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"You see it in schools all over... the concept that 'I'll be somewhat less than my best in order to make those around me feel more comfortable' is alive and well... I'm very keen that they understand that if they make themselves a little less than they can be, it is a one-way street to mediocrity."

PROFESSOR FIONA, WOOD - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"Australia has got some of the best sports people in the world, but we've also got some of the best scientists and innovators too, and that needs to be celebrated more."

PROFESSOR FIONA, WOOD - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"My father's saying, 'The harder you work, the luckier you get.'"

PROFESSOR FIONA, WOOD -

"I think people are astonishing and they are inspirational because how an individual can take on that level of suffering and then come back stronger is a mystery to me because you see it and you just think, ?Where did that strength come from?' And for that you've got to work damned hard to make sure that even if the person doesn't survive that every lesson you can learn from that you store away because you never know when it will help somebody coming behind and nobody ever goes through that. I guess my philosophy, my aim, is that nobody ever goes through that kind of suffering and for it not to be of use to someone else."

PROFESSOR FIONA, WOOD -

"My mother's great line was, 'Grasp the nettle with two hands, girl, because if you don't somebody else will.'"

PROFESSOR FIONA, WOOD -

"Sport teaches life's lessons. But there's no substitute, in my book, for education, because that gives you choice."

PROFESSOR FIONA, WOOD -