A National Immunisation Strategy to 2030

In May 2024 The Department of Health and Aged Care released a consultation paper to support the development of the Next National Immunisation Strategy for 2025-2030. The consultation paper proposed a vision, mission, priority areas, and opportunities for action for the next Strategy.

Research Australia’s submission has welcomed the overall direction of the Strategy but proposed some amendments to the Vision and Mission. We have also highlighted areas where the Strategy could better engage and make use of researchers, including the secure sharing of more data, and learning the lessons of the COVID pandemic. We have also proposed an expert panel from research organisations and industry to periodically advise on the latest developments and trends in vaccine development and delivery technologies.

Research Australia’s submission is available here.

The Chronic Disease Framework and the role of research

In March 2024 the Department of Health and Aged Care commenced a refresh of the National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions.

‘The Framework was published in 2017 with a timeframe of eight years, from 2017 to 2025. The Department of Health and Aged Care (Department) is leading a review and refresh of the Framework to ensure it remains current, accurate and relevant.

The refresh of the Framework will consider how chronic conditions can best be prevented and managed for all Australians, including priority population groups.’ (Consultation paper, page 7)

Research Australia made a submission in response to the consultation on the initial Strategic Framework, and has now followed this up with a response to the new consultation, emphasising the need to identify a broader role for research.

Research Australia’s submission is available here.

Research in perimenopause and menopause

Research Australia has responded to the Senate Inquiry into issues related to perimenopause and menopause.

Our submission identifies areas in which further research into perimenopause and menopause is required; and where research is needed to improve the understanding of existing evidence on menopause and perimenopause among the medical community, individuals, employers and disadvantaged populations.

Our current knowledge of the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause and their prevalence and impact in the Australian community and economy is patchy. This lack of evidence is impairing the response to perimenopause and menopause in Australia. We recommend a more strategic approach to the funding of research into menopause and perimenopause in Australia to address these gaps.

Research Australia’s submission is available here.


Towards a National Health and Climate Strategy

In June 2023 the Department of Health announced the commencement of a consultation on development of Australia’s first National Health and Climate Strategy, in recognition of the urgent need to:

    1. reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the health system, and
    2. strengthen the resilience of the health system and communities to anticipate and respond to the health impacts of climate change.

Research Australia’s submission addresses many of the questions contained in the discussion paper, and proposes the creation and funding of a Centre for Sustainable Healthcare Innovation, to support the identification and develop of mitigation measures.

The Government published its National Health and Climate Strategy on 3 December 2023.

Dementia Action Plan needs new funding for research

The Australian Government’s draft Dementia Action Plan has recognised the importance of more research to improving the lives of those living with dementia, their family and carers but has not proposed any actions that will lead to more research being funded.

Research Australia’s submission has addressed this shortfall, and proposed the draft Dementia Research Strategy draw on the work undertaken by the now defunct NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research. We have also recommended the proposed Australian Dementia Research Strategy be an ‘Australian Dementia Research, Innovation and Implementation Strategy’ to better meet the Action Plan’s objective of maximising the impact of research and innovation. Accountability for implementation of research outcomes and the funding of this activity needs to be clearly assigned by the Action Plan and the Strategy.

Research Australia’s submission is available here.

Research to improve Aged Care quality

Counsel assisting the Aged Care Royal Commission have made their final submissions to the Commissioners, and the public has been given the opportunity to comment on the recommendations. This was the last chance for public input before the Commissioners provide their report to the Government in early 2021.

Research Australia has followed the progress of the Royal Commission closely. We urged the inclusion of research in the Commission’s original terms of reference and we have liaised with the Commission’s officers to connect them with researchers who were able to assist the Inquiry.

We have been pleased to see the reliance the Commission has placed on research to understand the current system and its failures as well as to explore alternatives. It is clear that research can play a critical part in improving the delivery of aged care services and in helping Australians to age well, and we have welcomed the prominence the final recommendations to the Commissioners give to research.

Research Australia’s response to the final submissions document is limited to two recommendations. Recommendation 55 deals with the creation of an Aged Care Research Council with a dedicated research budget. Recommendation 56 deals with creation of a minimum national aged care dataset and the availability of data to researchers. Finally, we have responded to the request for public response to remarks made by Commissioner Briggs in respect of Research and Data Governance.

Research Australia’s submission is available here.

Aged Care Research is essential for a better Aged Care system

Research Australia is delighted that research is firmly on the agenda for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

The peak body’s Chief Executive Nadia Levin welcomed the news that among the more than 100 recommendations made by counsel to the Commissioners, were several very important recommendations relating to research.

Importantly, Counsel has recommended establishing a dedicated Aged Care Council to set a strategy and agenda for research and development into aged care. A dedicated aged research fund with an annual budget of 1.8% of government expenditure on aged care has also been recommended.

‘This would be a welcome boost to aged care research in Australia and has the potential to lead to better, higher quality and safer care, said Ms Levin. ‘In fact, I don’t think this promise of a better system can be delivered without more research, it is absolutely essential.’

Research Australia has made the case on several occasions for increasing research into aged care and ageing. We urged the inclusion of research in the Commission’s original terms of reference and have liaised with the Commission’s officers to connect them with researchers who were able to assist the Inquiry.

The aim is to prioritise research that involves co-design with older people, their families and the aged care workforce, and to facilitate networks between researchers, industry and government. The scope of research is broad, encompassing technology pilots and innovation projects, and assisting the translation of research into practice to improve aged care.

In a series of related recommendations, data collection across aged care should be improved and a national minimum aged care dataset developed under the auspice of the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare.

The Commissioners are now considering the evidence they have received and are due to provide their final report to the Australian Government by the end of February next year. (They may accept, reject or modify Counsel’s recommendations.) More information about the Royal Commission, including the final submissions, is available here.

Research Australia will continue its advocacy focus along with its members such as NARI, CSIRO, University of Queensland, Flinders University and the University of Wollongong to keep research firmly on the agenda as the Royal Commission considers its response.

Please join our efforts through contributing to Research Australia’s submission due on the 12th November via greg.mullins@researchaustralia.org


Research Matters July 2019

Welcome to Research Matters. With the Federal election quickly receding in the rearview mirror, we take a look at the implications for health and medical research and in particular, what might be coming up.

To contribute to or discuss any of the items in this edition, please email Greg Mullins, Head of Policy, at greg.mullins@researchaustralia.org, or on (03) 9662 9420.

This communication features important information on:

  1. Research Funding – MRFF & NHMRC
  2. Personal Health Information 
  3. Prevention
  4. R&D

Please click here to view Research Matters July 2019

Research Matters December 2018

Welcome to the last Research Matters for 2018. It has been another big year in policy for health and medical research, and with next year an election year the pace will not let up. While we are fortunate that HMR enjoys support from across the political spectrum there are differences in emphasis and approach that have implications how research is rounded, who is funded to do it, and the types of programs that are funded.

We look forward to keeping you informed in 2019, and are keen to hear from you about what you think the research priorities should be.

To contribute or discuss, please email Greg Mullins, Head of Policy (greg.mullins@researchaustralia.org), or phone (03) 9662 9420.

This communication features important information on:

  1. Research Funding, including MRFF
  2. Public Data
  3. TGA
  4. Charities
  5. R&D
  6. Senate Inquiries
  7. Submissions and Consultations    

    Please click here to view Research Matters December 2018

Research Matters October 2018

There’s certainly been a lot of activity over a range of issues and policy areas recently and we’ve consolidated the key areas for our members in on Research Matters update.

This communication features important information on:

  1. Policy & Advocacy – Your Voice
  2. Consultations, Enquiries & Reviews; Mental Health & Aged Care
  3. MRFF; Grants & Priorities
  4. In Parliament; MHR, R&D Tax Incentives, Electoral Funding Reform
  5. COAG; Obesity, Human Tissue Acts
  6. Submissions Update

    Please click here to view Research Matters October 2018