We have started receiving HEROES from the Rest of the World members. As you can already see people have such a diverse idea of who represents a hero to them. Anyone who would like to add to this collection can email a picture of their hero. Please include an explanation why they are a hero to you and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We will keep adding them as we receive them over the next week or so. Get in touch with Jeff if you need any help with this. In the end we will have a small group choose a few to present to Måns Zelmerlöw in Vienna. Hopefully our bunch of heroes will bring him luck.
Michaela Sowden – Australia
I didn’t think I would contribute to heroes as a post about Conchita was already done. I then thought about it, and knew that I wanted a musical hero, someone who is inspirational to singers and I found that person last Thursday. Nana Mouskouri, you are an inspiration to many. Your voice was clear and strong, the performance breathtaking , 90 minutes of pure entertainment. Several songs received a standing ovation. She might have only come in as number 8 in 1963, but she has eclipsed many a winner and her career has spanned 60 years or more. She also stayed true to herself and her image, and kept those trademark glasses even though she was asked to remove them by Harry Belafonte in the 60ies. Her interview on TV was humbling. She was also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador after Audrey Hepburn’s death and a member of the European Parliament. She is a class act.
Jason Watkins – Australia
I consider Lys Assia to be a Eurovision hero for not only being the first winner in 1956 with Refrain, but for the love and respect she continues to show to the contest.
She is a masterclass in grace and should be an example to any singer that is thinking of jumping on the “Eurovision ruined my career” bandwagon
I admire that at 91, she makes time to travel and be part of Eurovision and it’s many celebrations, as well as spending time with fans.
Anyone on facebook or twitter will also see the way she has embraced social media as a way of connecting with fans. It would be an honour to meet her in Vienna and a dream to share some chianti or risotto, risotto, risotto with her. She is an asset to the Eurovision community.
Andrew Bayley – Australia
John Logie Baird
My hero is John Logie Baird. A man who changed the world!
Everything TV-related stems back to this man. If he hadn’t invented television then we’d have nothing to do at night! Significantly, we’d have no Eurovision Song Contest… the reason that this group exists.
And myself and countless others would have nothing to talk or write about.
For those in Australia, without John Logie Baird the Logie Awards would be just plain old Awards!
Sandy Allen-Wetzler – Australia
The songs tell us we can all be heroes. I believe these children show us what everyday heroes look like.
Roy van der Merwe – South Africa
I have picked ABBA as HEROES for MÅNS. Without Abba Swedish music would not have been so known and probably Måns himself may not have been singing.
Adele Adelle – Australia
Dr Catherine Hamlin
To me, a hero is someone who not only embodies the human traits I consider to be most important: compassion, kindness, faith in others, selflessness, honesty, generosity and tolerance, but one who lives a life expressive of these traits in difficult circumstances.
My hero is Dr Catherine Hamlin, an Australian obstetrician and gynaecologist who, with her late husband Dr. Reg Hamlin, co-founded the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia in 1974. This hospital is the world’s only medical centre dedicated exclusively to providing free obstetric fistula repair surgery to poor women suffering from childbirth injuries. Obstetric fistula was virtually eradicated in the developed world by the 20th century due to improved obstetric techniques.
Dr Hamlin who is 91, has been recognised by the United Nations as a pioneer in fistula surgery for her development of techniques and procedures for obstetric fistula treatment. During Dr Hamlin’s time in Ethiopia over 40, 000 women have received this life changing treatment. For the past 35 years, Dr Hamlin has lived in a cottage on the grounds of the hospital she established. Despite her advancing years she remains actively involved in the work of the hospital and still operates every Thursday morning.
As well as her pioneering medical treatment, Dr Hamlin was involved in setting up The Hamlin College of Midwives. This college recruits local Ethiopian midwives from high school graduates in the provinces, trains them in a four-year degree with a vigorous curriculum of theory and practice and then deploys them back to the provinces to work alongside mothers and families. The college currently has 70 midwives in training. Dr Hamlin has received many prestigious awards and was a nominee in 2014 for the Nobel Peace Prize. In my opinion Dr Catherine Hamlin is definitely a woman deserving of the title hero.
Jeff Neal – Australia
Father Bob Maguire
You wouldn’t think to look at the pic but this guy has just been retired by the Catholic Church. I have never been a very religious person but this guy has a heart as big as Australia and has devoted his life to speaking out against everything wrong in this world. He has been a wonderful thorn in the side of the church hierarchy for many years and to this day, despite them “retiring him” he runs his Father Bob Maguire Foundation. He has fought all his life for the homeless, the disenfranchised, asylum seekers and those in need. He has been called a Larrikin Priest and embodies all the anti authoritarian qualities that are a distinct part of the Australian character.
“Whatever happens… men, women and children have to be prepared to put other people first and thereby create the miracle of the species which is people living together in harmony and putting other people first, before themselves.”
Armin Duttle – Switzerland
My hero is Walt Disney and it is so appropriate as Måns song has cartoons. I think Walt is the father of cartoons. Look at how many colourful characters he created. He brought so much joy to the world and the majority of children over the world love Disney cartoons. And so do the young at heart of any age.
Luke Brighty – Australia
My chosen hero, Olivia Newton-John, is an Aussie singer, actress and a past participant of the Eurovision Song Contest. She sang for the U.K. in 1974 and finished fourth behind Abba and their winning song, Waterloo. Better-known for her starring role in the hit movie, Grease, Olivia battled breast cancer in the early 90s, winning her fight against the big C and using her experience to inspire millions of people in similar circumstances. Labelling herself a “thriver” rather than a breast cancer survivor, Olivia became an advocate for self-examination over the years, using the Liv Kit to highlight the importance of early detection.
She has also campaigned tirelessly for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre (ONJCWC) in Melbourne, Australia, helping to raise nearly $200 million to see her dream of a hospital with an integrated wellness centre come true. The ONJCWC, a partnership with Austin Health, opened in 2012 and offers a range of complimentary therapies such as yoga, massage, acupuncture, music and art therapy. To this day, Olivia continues to inspire fans worldwide with her music, philanthropic endeavours and down-to-earth, positive approach to life.
Len Whitney – United States
My HERO is Marcel Bezençon, who first conceived of the idea of Eurovision Song Contest in 1955. In the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Contest, we need to salute his visionary idea. Who would have expected that the Contest the European Broadcast Union devised to unite a post-war Europe would grow, prosper and still be joining Europeans and fans around the world in celebrating music and song? Marcel, thank you for being a hero of vision and foresight!
Andrew Pentecost – Australia
My hero is Conchita Wurst. Last year she brought us a beautiful song sung in a glorious voice with simple, elegant, emotional staging. When she was announced as the winner, it was obvious that she was genuinely surprised and delighted to have received such a resounding vote. In the lead-up to her win, and in the months since then, she has been a role model of elegant, modest, politeness. She has had the honour of addressing the European Parliament on LGBT rights. She rejects hatred and intolerance. She conveys her message with patience and courtesy, rather than ramming it down people’s throats. Although the appearance of a bearded lady may at first shock people, Conchita’s style, intellect and demeanour are far from shocking. This is what has won her many admirers and allowed her to achieve so much for human rights.