Accolade, awards and admiration for Research Australia’s Health and Medical Research Winners

Australia’s most inspiring health and medical researchers, champions, leaders and philanthropists were celebrated last night at the 16th Research Australia Health and Medical Research Awards.

The evening’s most prestigious award, the Peter Wills Medal, was awarded to Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley AC, from the University of Newcastle, a global authority in the field of neurogastroenterology, for his pioneering work into unexplained gut disorders that affect millions of people worldwide.

Matthew Grounds, Chief Executive Officer of UBS, was awarded the Research Champion Award for his advocacy work through his many roles including Chair of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute all advocating for a strengthening of NSW’s cardiovascular research capacity.

The Griffith University Discovery Award which showcases young early researchers making an impact in the sector was awarded to Dr Sarah Best from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research for her remarkable discovery that could change the way we diagnose and treat lung cancer.

In a wonderful acknowledgement of generosity that has spanned two generations, the Great Australian Philanthropy Award was presented to the Burges Family Trust for its high impact and transformative quality to Australian health and medical research.

Dr Craig Dalton, from the University of Newcastle, was awarded the Data Innovation Award for his FluTracking platform, the largest in the world, which collects public health information in real time and on a scale never seen before, helping in the detection of flu outbreaks.

MACA was presented the Leadership in Corporate Giving Award for their contribution to the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research through its world renowned participation the Ride to Conquer Cancer. As the title sponsor for the Ride, they have been directly responsible for funding ground-breaking research at the Perkins.

Meanwhile, Professor Sue Kildea from the University of Queensland was awarded the Health Services Research Award for her work in ‘closing the gap’ in maternity care practices for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and building capacity within the midwifery workforce.

Finally, the GSK Award for Research Excellence went to Professor Georgina Long and Professor Richard Scolyer from the Melanoma Institute Australia for their exceptional contribution to medical research that has transformed melanoma treatment and patient care.

Research Australia Chief Executive Officer, Nadia Levin said that the nominees for each Award category were of an incredibly high calibre, which is a great sign of things to come.

2018 Research Australia Health and Medical Research Awards

Great Australian Philanthropy Award
Winner: The Bill and Iris Burges Trust

Research Champion Award (Formerly the Advocacy Award)
Winner: Matthew Grounds – Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute/UBS
Highly Commended: Barrie Littlefield – Cure Brain Cancer Foundation 

Health Services Research Award
Winner: Professor Sue Kildea – Mater Research Institute – University of Queensland 
Highly Commended: Professor William Runciman – University of South Australia

Data Innovation Award
Winner: Dr Craig Dalton, Conjoint Associate Professor – University of Newcastle
Highly Commended: Professor Louisa Jorm – UNSW Sydney

Griffith University Discovery Award
Winner: Dr Sarah Best – The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research 
Highly Commended: Dr Eric Chow – Monash University

Leadership in Corporate Giving Award
Winner: MACA Limited 
Highly Commended: Paspaley 

GSK Award for Excellence
Winner: Professor Georgina Long & Professor Richard Scolyer – The Melanoma Institute 

The Peter Wills Medal
Winner:  Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley AC – University of Newcastle 

Sincere thanks to everyone who nominated this year, the calibre of submissions was incredibly high which is testament to the amazing work being done in the sector!

With thanks to our sponsors:



To view and download photos from the evening, please click here.

You can see a full list of previous Award winners here.