Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care - speech - 8 November

Read Assistant Minister Kearney's speech at the launch of MedChem Australia.

The Hon Ged Kearney MP
Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care

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Good morning and thank you for having me here.

Before I begin, I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we are meeting, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people of the Kulin nation.

I pay my respects to their Elders past and present, and their ongoing cultures and connection to country.
I extend that respect to all other First Nations people here today.

It’s very exciting to be here to launch MedChem Australia.

Can I say a particular thank you to Professor Chris Porter - Director of the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Professor Brendon Monahan - Director of MedChem Australia.

Touring this world-class facility and meeting some of the incredible researchers truly makes me very hopeful for the future.

Congratulations to everyone from the University of Sydney, Monash University and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute who have worked so hard to bring it all together.

Working as a nurse for many years I witnessed upfront the lifechanging impact that medicine has on people’s lives.

Easing the pain of those with chronic conditions, keeping kids out of hospital, and improving the quality of life for older Australians. Modern medicine is truly amazing.

We know that medicines can be the difference between life and death.

And as simple as that might sound, for a doctor or nurse to prescribe or administer medicine, there is years – often decades – of research, testing, manufacturing and more that has led to the production of those lifesaving drugs. 

Australia is a world-leader when it comes to the medical research.

The cochlear implant, the medical use of insulin and HPV vaccines were all born out of the genius of Australian researchers. Indeed, where we are gathering today in Parkville is world renowned for its medical research.

But, despite our wealth of talent, it has been incredibly difficult to translate that research into real-world outcomes – into the medical treatments and cures that Australia and the world needs.

But MedChem Australia is changing that.

By bringing together the county’s top medicinal chemistry groups and sharing your knowledge, skills, equipment and facilities, MedChem Australia can bridge the gap.

The work you do here will accelerate promising early-stage drug discovery projects towards clinical trials and create new medicines for a broad range of diseases. Isn’t that just amazing.

Investing in projects like this just makes sense:

we’re growing investment in Australian research;

we’re creating jobs for Australians;

we’re opening up new export opportunities;

and – perhaps most importantly - we’re helping to develop the medicines that will save and improve the lives of so many Australians – right here in Australia.

Boosting our sovereign capability to develop and manufacture medicines is so critical for our future.

I am genuinely excited about the possibilities of what is going to be achieved.

I look forward to hearing about the ground-breaking and lifechanging medicines that start life right here in this facility. 

I am confident MedChem will transform drug discovery in Australia and keep us at the forefront of drug candidate translation.

Thank you.

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