Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Rod and I warmly welcome you to Government House to thank the supporters of the NeuroSurgical Research Foundation.

The innovation, research and collaboration that is being conducted in our universities and scientific institutions is a source of pride for us all in South Australia.

Each and every day, doctors and scientists are undertaking the quest to find causes, better diagnoses, better ways of prevention and better treatments for diseases and disorders.

Through the NeuroSurgical Research Foundation, some of our most innovative scientists and doctors are focussed on conditions which can have a severe impact on people’s lives.

Statistics tell a stark story as to why such medical research is so vital.

  • 1,000 people a year are diagnosed with Glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer. The average survival period is 15 months.
  • As many as 69 million people each year suffer from a traumatic brain injury – the leading cause of disability and death world-wide.
  • One in every 350 Australians suffers from Parkinson’s, with 32 new cases diagnosed each day.
  • One in four people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime.

But behind these statistics are the human stories: the patients; their families; and the passionate researchers who are searching for ways to improve quality of life and eventually find cures.

Behind them are those equally passionate donors who provide generous support so this vital work can continue.

Such support currently is enabling researchers at the University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, Flinders University, SAHMRI, the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Women’s and Children’s hospital to find hope.

Since its inception in 1963, the Foundation has donated more than $11 million to fund life-saving neurosurgical equipment and research.

This year, seed funding from the Foundation has also enabled two significant funding wins:

Associate Professor Renee Turner from the University of Adelaide was awarded more than $2.5 million in the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund for stroke Research.

Dr Guillermo Gomez from the Centre for Cancer Biology was awarded $2 million to develop a new treatment for Glioblastoma.

As well, a new research collaboration, Brain Tumour Research SA, has been established.

I wish them well in their quest.

The world-wide pandemic has presented us with many challenges, including the need to find innovative ways to fundraise in difficult times when people may not be able to come together.

I understand that fundraisers did an incredible job and set up a DIY City to Bay fun runs when the official event was cancelled and raised more than $25,000.

And it was so successful, the DIY approach will be on the agenda again next year!

I congratulate the foundation for your vision, expertise and drive in ensuring your mission is discharged with strength and passion.

One of the positives that has come out of the pandemic, I believe, is how we have banded together as a community for the community good.

To the donors we are recognising tonight, thank you for being a heartfelt part of that community.

Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC

GOVERNOR OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA