Burnet Institute Co-Program Director of Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, Professor Caroline Homer AO, has been appointed Chair of the Council of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
Eleven of the 15 non-ex-officio members are women – a record in female membership of the Council – appointed for a three-year term to June 2024.
Professor Homer is an internationally renowned researcher, scholar and leader in maternal and newborn health care and service delivery with more than 25 years’ experience in clinical practice, research, education and international development.
“I am honoured to rejoin the NHMRC Council, this time as the Chair,” Professor Homer, who is also an Emeritus Professor of Midwifery at the University of Technology Sydney, said.
“I look forward to working with the new Council, Professor Anne Kelso, the CEO of NHMRC, and the staff of the NHMRC in this important time for health and medical research in Australia and globally.”
Professor Homer is current Deputy Chair of the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board and Chair of the NHMRC’s Peer Review Analysis Committee.
She was a member of the Council in 2018-2021 and has previously been a member of the NHMRC’s Research Committee and Chair of the NHMRC’s Women in Health Science Committee.
Burnet Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC congratulated Professor Homer and all of the Council members on their appointments.
“The NHMRC is the most important medical research body in Australia, overseeing research grants, ethics and public health guidelines for the nation,” Professor Crabb said.
“Today, Australia’s Health Minister the Hon Greg Hunt MP announced the makeup of the Governing Council for the next three years.
“It is a stellar line up of research and health professionals who will support the work of the CEO Prof Anne Kelso AO and her extraordinary team.
“I’m very pleased to note that the Council will be led by our own Professor Caroline Homer AO.
“Professor Homer is an extraordinary researcher and research leader who will – with a calm, modest and knowledgeable authority – guide the Council through this next highly challenging period.
Membership of the Council brings together expertise in biomedical science, clinical and public health, nursing, health care training and the medical profession, as well as business and consumer perspectives, and expertise in the health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The NHMRC is the nation’s leading body supporting excellent health and medical research to improve health outcomes for all Australians.
It provides the foundation for Australia’s medical research capability, funding the best research and researchers, ensuring consistent health standards and advising on ethical issues in health.
The Council’s role is to ensure that robust expert advice reflecting a wide range of perspectives is provided to Professor Kelso to support these functions.
Health Minister Hunt thanked former Chair of the NHMRC Council, Professor Bruce Robinson AC, and all members of the former Council for their contributions and commitment to supporting the work of the NHMRC throughout the previous triennium (2018-2021).