May 2024 newsletter

A message from our President

The Federal Government recently shared details of a $1.89 billion investment in health and medical research through its Health Research for a Future Made in Australia package – a welcome announcement! The package included several elements which align with the key priorities outlined in the Academy’s report on the benefits of integrating research into healthcare. Australia’s health and medical research is world-leading, and strategic investment such as this will drive innovation, improve productivity, and ultimately lead to better health outcomes for all Australians. The National One Stop Shop announced as part of this package has the potential to improve coordination between researchers and health providers. AAHMS welcomes this mechanism aimed at giving more patients access to innovative clinical trials and simplifying interstate research collaboration. We were also pleased to see the Health Research for a Future Made in Australia package including measures to support emerging researchers. Read more about the package and the Academy’s response to it on the AAHMS website.

To mark 10 years since the Academy’s formation, each month we have been reflecting on one of the Academy’s significant achievements. Fittingly, this month we highlight the same report I mentioned above: Research and innovation as core functions in transforming the health system: A vision for the future of health in Australia. This report, developed by a working group expertly chaired by Fellow Professor Christina Mitchell, sets out a three-year plan to achieve to improve the health system by better harnessing research. The report identifies 14 recommendations, including five priority actions, and it’s been wonderful to see how the latest funding announcement draws on those recommendations. Read more about the report and the incredible work that went into its creation in our feature online.

Supporting the next generation of clinician-scientists has always been a priority for the Academy, and our Life as a Clinician-Scientist program is testament to that commitment. We have just hosted our first-ever Canberra symposium, and later this month (28 May) will hold our popular online event for allied health professionals. Life as a Clinician-Scientist Allied Health features some excellent speakers across a wide range of disciplines, including AAHMS Associate Member Professor Lauren Ball. Please share the news among your networks, as we often find people attend the event after being encouraged by a mentor or peer:

Best wishes, 

Professor Louise Baur AM PresAHMS

Life as Clinician-Scientist Allied Health

Our online Allied Health symposium offers a unique platform to hear from leading experts in the field and learn about the many pathways to this exciting career. The free event will be held online on 28 May from 4-5.30pm, and includes a Q&A with speakers.
Chaired by Professor Kim Bennell FAHMS (Melbourne Laureate Professor and NHMRC Investigator Fellow, Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine, Department of Physiotherapy, The University of Melbourne) and Professor Catherine Sherrington FAHMS (Professor, The University of Sydney and Sydney Local Health District), our speaker line-up includes:

  • Professor Lauren Ball, Chair of Community Health and Wellbeing, The University of Queensland
  • Andrew Davison, Chief Allied Health Officer, NSW Health, Ministry of Health
  • Associate Professor Kade Paterson, Principal Research Fellow, Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine, The University of Melbourne and Certified Sports Podiatrist, Lakeside Sports Medicine Centre
  • Dr Mihiri Silva, Clinician-Scientist Fellow, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Consultant Paediatric Dentist, Royal Children’s Hospital and Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Dentistry, The University of Melbourne

Celebrating 10 years

“I think when it comes to setting up a good system that supports research, it starts with leadership, it starts with having the right culture, and having a vision and strategy that embeds research into it.” – Senior healthcare executive.

This year, the Academy celebrates 10 years since its formation. As part of our celebrations, we’re reflecting on 10 of our biggest achievements. This month we reflect on the  Research and innovation as core functions in transforming the health system: A vision for the future of health in Australia report, which was developed after consultation with more than 260 individuals. Read the full story on our website.


Professor Laura Mackay received the 2024 ICIS-Luminex John R. Kettman Award for her outstanding contributions to Cytokine and Interferon research.

Fellows in the news

Professor Fran Baum was one of four Australians to participate in the 5th People’s Health Assembly in Argentina in April. She wrote about her experience for Croakey news. She also co-authored a paper titled Privatisation of government services in Australia: what is known about health and equity impacts, published in Globalization and Health.
Professor Richard Kitching and Professor Peter Ebeling led a study that revealed the need for mentoring programs for physician-scientists.
Professor Ian Hickie co-authored a piece for The Conversation on what he discovered when they looked at genetic clues to depression in more than 14,000 people. The piece was picked up in several other publications, including internationally. Patterns of stressful life events and polygenic scores for five mental disorders and neuroticism among adults with depression was published in Nature Molecular Psychiatry.  Professor Hickey also spoke to Sky News on legalising cannabis.
Professor Andrew Whitehouse commented on the Federal Government’s draft national autism strategy to ABC Radio and He also wrote on the topic for The Conversation.
Professor Clare Collins was profiled on Bench Side Story.
Professor Stephen Duckett wrote about the pathology bulk-billing campaign for MJA Insight and The Conversation. He also authored a piece on GP clinics and payroll tax and an article on the barriers stopping us making the most of healthworkers’ skills. ABC radio also interviewed Professor Duckett in relation to planned surgery wait times. He also authored a piece for The Mandarin on state and national health reform.
Professor Dale Godfrey spoke to NewsGP about a new strain of COVID.
Professor Flavia Cicuttini co-authored a piece on new findings for hand osteoarthritis for MJA InSight.

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