30 years supporting Indigenous health and medical research

1 June 2015:

Menzies School of Health Research - celebrating 30 yearsThis year the Menzies School of Health Research is celebrating 30 years of improving health outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

Today Menzies also extends its pioneering work into global and tropical health in more than 20 countries across the Asia-Pacific region.

Headquartered in Darwin, working closely with the community has been a feature of how Menzies identifies important research topics, achieving significant milestones along the way such as:

  • Finding that otitis media (middle ear infection) is linked with poor development of communication skills in children
  • Carrying out a landmark study on the deadly tropical bacterial disease melioidosis
  • Launching a Substance Abuse Unit in 1992
  • Implementing community-based interventions to reduce cardiovascular disease and diabetes in Indigenous Australians
  • As well as conducting research into malaria, TB, cancer, kidney disease, rheumatic heart disease and more.

The 30-year celebration also marks a significant milestone for the Menzies Foundation which has a very proud history supporting the work of the Menzies team. Over the years, the Menzies Foundation has provided over $3 million in support for the Menzies School of Health Research.

In line with the early priorities of the Menzies Foundation, funding and initial assistance was provided for administration and part of the salary of the founding Director of Menzies School of Health Research way back in 1982.

In fact the early idea for the School was generated from the first Menzies National Conference in Melbourne in 1980, where Mr Harry Giese AM MBE, Chairman of the Foundation’s Northern Territory Committee, put the issue of Aboriginal health and nutrition firmly on the agenda.

Following further workshops and extensive consultation, the idea of a school for health research received strong support in practical and financial terms from the Northern Territory Government, and the University of Sydney in 1982.

The Menzies School of Health Research was officially opened in 1984 and was incorporated under its own legislation passed in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly in 1985.

Today, Menzies is Australia’s leading medical health research institute dedicated to improving health outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

To mark National Reconciliation Week we’d encourage people to take a look at some of the amazing work Menzies is doing today in Indigenous and tropical health by visiting www.menzies.edu.au

You may even consider making a donation to enable this challenging but rewarding work to continue to make an impact.