Research excellence:
  • A 5 out of 5 ranking. The Australian Government’s Excellence in Research for Australia initiative recently described our work as ‘outstanding’ and ‘well above world standard’.
  • Value for money. A recent report by Deloitte Access Economics estimated that for every $1 Menzies spends, it creates $3 via savings to the public health purse and increased economic participation; well above the Australian health research sector average
Our recent achievements
  • Cancer is the second leading cause of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. In 2013 we launched our new Indigenous cancer research centre to lead a nationally co-ordinated and integrated effort to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment
  • Pioneered child lung disease research to prevent irreversible damage through a child-specific 'cough pathway'. The 'cough pathway' saw dramatic reductions in the duration of coughs, from a previous average of 16 weeks to just four weeks. The ‘cough pathway’ will be incorporated into Australian and international guidelines.
  • Worldwide, it has been estimated that 110 million children currently have skin sores (impetigo). In Australia, 8 out of every 10 children living in remote Aboriginal communities will have skin sores at least once before their first birthday while around 50 per cent of the pre-school and school aged children in these communities will have skin sores right now. In 2014 Menzies developed a pain-free treatment for skin sores set to benefit the millions of children worldwide who suffer from this infection.
  • Nine out of 10 children in remote communities have some form of ear disease, and many suffer hearing loss as a result. The impact on language development, behaviour and school performance can be devastating. We are trialing new approaches, including vaccinating pregnant mothers and using different combinations of childhood vaccines, to reduce Otitis Media ear disease in remote communities.
  • In South-East Asia, our research has contributed to changes in malaria treatment regimes that are reducing deaths by more than 35%. With over 40 million cases of malaria reported annually, widespread adoption of new treatments will see dramatic results.
  • Our Aboriginal Birth Cohort Study – starting in 1987 with 686 babies – is identifying the risk factors contributing to chronic disease (diabetes, cardiovascular and renal diseases) at different life stages. It is the longest prospective study of Aboriginal people ever conducted in Australia.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians make up 2.5% of the total population yet 10% of all dialysis patients. We have linked kidney disease and low birth weight. Our nutrition team is working with local leaders and general stores to improve nutrition in remote communities.
  • Because we work on the ground, in remote communities, we were among the first to clearly describe the symbiotic link between education and health, and critical nature of early intervention. Our new Centre for Child Development and Education is a key response. We will not close the gap unless we improve educational outcomes among Indigenous children.