Research Australia Welcomes Establishment of National Women’s Health Advisory Council and Appointment of CEO as a Special Advisor

January 2023

Research Australia Welcomes Establishment of National Women’s Health Advisory Council and Appointment of CEO as a Special Advisor

Research Australia has welcomed today’s announcement by the Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ged Kearney, of a range of eminent Australian experts in women’s health.

The Council was announced by Minister Kearney at Research Australia’s national Health and Medical Research Awards and CEO of Research Australia, Nadia Levin, has congratulated all fellow appointees to the new National Women’s Health Advisory Council.

“I am honoured by this appointment as a Special Adviser to the Council and would like to thank the Minister for establishing the Advisory Council. I see this appointment as acknowledging the whole pipeline of great health and medical researchers that Research Australia represents,” Nadia Levin said.

“This Women’s Health Advisory Council fills an important gap. Despite the great strides we have made, there are still lingering issues around women’s participation in research trials. Women are still being ignored in medical trials and reports.

“Quite often clinical trials do not report specific results for males and females. There is a failure to account for the different effects a drug may have on men and women, and this undoubtedly compromises quality of care for women.

“I look forward to working with all the highly qualified and committed members of this Council to advise the Australian Government on all issues affecting women and their access to fair and equitable treatment by the Australian Health system, particularly in research.”

ENDS

Research Australia is the national peak body for health and medical research, representing
the entire health and medical research pipeline.

Research Australia Announces New Patron Emeritus Professor Christine Bennett AO and Life Membership to Professor Alexandra McManus

November 2022

Research Australia Announces New Patron Emeritus Professor Christine Bennett AO and Life Membership to Professor Alexandra McManus

Research Australia’s Board were delighted to appoint Emeritus Professor Christine Bennett AO, as their new patron, and to present a life membership to Professor Alexandra McManus.
These exciting announcements were made at the Research Australia’s Annual General Meeting, which was held in Sydney this week.

Professor Christine Bennett has a longstanding association with Research Australia, serving as both a past Chair and CEO of the organisation. Research Australia Chair, Associate Professor Annette Schmiede, said “Christine’s appointment as Patron is an important acknowledgement of her ongoing contribution to our organisation and the health and medical research sector more broadly.”

Professor Bennett has maintained an active leadership position as a commentator and strategist on health reform in Australia and internationally. In 2008, the Prime Minister appointed her to be Chair of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission that provided advice to governments on a long-term blueprint for the future of the Australian health system and aged care.

Annette Schmiede said “Christine’s continuing affiliation with Research Australia over these last 20 years has enabled us to achieve NHMRC funding reform, progress towards a National Health and Medical Research Strategy and so much more. “Together, with Sir Gustav Nossal AC, Christine’s patronage of Research Australia will formalise her ongoing role in supporting and guiding the advocacy positions Research Australia takes on behalf of the sector.”

Research Australia is pleased and proud to have her take up this patronage.

Professor McManus has a longstanding association with Research Australia, serving as past Board Director of the organization from 2012 to 2018. Research Australia Chair, Associate Professor Annette Schmiede, said that “presenting life membership to Professor McManus is an important acknowledgement of her ongoing contribution to Research Australia.”

Professor McManus is a public health practitioner with substantial experience in multi-disciplinary research in urban, regional, and rural settings. She has a particular skill in translating complex research outcomes into a variety of easy-to-understand formats.

Professor McManus is highly deserving of this award as she continues demonstrating outstanding commitment to Research Australia.

Research Australia is proud that Professor McManus joins an illustrious group of Life Members. They are Professor Christine Bennett, AO, Professor Emeritus John Niland, AC, Mt Peter Wills, AC, Ms Mary Woolley, Professor John Funder, AC, Dr Chris Roberts, and The Hon. Dr Michael Wooldridge.

ENDS

Research Australia is the national peak body for health and medical research, representing
the entire health and medical research pipeline.

Accolades for Australia’s health and medical research stars

November 2022 

Accolades for Australia’s health and medical research stars


Australia’s leading health and medical researchers, and those supporting their ground-breaking work, have been recognised as finalists in Research Australia’s prestigious national Health and Medical Research Awards.

Representing a range of specialist fields, including immunology, public health, space biology and bioinformatics, these finalists are at the forefront of health and medical research with their work driving significant impact for patients and clinicians alike. Inspiring philanthropists and advocates for research have also been recognised.

Research Australia CEO Nadia Levin said the Awards, now in their 19th year, celebrate Australian health and medical researchers whose achievements are driving innovation and transforming health on a national and global scale.

