Tasmanian Times

David Obendorf

Tribute to Jean Blyth Panton

A foundation member of the Public and Environment Health Network, Jean Blyth Panton OAM died on Saturday 17 October 2010.

Jean was the Hobart City Council’s 2008 Citizen of the Year in recognition of her extensive contributions to the community, including medical research, historical heritage and the environment. He was an important community research cancer statistics in Tasmania and was an active contributor to local cancer research groups such as the David Collin Leukaemia Foundation. Over many decades Jean worked with the University of Tasmania Medical School and the Menzies Research institute. The University this week acknowledged her steadfast, behind-the-scenes role in information gathering for several important epidemiological projects related to Tasmanian cancer research. Jean worked with the founding Professor of Medicine at the University of Tasmania, Professor Albert Baikie.

In her semi-retirement Jean remained an active participant in her community. I was happy to have known Jean and to have received so much historical context to Tasmania’s early recorded history of bio-medical research paricular cancer studies. Jean immediately joined the Public and Environment Health Network when it was formed in 2007 and she provided so much information on the early research of human cancer rates and investigations into cancer clusters associated with occupation or location across Tasmania. Jean read widely and made an invaluable contribution to PEHNs archival library on cancer topics.

Jean was passionate about preserving and protecting Tasmania’s natural environment and the health of all creatures great & small. Jean was an inaugural member of the Florentine Protection Society as well and a member of many, many other Tasmanian organisations. Even in her 80’s Jean remained a purposeful community activist and exceptional volunteer.

On behalf of the other members of PEHN and Environment Tasmania, can I express our sincere gratitude to Jean and acknowledge her deep interest and support for a healthy Tasmania – the place she loved. Vale Jean 10.2.1926 – 17.10.2010

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  1. Sally Siddall

    November 6, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I am distantly related to Jean Panton – her husband was my mother and aunt’s cousin. I was about to contact her to inform her of our aunt’s death – Dr Joyce Skinner, CBE,DEd,DLitt when I read this obituary. They corresponded regularly; my aunt was 90 at her death.
    She was clearly highly respected member of your community and a great loss to you all. I was privileged to meet her once on a trip to the UK. Our condolences.

  2. Geoff Law

    October 27, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    I’m very sad to hear that Jean Panton has passed away.

    Jean was a staunch champion of conservation and often generously made her beautiful home available for functions supporting Tasmania’s green movement – including for the Wilderness Society and the Tasmanian Greens.

    Thanks, David, for that tribute which acknowledges the role played by Jean in so many different, important arenas.

  3. Chris Harries

    October 24, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Gosh, this was news to me.

    Jean was up in our community only last year assisting with Landcare activities and busy asking questions and more questions.

    She was a relentless soldier for environmental values, even if somewhat old fashioned in her ways. I’ll never forget all the pages and pages of press clippings collected over decades that she handed over for keepsakes.

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