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Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes Limited
2020 AAMRI Convention
Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes Limited
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10 December 2020
Plenary Session - AAMRI - Room 1

  • Chair: Professor Jonathan Carapetis AM, AAMRI President 

10:05 am


  • With audience Q&A
  • Speaker: The Hon Chris Bowen MP
  • Chair: Professor Jonathan Carapetis AM

10:40 am


  • Panel discussion and Q&A
  • Chair: Elizabeth Hartland

There are turbulent times ahead for medical research funding, prompting important questions for the sector about how to pivot to more sustainable funding streams. The economic downturn will impact revenue from non-government sources, which at present represent 60% of the sector’s income. Philanthropy, commercial income, and international education are all in decline heading into what is expected to be a prolonged economic downturn. At the same time, the Australian Government is significantly increasing funding for medical research through the Medical Research Future Fund, funding new projects, but at the same time resulting in new funding gaps which need to be bridged.

In this session leading sector experts will discuss the challenges that lie ahead, as well as the responses needed from the medical research sector, governments, and other funders of medical research.

10 December 2020
11:30 am - 1:00 pm - 10 December 2020

MRI OPERATIONS MEETING PART 1 – The financial outlook

Presentation - AAMRI - Room 1

  • Chair: Dr Peter Thomas, AAMRI
  • Presentation, Panel discussion and Q&A 

11:30 am


  • Speaker: Martin Paul, More Stratgic
  • Chair: Kate Barnett, St Vincent's Foundation
  • Presentation and Q&A

Martin will share findings from 3 research studies conducted over the past 9 months examining the expectations of fundraisers (March and July); fundraising performance (4 months to end June) and the impact on public attitudes to giving (September). Whilst the future will be challenging there is certainly some good news to share.

12:00 pm


  • Chair: Nick Wood
  • Presentation: Dr Cath Latham followed by panel discussion and Q&A

MRIs have been developing a number of innovative strategies to diversify their revenue streams and decrease their dependence on government funding in recent years. This shift has been responding to the increasing uncertainty in the funding landscape for medical research.

Last year at the AAMRI Convention we discussed different funding models and whether the MRI sector was prepared for the financial challenges that may lie on the horizon. Little did we know that just around the corner, 2020 would bring a pandemic-induced recession, emergency alterations to government research funding schemes and significant threats to non-government revenue streams for MRIs.

In this session we will first explore the pre-pandemic funding profile for the MRI sector and some of the impacts of COVID-19 on different sources of revenue. This will be followed by case studies from four medical research institutes describing their financial journey through the ups and downs of 2020. The panel will then discuss what this means for funding medical research at MRIs in 2021 and beyond. 

10 December 2020
1:00 pm - 1:35 pm - 10 December 2020

Day Two – Lunch

AAMRI - Room 1
10 December 2020

  • Chair: Professor Maxine Morand, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • Presentation, Panel discussion and Q&A 

1:35 pm


Presentation and Q&A

In recent years there has been a significant national effort to shift to a prevention-based approach to addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. The Australian Human Rights Commission has led the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces and released their report, Respect@Work, in March 2020. The recommendations from this report set out a new framework that is focussed on creating a culture of prevention and a network of support for victims in all levels of the organisation.

Kate Jenkins, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, has called for each industry to lead their own response to the Respect@Work report and set a new precedent for safe workplaces across Australia. Kate will share her perspective and guidance in developing industry-led initiatives to promote safe workplaces and build on the work of the National Inquiry.


2:20 pm


  • Chair: Professor Maxine Morand
  • Speaker: Dr Cath Latham

Presentation, Panel discussion and Q&A

Advancing gender equality, diversity and inclusion in medical research is a priority for the AAMRI Board and is a significant new area of the work that AAMRI is undertaking for the medical research institute sector. To lead this work, the Board has established the AAMRI Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, whose first task is to develop a gender equality strategy for AAMRI through consultation with AAMRI's member institutes. AAMRI and the Committee’s will be working with MRIs to advocate for change and provide guidance on best practice for medical research institutes, building on the work of experts and other groups working towards equality in STEM.

As part of the annual workforce data collection, AAMRI has been able to determine that in a female dominant workforce, women continue to be underrepresented at senior levels at MRIs. While MRIs have been systematically addressing gender inequality through initiatives such as Athena SWAN accreditation (SAGE), each institute is at a different place on their diversity and inclusion journey.

In this session, we will hear about the current status of the MRI sector’s gender equality, diversity and inclusion policies and practices by exploring the findings from a recent survey of AAMRI’s 57 members (November, 2020). An expert panel will then discuss possible actions to assist medical research institutes and address the key issues in the sector.

Find out more about AAMRI’s Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee here.

10 December 2020
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm - 10 December 2020

AAMRI Annual General Meeting

AGM - AAMRI - Room 1

  • The AAMRI AGM will be held via zoom. Members have been sent papers and a link to join the meeting.