicians that the FSHD had progressed too far and that she would no longer be able to eat. This would mean sealing her throat and feeding her through a tube.
“Having a disability only throws a spotlight on other choices,” says Monica and so she turned to other things.
She could no longer paint on a large canvas or participate in theatre groups so instead she began creating small etchings, pen and ink drawings and cartoons.
Out of this process Silly was born, a wonderful character that sums up Monica’s indomitable spirit and sense of humour. Silly is a romantic character who attempts projects sometimes a little bit beyond her reach. Silly loves fashion, falls in love and has her heart broken – but always bounces back.