Wednesday, 07 February 2024

NeuroSurgical Research Foundation Reception

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

Work that for 60 years has been supporting vital research that is turning potential into possibilities. Possibilities into positive results.

As Rod and I visit medical research centres and hospitals in South Australia, we are constantly impressed by the innovation, dedication and collaboration shown by our scientists, our doctors and the many allied professions that support them.

Their quest for prevention, cures, treatments, and breakthroughs that will improve people’s lives is a constant source of pride for our State as a community that both innovates and cares.

Indeed, our scientific community has a national and international reputation for leading scientific research. It has done so throughout our history.

And by playing its part, the NeuroSurgical Research Foundation makes a valuable contribution to this reputation.

In the past year, the Foundation distributed almost $1.4 million through 34 different research grants.

Over time, seed funding of $14 million provided by the Foundation has attracted an additional $32 million in Federal and industry funding.

Impressive though these figures are, it is the story of what is possible that we are celebrating today.

Through medical research we, along with others across Australia and around the world, are unravelling the intricate mysteries of the brain to find ways to treat and prevent diseases and disorders such as brain tumours, brain injury, Parkinson’s, stroke and spinal chord injury.

I am sure that many of us are following with attention and hope the inspiring and courageous story of Professor Richard Scolyer as he, together with his friend, colleague and fellow Australian of the Year Professor Georgina Long, push the frontiers of treatment of brain tumours.

The Foundation has a proud history of supporting others to push boundaries and we are here today to thank all in this room for playing your part in the Foundation’s 60 years of contributions, whether that’s through donations, fundraising, or volunteering.

Since we last met at Government House, the first John Crowley Memorial Scholarship has been awarded.

As many of you may know, John was a final year nursing student at the Royal Adelaide Hospital who died after a motorcycle accident in 1986 at the age of 28. A bequest made by his parents will enable the award to run for an anticipated 20 years.

The first recipient was Abhiram Hiwase, a senior medical student at the University of Adelaide whose research focuses on factors that are involved in the recurrence of blood clots on the brain, including abnormal clotting mechanisms.

I was particularly interested to learn of the Foundation’s three-year commitment to assist in the establishment of South Australia’s first paediatric brain tumour bank.

This will be part of the proton beam therapy unit, the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, being built at the Australian Bragg Centre, further along North Terrace, part of the Adelaide Bio Med City precinct.

The biobank will provide an invaluable resource to support world-class research here in South Australia and see Adelaide as a centre for treatment for paediatric patients.

I wish the project well. It is but one example of the generosity of spirit of the Foundation that will one day result in outcomes that advance neurosurgical research.


Over the years many of you in this room have received awards and I thank you for your continued support.

I look forward to shortly presenting 14 new awards to generous donors who have been instrumental in enabling the Foundation to achieve its goals.

I thank the board for its stewardship of the Foundation, the volunteers who give so much of their time, and the supporters and researchers who care about contributing to this challenging but rewarding field of research.

By supporting research you are investing in our future. Long may the NeuroSurgical Research Foundation continue to do so.

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