I am pleased to let you know that the Institute’s Executive and Diversity and Inclusion Committees have drafted a statement in support of a Yes position in the referendum for the Voice to Parliament as an extension of our support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart. You can find the full statement here, and as we say in the statement: As an Institute focused on enhancing health and wellbeing for all Australians, we recognise the strong evidence base connecting self-determination and health outcomes. We commit to our role in building a more equitable country and to stand as allies, where relevant, through our full engagement with the referendum and in allyship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples after the referendum.
September has been a month of announcements and I add my congratulations to Alfred Deakin Professor Catherine Bennett on her appointment to the national COVID-19 pandemic response inquiry, to Associate Professor Adrian Cameron and colleagues for their success with a new NHMRC Centre of Excellence, RE-FRESHING, and to Hasini Gunasiri, whose research on Young people’s mental health showcased at Parliament. It was also the month of NHMRC Investigator Grant announcements, and I want to acknowledge the enormous amount of work, and the deep disappointment, experienced by many of you as a consequence of the very small amount of funding available for this scheme. Many excellent researchers missed out on an IG, and the Institute is committed to working with you to identify support for your excellent ideas and partnerships. In this newsletter we are launching our EMCR Awards and Seed Grants, further details below.
I was privileged to enjoy an afternoon in the sun with my family at Government House to receive my King’s Birthday Award. Congratulations to all the other 2023 recipients, including our own Professor Julie Considine, and Robyn Batten, who sits on the IHT Board. I also enjoyed an invitation to the launch of the Parliamentary Friends of Health and Medical Research in Canberra. Co-chaired by Ms Clare O’Neil, MP, and Ms Katie Allen, MP, and supported by Research Australia, the launch included a great discussion on the need for a national health and medical research workforce strategy.
In September we were pleased to release our 2022 Impact Report. If you haven’t already, I encourage you all to take a moment to read the report and reflect on everything we achieved in 2022. Thank you to all our researchers for your persistence and pursuit of achieving research excellence. I am proud to say that in 2022 I have continued to be inspired by IHT researchers and their commitment to making better health and wellbeing easier for everyone to achieve. Please feel free to share this report with your partners and collaborators.
And finally, a warm welcome to Michelle Jeavons, our new Communications Coordinator. Please feel welcome to come and say hello to her in the IHT Hub at Burwood.