2016 Great Australian Philanthropy Award Winner: McCusker Charitable Foundation

Research Australia
Health & Medical Research Awards

2016 Great Australian Philanthropy Award

Recognises and encourages personal philanthropic donations over a period of time by
an individual or family to Australian health and medical research.

Congratulations to Award Winner: McCusker Charitable Foundation

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Australian Health and Medical Research Night of Nights

Media Release: 17 November 2016

Australia’s most inspiring health and medical researchers, advocates and philanthropist were celebrated last night at the 2016 Research Australia Health and Medical Research Awards.

Nadia Levin, CEO of Research Australia, said the night was a magnificent success that paid tribute to the efforts and energy of some of the sectors biggest names and most promising up-and-comers.

“Last nights’ Health and Medical Research Awards prove that Australia’s research sector is a force to be reckoned with,” said Ms Levin.

“We were joined by hundreds of people who tirelessly work to improve the health and wellbeing of our wider community, and it was an honour to acknowledge their work.

“The best health and medical research requires innovation, drive, creativity and ingenuity, and the 2016 Research Australia Award Winners exemplify all of those characteristics,” she said.

Continue reading “Australian Health and Medical Research Night of Nights”

2015 Great Australian Philanthropy Award: Mr John Gandel & Mrs Pauline Gandel

Research Australia
Health & Medical Research Awards

2015 AskRIGHT Great Australian Philanthropy Award

The Great Australian Philanthropy Award recognises personal philanthropic contributions over a period of time by an individual or family to health and medical research

Award Winners

Mr John Gandel, AO &
Mrs Pauline Gandel
Gandel Philanthropy

Gandel Philanthropy is one of Australia’s largest independent family philanthropic funds. Gandel Philanthropy has been the vehicle for charitable giving by the extended Gandel family since its formation as the Gandel Charitable Trust back in 1978.

John Gandel AO and Pauline Gandel are actively involved in the philanthropic work and they are universally recognised for their generosity and commitment to both Jewish and general Australian causes. Through Gandel Philanthropy, over the years they channeled tens of millions of dollars towards supporting various charitable causes in the community.

While they provide support for a range of programs and fields, including arts, education, Jewish identity and leadership, youth at risk and Indigenous programs, their support for health and medical research has always been one of the strongest interests.

The statistics on granting done by Gandel Philanthropy over the past three years showed that Health and Medical Research category was, in fact, by far the biggest recipient of funds, registering 38% in funding in 2012/13, 49% in 2013/14 and 32% in 2014/15 of all funds distributed. In each of the above years the amount provided in this category exceeded $2 million.

While direct financial support for research and other medical programs has always been important, both John and Pauline have over the years also been passionate advocates for the sector, taking a hands-on approach to a range of initiatives.

One such activity was the Alfred Hospital Appeal, which John Gandel chaired from 1987 to 1991, raising nearly $6 million to establish the William Buckland Radiotherapy centre. John also served on the hospital Board of Management for several years. Subsequently in 2002, on the 10th anniversary of the centre and the opening of the new $93 million research centre, John was appointed Life Governor of the Alfred Hospital.

John also served on the Board of the Australian Drug Foundation for a number of years and was appointed the Life Governor for the organisation.

Pauline, on the other hand, has been the Patron of Emmy Monash Aged Care for many years and more recently she supported The Women’s Hospital with the establishment of the Pauline Gandel Women’s Imaging Centre which at the time helped revolutionise care for women and newborn babies.

Most recent support for medical research projects includes some innovative and cross-sectoral partnerships aimed at tackling complex medical conditions or challenges.

A recent example of this is the grant awarded to Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), for the research project titled “A Multifaceted Intervention Using iPad Technology to Prevent Falls, Reduce Fear of Falling and Increase Physical Activity in Older People: a Double-blind, Randomised Controlled Trial”.

This was a “challenge grant” for the trial stage, allowing NeuRA to raise the remainder of the funds from other donors, as well as help build a case for support from government.

Another innovative example is the funding for the proof-of-concept study, initiated by Vision Australia and in collaboration with Alzheimer’s Victoria and Deakin University. The study is looking at the viability of using guide dogs to support people with Young Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

Together John and Pauline have supported a whole range of research projects and initiatives that span different medical fields and conditions, including but not limited to diabetes, ageing-related research, mental health, Crohn’s and Colitis, cancer-related research and allergies.

Research Australia Events

2016 Research Australia
Health & Medical Research Awards

The 14th annual Research Australia Health and Medical Research Awards honoured some of the country’s top minds and big hearts for their incredible contribution to health and medical research in Australia.

Research Australia is proud to have had such an extraordinary night with incredible researchers who have distinguished themselves in their careers, be it early stage, mid career or through a lifelong commitment to HMR.

It is with great pleasure that we present the 2016 winners of the Research Australia Awards :



Recognises an Australian who has made an outstanding contribution to building Australia’s international reputation in the area of health and medical research, and fostering collaboration for better health.

Awarded to: Professor Ian Gust AO


Recognises an Australian from the media, a celebrity or member of the community who has raised community awareness about the benefits of health and medical research.

Awarded to: Brenda King, SIDS Stampede


Griffith logoRecognises an early researcher (no more than five years post PhD) whose paper/patent/discovery has already demonstrated its importance or impact.

Awarded to: Dr Rebecca Coll

Highly Commended: Dr Felicity Davis and Dr Michael Livingston


To recognise and encourage personal philanthropic donations over a period of time by an individual or family to health and medical research.

Awarded to: The McCusker Charitable Foundation


For the development of the most innovative method of gathering, making available, processing or interpreting data in a way that advances the sector.

Awarded to: Capital Markets CRC, Health Market Quality Team

Highly Commended: The National Breast Cancer Foundation and DreamLab (Vodafone and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research)


Recognises outstanding leadership by a corporation or business giving to and supporting health and medical research through relationships or partnership and commitment over time.

Awarded to: Volvo Car Australia


Created in 2014 to recognise the importance of the emerging field of health service research.

Awarded to: Professor Michael Barton OAM



With its accompanying grant of $80,000, has played a part in assisting some of Australia’s most important leaders and innovators in the medical research sphere. Its focus is on helping support career development with an emphasis on human health and Australian research.

Awarded to: Professor Prof Arthur Christopolous & Patrick Sexton


Previous Research Australia Health & Medical Research Award Winners

Some of the 2016 Award Nominees and their stories