Wesley Medical Research Patron-in-Chief Welcome Event
Wesley Medical Research Chairman, Mr Charlie Sartain and Members of the Board; Patrons, Emeritus Professor John Pearn AO and Mrs Vena Pearn, and Mr Martin Albrecht AC; Chief Executive Officer, Dr Claudia Giurgiuman; Distinguished Guests, ladies and gentlemen.
May I also acknowledge the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend respectful greetings to Elders, past, present, and emerging.
Thank you for your kind invitation to be here this evening. For me it is a great pleasure and honour to accept the role of Patron-in-Chief of Wesley Medical Research. I undertake this patronage with both enthusiasm and a degree of humility, as I consider the calibre of what this organisation has achieved since its establishment in December 1994. Its continuing role through the Biobank, clinical testing and specialist research fields, makes a very real contribution to the ongoing wellbeing of Queenslanders and indeed all humanity.
I think it is important on occasions such as this, that you pause to reflect on just how important your work is in the lives of all those you touch. The Wesley Medical Research mission to deliver “immediate improvements in patient care and quality of life through applied medical research” translates in real terms to ‘changing an untold number of lives for the better’ – a truly honourable endeavour.
Now, it would be remiss of me not to mention your significant contributions to the global COVID-19 response effort. The establishment of the ‘COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Centre’ forced you, as researchers, to become ‘First Responders’ of sorts – running towards the crisis, conducting time-critical research for a global community in need. You may remember that I had something of a professional interest in the pandemic! And might I say that the work of the Rapid Response Centre and that of similar groups here in Queensland, engendered in many of us a great pride in our profession at every level.
Although COVID has claimed the spotlight these past few years, I would also like to acknowledge the work you have undertaken in other areas. I particularly admire your ground-breaking research on autoimmune diseases, focusing on coeliac disease which affects so many in our population. And your focus on rural and remote mental health shows that you are actively working to improve the health and wellbeing of all Queenslanders, something that I truly value and am committed to shining a light on during my term as Governor.
I greatly enjoyed my tour of the facility and look forward to learning more about your work, especially in the research fields of Neurology, Coeliac disease and immune health.
Please be assured that I will take an active interest in supporting your ongoing ventures and in that spirit, I am delighted to accept the role of Patron in Chief, and take this opportunity to present a certificate of Vice-Regal Patronage to Wesley Medical Research.