“The pandemic has shown how important comprehensive health and medical research is for our communities and our health systems,” she said.

“The critical skills of this sector cannot be developed overnight – nurturing and investing in early and mid-career researchers is essential, as well as supporting our more established world-leading researchers.

“Increasingly, health and medical researchers must work across disciplines to produce complex solutions to today’s most pressing health issues. As technology advances, researchers must also remain at the forefront, pioneering innovations for long-term health challenges.”

“COVID-19 has made Australians acutely aware of the impact health and medical research can have on their daily lives. It’s crucial that we continue to support and advance Australian health and medical research, so we can remain global leaders in the field, delivering life-changing breakthroughs and improvements.”

There are eight award categories in total, with finalists from six announced today. They are:

  • The Frontiers Award, sponsored by Australian National University
  • The Advocacy Award, sponsored by AbbVie
  • The Griffith University Discovery Award
  • The Health Services Research Award, sponsored by the Victorian Government (DJPR)
  • The Data Innovation Award
  • The Great Australian Philanthropy Award

 In addition to the winners of the above categories, the winner of the Peter Wills Award will be announced at the on the night, as will the winner of the 2022 GSK Award for Research Excellence.

Find out who the finalists are here:

“As the only peak body for the entire health and medical research pipeline, Research Australia is proud to recognise these researchers who are leading the charge to improve health outcomes in Australia and across the world,” Ms Levin said. “We look forward to celebrate the finalists’ dedication, leadership and success at the Awards Gala next month.”

Winners will be announced at the 19th Health and Medical Research Awards in Melbourne on December 8.  These Awards recognise and showcase the best research minds and research implementors along with those amazing individuals who support and promote Australia’s incredible health and medical research.

For the past 22 years, Research Australia, the national peak body for Australian health and medical research, has advocated for a sustainable research and innovation eco-system.

ENDS 

Research Australia is the national peak body for health and medical research, representing the entire health and medical research pipeline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEDERAL BUDGET: NO NEWS ON HEALTH AND MEDICAL RESEARCH IS GOOD NEWS

25 October 2022

The national peak body for health and medical research, Research Australia, says that while tonight’s budget does not contain a lot of news – good or bad – for the health and medical research sector, it gives the sector breathing space to put current health and medical research spending under the microscope.

Research Australia CEO, Nadia Levin, said, “Australia has to look more closely at where health and medical research funding is spent now, where it should be spent to be most effective and efficient, and what sort of health and medical research workforce Australia will need for the future.

“Research Australia continues to champion the National HMR Strategy, as announced last year, to ensure investment has maximum impact on national priorities and exploits areas of international competitive advantage.

“There is almost no new funding for the grants programs of NHMRC, MRFF or ARC, despite rising inflation making the cost of undertaking research more expensive. It is however heartening to see the commitment to health and medical research as a driver of a better healthcare evident in the Government’s commitments to new Cancer Centres and the National Centre for Disease Control.

“The continued commitment to the National Reconstruction Fund is welcome. It is through the $1.5bn investment in medical science that we can translate Australia’s world-class health innovation into the industries of the future.

“We look forward to working with the Albanese Government to understand how Australia can invest smarter to provide a better quality of life for Australians and maximise the innovation potential of Australian health and medical research,” Nadia Levin said.

Research Australia has welcomed the handful of measures relevant to health and medical research, including:

  • A $2.9 billion package to drive an innovative revamp of Australia’s primary health care system including $100 million to co-develop and pilot innovative models with states and territories to improve care pathways and inform program roll out.
  • $452 million to support the establishment of 2 world class comprehensive cancer centres in Brisbane and Adelaide.
  • $47.2 million over six years to encourage young people, especially women, to forge brighter careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions.
  • $13.5 million for developing Australia’s critical technology capability as part of the National Reconstruction Fund, as well as continued funding for the National Science and Technology Council.
  • $3.4 million to establish a National Health Sustainability and Climate Unit.
  • $3.2 million for preparatory work for the National Centre for Disease Control.

ENDS 

Research Australia is the national peak body for health and medical research, representing the entire health and medical research pipeline.

Ms ELIZABETH KOFF AM APPOINTED TO THE BOARD OF RESEARCH AUSTRALIA

The nation’s peak body for health and medical research and innovation, Research Australia, has welcomed Managing Director of Telstra Health, Ms Elizabeth Koff AM, to its Board.

Chair of Research Australia Associate Professor Annette Schmiede said, “As the national peak body across all health and medical research in Australia, our Board is drawn from the leaders in our membership across our sector.”

