Date published: 
8 October 2021
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Morrison Government will boost funding to improve research and prevention of brain injuries and concussion for Australians playing sport.

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) will use an additional $340,000 in funding for the Concussion and Brain Health Project, a comprehensive study that will draw on the expertise of medical professionals and researchers.

The work will include an evaluation of the brain health of retired elite level athletes, in collaboration with the University of Newcastle and the University of Canberra.

The Concussion in Sport Australia: Position Statement will also be updated in collaboration with the Australian Medical Association, Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians, and Sports Medicine Australia.

Minister for Heath and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said more than 700,000 Australians have a brain injury, which can limit and restrict participation in daily life.

“Three in every four in Australia with brain injuries are aged under 65, and while the injury is not always linked to playing sport, there have been growing concerns regarding the long term impacts of multiple concussions,” Minister Hunt said.

“We want to ensure that all Australians can continue to play sport at all levels without endangering their long term brain health.

"I also want to acknowledge the Tuck family, whose tragic loss of Shane at such a young age helped to springboard a national conversation on brain injury in sport."

Minister for Sport, Richard Colbeck, said the Concussion and Brain Health project will start this year and be delivered by 2024.

“This is vital research for a sport-loving nation,” Minister Colbeck said. “We know the impacts brain damage can have on those affected and their families.

“Through collaboration with medical experts, researchers and athletes, we will be able to better understand the effects of concussions and help to prevent brain injuries for current and future athletes.”

The project builds on the research the Government has been undertaking in this area through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

The Traumatic Brain Injury Mission is funded through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). The Government recently opened a new $4 million grant round for research projects into new approaches for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sports-related concussion.

The Mission is providing $50 million over 10 years for research aimed at improving the lives of people living with brain injuries.

Last year, the Government awarded $5.7 million from the mission to three major research projects investigating better detection and management of brain injuries.

The Concussion in Sport Australia: Position Statement was last updated in February 2019.