On 18 November 2015 the Research Australia Awards celebrated the accomplishments of 8 extraordinary Australians who have made invaluable contributions to Australian health and medical research through ongoing advocacy, groundbreaking research and discovery, or generous philanthropic donations that continue to make innovation possible.
The Awards recognised those in the categories of discovery, advocacy, philanthropy, health services research and lifetime achievement.
Now in its 13th year, the Research Australia Awards saw a number of outstanding Australians celebrated, including Connie and Sam Johnson, Founders of the Love Your Sister campaign who aim to raise $10 million for breast cancer and Professor Sharon Lewin from the Peter Doherty Institute who received the night’s most prestigious award – the Peter Wills Medal. Professor Lewin’s leadership in science and her HIV research is renowned globally as the world continues its search for a cure.
Elizabeth Foley, CEO and Managing Director of Research Australia, said Research Australia, in its 15th year of operations, is proud to continue to celebrate the nation’s best in health and medical research.
“For thirteen of our fifteen years Research Australia has recognised those Australians who have continuously contributed to, and advocated for, the health and medical research sector in Australia through the Research Australia Awards. This year was no different; we received an impressive number of award nominations and continue to be so inspired by those put forward.
“We congratulate all of the recipients of this year’s awards for their pioneering efforts and their ongoing commitment to advancing the health and medical research industry in this country, inspiring many along the way. Given the complexity of the issues facing the health of Australians, health and medical research has never been so important,” said Ms. Foley.
The 2015 Research Australia Award recipients are:

• The Peter Wills Medal (for advancing Australia’s international reputation within the sector): Prof Sharon Lewin, Director, The Peter Doherty Institute of Infection & Immunity
• Lifetime Achievement Award: Professor Perry Bartlett FAA, Professor of Molecular Neuroscience, Queensland Brain Institute
• Discovery Award (for an early career researcher): Dr Andrew Gardner, PhD candidate, Centre for Translational Neuroscience and Mental Health, Calvary Mater Hospital, Newcastle
• Advocacy Award: Connie and Sam Johnson, Founders of Love Your Sister
• Great Australian Philanthropy Award: John Gandel AO and Pauline Gandel, Gandel Foundation
• Health Services Research Award: Prof Jeffrey Braithwaite, Founding Director, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University

Research Australia recognises the valuable support and generosity of the Awards’ sponsors: AskRIGHT, Cook Medical, Griffith University, GlaxoSmithKline, Diabetes Australia and the Victorian Government.
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• The Peter Wills Medal (for advancing Australia’s international reputation within the sector): Recognises an Australian who has made an outstanding contribution to building Australia’s international reputation in the area of health and medical research, and for harnessing government, research, industry and philanthropic collaborations to promote better health
• Cook Medical Lifetime Achievement Award: Honours a significant lifetime commitment to supporting and promoting health and medical research.
• Griffith University Discovery Award (for an early career researcher): Recognises an early career researcher whose paper/patent/discovery has already demonstrated its importance or impact.
• Advocacy Award: Recognises an Australian from either the media, celebrity or a member of the community who has raised community awareness about the benefits of H&MR.
• AskRIGHT Great Australian Philanthropy Award: Recognises and encourages personal philanthropic donations over a period of time by an individual or family to Australian H&MR
• Victorian Government Health Services Research Award: Recognises an outstanding contribution to the field, provided research leadership, undertaken research that has led to a significant improvement in healthcare, and/or has championed the development of the health services research field.

Further details of the winners are available at