“During her time as Secretary of NSW Health Ms Koff oversaw the NSW response to the Covid pandemic and advised the Government on the management of covid and the successful vaccine rollout. Elizabeth’s experience in both the public and private sector will provide an invaluable contribution to our strategic focus on health and medical research advocacy.”

Ms Koff said, “The pandemic demonstrated unequivocally the value of health and medical research. I am pleased to be joining the Research Australia board and contributing my support for this vital sector.”

Research Australia’s CEO, Nadia Levin said, “Ms Koff’s appointment reflects our recognition of the importance of cooperation between public, private enterprise and government when it comes to the broader scientific research endeavour in this country.

“Ensuring that Australia’s people continue to enjoy good health and a quality of life means we must make greater use of our research outcomes to drive greater health and economic impact.”

Research Australia has also expressed its heartfelt thanks to outgoing Director and past Telstra Health Managing Director, Professor Mary Foley. “Professor Foley’s contribution to the health and medical research community is immense and she will continue to share her deep health system expertise with Research Australia as part of our prestigious alumni group,” Annette Schmiede said.

Biography
In April 2022 Elizabeth was appointed Managing Director of Telstra Health, Australia’s largest digital health company and a subsidiary of Telstra Corporation.
Prior to this Elizabeth was Secretary, NSW Health for a six year term. As Secretary, Elizabeth was responsible for the management of the NSW health system, the largest health system in Australia with a $30 billion budget and 124,000 FTE. Key strategy achievements include the implementation of value based care across NSW, the progression of e-Health initiatives and a $2B/year capital infrastructure program. In 2020/2021 Elizabeth lead the NSW Health system through the COVID-19 pandemic and advised NSW crisis cabinet on the management of covid in NSW, and the subsequent vaccination roll out.
Elizabeth was chair of the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) and its subsequent iteration of Health Chief Executives Forum. She is also a member of Chief Executive Women.
Elizabeth was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday 2022 Honours.

MEDIA RELEASE – RESEARCH AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCES NEW DATE FOR ITS 19TH ANNUAL HEALTH AND MEDICAL RESEARCH AWARDS THURSDAY DECEMBER 8, 2022

Research Australia will hold the 19th Annual Health and Medical Research Awards on Thursday 8th December 2022, at the Metropolis, Melbourne.

As the national peak body for health and medical research, Research Australia’s Awards are highly regarded and coveted by the health and medical research sector. These prestigious awards are our recognition of the outstanding efforts and achievements of individuals and teams who drive and support the opportunities that health and medical innovation bring to each and every one of our lives.

Acknowledging talent and excellence in our sector is not only a key part of Research Australia’s role in advocacy for health and medical research, it is also paramount to encouraging future generations of great researchers. This event allows student, early to mid-career researchers and the sector’s more prominent influencers to share an experience which not only celebrates current innovation but encourages future growth in research, funding and corporate leadership.

Past Award winners include: Professor Brendan Murphy AC, The Hon Bob Carr, Lady Mary Fairfax AC OBE, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC DBE, Laureate Professor and 2018 Scientist of the Year, Nicholas Talley AC, Sir Frank Lowy AC, Connie Johnson OAM & Samuel Johnson OAM and Andrew Forrest AO and Dr Nicola Forrest AO.  Prominent politicians, both Federal and State, are invited to attend each year to speak and present the Awards.

For more information on Research Australia’s Annual Health & Medical Research awards and how you can nominate someone to win one of these prestigious awards visit the website.

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Research Australia is the national peak body for health and medical research, representing the entire health and medical research pipeline.

MEDIA RELEASE – RESEARCH AUSTRALIA WELCOMES ALBANESE MINISTRY

Research Australia welcomes the Albanese Ministry and looks forward to working with the Government to strengthen Australian health and medical research and innovation to meet future health challenges. 

As the national peak body for Australian health and medical research, Research Australia welcomes the appointment of the Hon. Mark Butler MP as Minister for Health and Aged Care and his team, including Anika Wells MP as Minister for Aged Care and Ged Kearney MP as Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care. 

“Minister Butler has a wealth of experience in leading health reform in Australia in his previous roles as Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform,” Acting Research Australia CEO Lucy Clynes said. 

The health and medical research sector looks forward to working with Minister Butler to progress the National Health and Medical Research Strategy. We must develop a more cohesive health and medical research ecosystem better positioned to respond to national health challenges and improve translation of research into best practice care and new economic opportunities in health innovation. 

“This must include a national health and medical research workforce plan to ensure Australia has the skills it needs to deliver healthcare of the future and to address challenges faced by many health and medical researchers, in particular early and mid-career researchers,” Ms Clynes said. 

