The members along with the convenor of the group and Murdoch Children's Director, Professor Kathryn North AM, all share a passion for the health and wellbeing of babies, children and young people in Australia and around the world, and are committed to supporting the next generation.
The Council includes nine esteemed members; former Governor of Australia Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO, Paula Fox AO, Jeanne Pratt AC, Lady Primrose Potter AC, Janet Calvert-Jones AO, Jean Miller and Frances Underwood.
According to Dame Quentin Bryce, the Council hope to be a new voice in promoting the importance of medical research and helping to celebrate the achievements of Murdoch Children's over the past 30 years.
“I look at the advances in medical research and I am blown away by what can now be achieved. There is something very special about the people who work in this area – doctors and researchers, they are truly inspiring,” said Dame Quentin.
Dame Quentin, who has a background in social policy, knows the value of research to prevent and treat illness in children, having had a son diagnosed with a serious blood condition when he was younger.
“As a mother and grandmother, nothing means more to me than the health of children because it’s about the future.”
The Council meets regularly at the Murdoch Children's, based at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, visiting the research laboratories and learning about the latest child health issues and breakthroughs. By utilising their impressive life experience, extensive networks and philanthropic leadership, together they are able to amplify key health messages and garner support at every level in the community for the work of the Institute. All of them are mothers and grandmothers who share a deep concern for the wellbeing of future generations.
Launched at the beginning of the Institute’s 30th Anniversary year, the Council is developing new ways to engage the community in support of child health research, fundraising and advocacy.
“These women each bring a great deal of experience, from decades of professional, philanthropic and community work, and will help us champion the vital work of the Institute,” said Professor North.
Janet Calvert-Jones, the youngest daughter of the Institute’s founding patron Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, was on the Board of Director’s for 27 years and has seen firsthand the life-saving and novel discoveries that MCRI has produced over the years, from the discovery of the devastating rotavirus and pioneering inhalable vaccines to developing a potential treatment for peanut allergy and leading the world in the clinical integration of Genomics and personalised medicine.
Over many decades, Paula Fox, Jeanne Pratt, Jean Miller, Lady Primrose Potter and Frances Underwood have dedicated themselves to investing in child health research and understanding issues facing children and adolescents.