Our celebrity ambassadors are an important part of the MIA family. They generously take time out of their demanding schedules to help us with our events and the promotion of melanoma awareness. Our ambassadors are as committed to our fight against melanoma as we are, and we are so grateful for everything they do for us!
With over 20 years experience in the health and fitness industry, Shannan Ponton has acquired extensive experience and knowledge in the areas of exercise, fitness, nutrition, health, people management and the media. Shannan is a well respected and in demand health and fitness expert having developed and delivered innovative personal training, fitness, motivational and general life solutions to many participants.
Shannan has travelled the country relentlessly, speaking to a variety of audiences including high profile corporate businesses and franchises to elite athletes and sporting groups. His passion for life, no-nonsense attitude and experiences makes him a highly demanded public speaker.
In 2015 Shannan returned to Series 10 of The Biggest Loser as fitness trainer and mentor. The Biggest Loser continues to be amongst one of the highest rating shows on the Ten Network, with Shannan the most successful Biggest Loser trainer, having trained five of the Series’ winners.... so far.
"There is a reason why this happened and I need to do whatever I can to spread the message.”
Beginning her 30 year career in journalism as Dolly’s youngest editor, Lisa Wilkinson’s career to date has been nothing short of inspiring. Her editorial debut caught the attention of media tycoon Kerry Packer, who then offered her the position as editor for the acclaimed magazine ‘Cleo’.
Lisa married fellow journalist Peter Fitzsimmons and started a family in her mid 30’s, juggling motherhood with her newfound, blossoming career as a TV host. After working as a panellist turned co-host at Channel 10 and Channel 7, she finally settled into her position at channel 9 as co-host of the ‘Today’ show, and has successfully held that position for 7 years now.
Success has not been taken for granted by Lisa. Over the years, she has used her status as an influential woman in media to support many worthy causes, as well as being an inspiration to fellow working women and mothers.
After neglecting a discoloured freckle between her eyes, she finally succumbed to her husband’s concerns and got a skin check, only to discover it was a melanoma.
"I thought: You idiot Lisa, even your own husband, who wouldn't notice if you put on 5kg overnight, can see that this is changing". If not for her husband’s remarks early on, the process of removal could’ve been far more complex. Her experience with skin cancer caused Lisa to understand the need for awareness, leading her to take on the role as ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia.
Living by the motto, Be the Best You Can Be, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and world record-breaking swimmer, Stephanie Rice is renowned as one of Australia’s golden girls.
A highly driven youngster who always set tall goals, Stephanie knew she wanted to be an Olympic swimmer from the young age of four. To this day, the recently retired athlete hasn’t stopped dreaming big and working hard to make her dreams a reality.
Having spent a lot of time outdoors, Stephanie understands the importance of being sun smart. Her passion today is to encourage Australian kids and everyone to stay active and have fun doing it. However, in our country’s harsh sun, Stephanie is also committed to educating people on the importance of being sun smart when they’re outdoors.
"As someone who has spent a lot of time out in the water and the sun, I know firsthand the damage that the sun’s rays can have on our skin. I am a passionate supporter of the work Melanoma Institute Australia does in, not only the treatment of skin cancer, but also and more importantly, in raising awareness of its prevention."
Her own personal experience in witnessing the effects of sun damage and the knowing how it can be avoided through education and raising awareness means she is a passionate ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia. She enjoys working with the organisation to actively reduce the number of people who get melanoma in Australia.
John Eales’ position as a strong rugby union player was solidified not long after his very first large-scale rugby match, when he was selected to join the The Wallabies, and to eventually become team captain. His success in the role was marked by his team’s triumphs, including winning the Bledisloe Cup, the Tri Nations and the World Cup.
John retired from rugby in 2001 as the highest scoring forward in test rugby history and one of Australia’s most successful Captains. Since John’s retirement he has applied his experience in sport to entrepreneurial means, having written two books about Leadership as well as creating a consultancy company and sports marketing company.
“In sport and business I have always looked to partner with experts. Melanoma Institute Australia are world’s leading experts in the fight against melanoma, which is unfortunately all too often referred to as ‘Australia’s cancer’. Advancements are continually allowing husbands to spend more time with their wives, parents with their children and all of us with our friends. I am proud to be involved with such an inspirational organisation.”
John now uses his profile to help many worthy causes, including melanoma research, a cause very close to his heart. John's father tragically died at age 66 from advanced melanoma which had spread to his brain. John is a proud ambassador of Melanoma Institute Australia, attending Melanoma March each year with his wife and four children.