“We stand ready to assist the Albanese Government to create a truly innovative, research active health and aged care system, ensuring Australians receive the best care when they need it.” 

Research Australia extends its congratulations to the Hon. Ed Husic MP on his appointment as Minister for Industry and Science and looks forward to working with Minister Husic to enable our best and brightest medical minds to effectively translate scientific breakthroughs to improve health and economic outcomes for all Australians. 

“Labor’s commitment of $1.5 billion as part of the National Reconstruction Fund to create medicines and medical technologies in Australia will support the advancement of health innovation and our country’s health and wealth,” Ms Clynes said. 

“Together, we can systematically build Australia’s capacity in commercialisation and medical manufacturing to meet local demand, grow industries and jobs and build export markets for products and services.” 

“Establishing stronger global links between Australian health innovators and global funding networks and supply chains, both regional and beyond, must also be our ambition,” Ms Clynes said. 

The Education portfolio is critical to Australia’s health and medical research sector, and Research Australia congratulates the Hon. Jason Clare MP on his appointment as Minister for Education. 

“We look forward to Minister Clare’s response to the recent review of Research Block Grants and to the Government’s response to the latest National Critical Research Infrastructure Roadmap”, Ms Clynes said 

Research Australia has led the call for a National Health and Medical Research Strategy to facilitate a nationally strategic approach to strengthen health and medical research and see Australia reach its full research potential. See the Statement on this here. 

ENDS

Research Australia is the national peak body for health and medical research, representing the entire health and medical research pipeline. 

MEDIA RELEASE – RESEARCH AUSTRALIA WELCOMES AN ALBANESE GOVERNMENT

Research Australia, the national peak body for health and medical research, congratulates Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the new Government on their election win. 

“We look forward to working with the incoming Government to advance a comprehensive approach to Australia’s health and medical research and innovation to improve health and economic outcomes for Australians,” Research Australia Acting CEO Lucy Clynes said. 

Research Australia has led the call for a National Health and Medical Research Strategy to facilitate a nationally strategic approach to strengthen health and medical research and see Australia reach its full research potential. See the Statement on this here. 

“A National Health and Medical Research Strategy is the pathway to improving translation of research into best practice care. It’s through research that we minimise waste, reduce costs and improve the efficiency and productivity of our health system and its workforce. Short and long-term reforms are needed to harness the skills and talent that can help us realise the ambition of a world’s best health system. 

“We are pleased to continue the conversation with Mark Butler MP and the Albanese Government about how best to develop a truly national approach to supporting a sustainable health and medical research ecosystem with a focus on excellence in fundamental and translational research and areas of global competitive advantage” Ms Clynes said. 

There are significant opportunities for real economic stimulus and jobs growth across Australia’s health and medical research pipeline. We are pleased to see this has already been acknowledged through Labor’s commitment to a $1.5 billion Medical Manufacturing Fund as part of the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund. 

“Establishing stronger global links between Australian health innovators and global funding networks and supply chains, both regional and beyond, must also be a priority”. 

“Establishing stronger global links between Australian health innovators and global funding networks and supply chains, both regional and beyond, must also be a priority”. 

Research Australia has also called for an urgent injection of funding into the National Health and Medical Research Council to keep pace with inflation. This remains a priority for Research Australia with the incoming Government. 

ENDS 

Research Australia is the national peak body for health and medical research, representing the entire health and medical research pipeline. 

PRE-ELECTION STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF AUSTRALIA’S HEALTH AND MEDICAL RESEARCH SECTOR

14 April 2022

Research Australia, the national peak body for health and medical research, presents a Pre-Election Statement on behalf of Australia’s health and medical research sector. The collective statement is made by a broad cross section of Australia’s health innovators across the entire research pipeline.

The collective Statement outlines the following four key reforms the health and medical research sector recommends to ensure Australia’s future innovation and health of our nation:

  1. A National Health and Medical Research Strategy that ensures research priorities better meet health system and population needs and maximises economic opportunities.
  2. A National HMR Workforce Plan that attracts and supports a highly skilled, sustainable research workforce with circular mobility between academia and industry.
  3. Consumers as co-designers of research to enable researchers and consumers to meaningfully engage in research co design by ensuring they have the skills to improve research translation and Australians’ health.
  4. Australia as a global health innovator to systematically build Australia’s capacity in medical commercialisation and medical manufacturing to meet local demand, grow industries and jobs, and build export markets for products and services.

“Australia must have a clearly articulated national approach to supporting a sustainable research ecosystem with a focus on excellence in fundamental and translational research and areas of global competitive advantage,” Research Australia CEO Nadia Levin said.

“There are significant opportunities for real economic stimulus and jobs growth across Australia’s health and medical research pipeline. Short and long-term reforms are needed to harness the skills and talent that can help us realise the ambition of a world’s best health system,” Ms Levin said.

Research Australia has led the call for a national strategy on behalf of the sector, which was announced by Health Minister Greg Hunt MP at the Research Australia Awards in December.

Ms Levin has been appointed to the recently formed Strategic Advisory Committee as a representative of the sector to develop the nation’s strategy for health and medical research.

To view the Pre-Election Statement please click here.

 

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Research Australia is the national peak body for health and medical research, representing the entire health and medical research pipeline.

 

MEDIA RELEASE – MEETING OF THE MINDS ON AUSTRALIA’S FUTURE HEALTH AND MEDICAL RESEARCH

8 April 2022

SEIZING opportunities for Australian health and medical research under a future National Health and Medical Research Strategy was the focus at Research Australia’s Pre-Election Summit this week in Melbourne.

Research Australia, the national alliance for health and medical research, has led the call for a national strategy on behalf of the sector, which was announced by Health Minister Greg Hunt MP at the Research Australia Awards in December. Research Australia CEO, Nadia Levin has been appointed to the recently formed Strategic Advisory Committee as a representative of the sector to develop the nation’s strategy for health and medical research.

“This week’s Summit saw a meeting of the minds between both political and sector leaders to set the policy objectives needed to strengthen our health and medical research. This national strategy will meet future health challenges and maximise the economic opportunities our world-leading research offers our nation,” Ms Levin said.

Hosted in partnership with WEHI and CSL, the Summit saw medical researchers and innovators from around Australia join parliamentarians to advance Australia’s medical research and innovation capacity to improve health and economic outcomes for Australia.

“We received strong commitment across the political divide to back our world-class researchers to advance our sovereign capability to innovate and translate research and realise our sector’s full potential in improving health and saving lives,” Ms Levin said.

“The need to develop a more secure and sustainable health and medical research workforce through strategic pathways and skills development was identified as was the chance to invest in our amazing research, both basic and applied, deliberately and sustainably,” Ms Levin said.

Federal Member for Higgins and Co-Chair Parliamentary Friends of Health and Medical Research Dr Katie Allen MP said health and medical research is greatly valued not only by government but also by the Australian people.

“It is important to look at the impact health and medical research makes in changing and saving lives,” Dr Allen said. “We are resourceful and resilient. We need to be better at celebrating that impact and talking about what our strengths and successes are but also to recognising what we can do to build on those capabilities.”

Dr Allen also said we need to acknowledge the world class investment in research in Australia and that the Government’s priority is bridging the gap between commercialisation and research, our sovereign capabilities and competitive advantages.

Federal Shadow Assistant Health Minister Ged Kearney MP said that Labor recognised workforce issues need to be addressed by government and that Labor will target a stream of the National Reconstruction Fund to health and medical research and medical innovation.

“When public policy is married with research, public good follows,” Ms Kearney said. “Labor will prioritise greater job security in health and medical research.”

Federal Shadow Assistant Minister for Manufacturing Senator Louise Pratt identified Australia’s poorly diversified economy as a key challenge for our country, pointing to the ALP’s National Reconstruction Fund as prioritising domestic medical manufacturing.

“We currently import more drugs than we export. The National Reconstruction Fund will prioritise domestic manufacturing, which will provide us with access to the medical products that we need,” Ms Pratt said.

The Greens Spokesperson for Science, Research, and Innovation Senator Dorinda Cox highlighted the need to translate research concepts into rapid application to ensure improved health outcomes.

Ms Cox also spoke of the Greens’ policy to invest 4 per cent of GDP in science, research and innovation by 2030 and boost home-grown manufacturing.

“We don’t have the ability to produce modern medical manufacturing because we don’t have the infrastructure,” Ms Cox said.

The Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Federal Member for Lingiari and Co-Chair Parliamentary Friends of Rural and Remote Health pointed to the role that research can play in addressing social determinants of health in Indigenous communities.

In addressing the question of better translating research into best practice outcomes, Mr Snowdon recommended including local government at the national table to ensure research is designed to meet local health needs.

The need to bring state and federal jurisdictions together working strongly together under a National Strategy to strategically find the best way to invest in research was also a key theme.

To view Research Australia’s Pre-Election Statement on behalf of the health and medical research sector, please see here.

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Research Australia is the national peak body for health and medical research, representing the entire health and medical research pipeline. For more on Research Australia, go to: www.researchaustralia.org

 Media contact: Peta Garrett – 0400 011 394