Harry Christian Giese AM MBE (1913–2000) was a community leader and administrator who played a key role in the establishment of the Menzies School of Health Research as the first faculty of the Northern Territory University. During Menzies’ establishment years, from the late 1970s to the 1990s, he served on the Board and National Executive of the Menzies Foundation.

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the landscape of health and education in Northern Australia, the Giese family, with Menzies, have developed the Harry Christian Giese – Research into Action Award.

The 2018 award winner is Menzies Clinical Trials Coordinator Dr Kamala Ley-Thriemer who will use her award as part of an international project seeking to improve the treatment of malaria working with communities and policy makers to facilitate the translation of research outcomes into better policy and practice.

Dr Ley-Thriemer will host community consultations in malaria-endemic countries Indonesia, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Vietnam to gain feedback on current treatment and community guidance on introducing a new shorter treatment regime which research is showing to be more effective.

“The research and consultation will assess prospective evidence to broaden the indication of radical cure which could be an important tool to help eliminate malaria and set public policy for treatment in these countries” said Dr Ley-Thriemer.   

Past winners of the award are continuing with their work at Menzies.

2017 – Dr Renae Kirkham

Dr Renae Kirkham says that the award enabled a short film to be created so that Aboriginal women could share their experiences of diabetes in pregnancy, including: how it has affected their lives; how they managed it; what they would do differently; and what messages they have for other women. This resource will support their knowledge, confidence and understanding. It will also be an additional aid for clinicians across the Territory.

Renae leads the NT and FNQ Diabetes in Pregnancy Partnerships evaluation of models of care and qualitative research with Aboriginal youth with Type 2 diabetes across northern Australia. 

2016 – Dr Jaqui Hughes

Dr Jaqui Hughes has been continuing her work fostering kidney health in Australia, looking at how data informs policy and best practice in places such as Thursday Island, Alice Springs and Darwin, and how Indigenous sovereignty determines how that happens. She emphasises the importance of understanding how kidney failure and injury develop over time. Through events and videos, she is sharing her work with communities.

2015 Professor Gail Garvey

The SCNAT-IP project has progressed really well and is now in its final stage. Workshops were held in seven sites around Australia. The sites were located in Darwin, Port Augusta, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney, and included three urban cancer care centres, an Aboriginal community controlled primary health care service, and one rural primary health care service supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with chronic health conditions or long term illness in a rural setting. Workshops were also held at a professional oncology nurses' bi-annual conference and the NSW Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council Cancer Symposium.

2014 – Dr Matthew Grigg

Dr Matthew Grigg has continued his state-wide surveillance of malaria in Sabah, through the Ministry of Health and district hospitals. Cases of zoonotic Plasmodium knowlesi are on the rise, now accounting for 98 per cent of all malaria cases in Malaysia as the human-only Plasmodium species is eliminated. His team plans to expand surveillance and validate sensitive molecular detection methods for other zoonotic monkey malaria species, including over multiple sites in Indonesia.

2013 – Dr Gabrielle McCallum

Dr Gabrielle McCallum continues to lead the Child Health Respiratory Program with Professor Anne Chang. It is active in the Northern Territory and extends across Australia and to New Zealand and Malaysia, seeking to improve lung health for children at risk. In 2018, Gabrielle received her first NHMRC grant for improving clinical outcomes for very young children with acute lower respiratory illness through randomised controlled trials over 12 months of weekly azinthromycin, compared with a placebo.

The Menzies medallion is awarded by the Menzies Board to groups or individuals who have made a considerable contribution to health, of relevance to the Northern Territory.

In 2019, the winner was: Professor Peter d'Abbs for his significant contribution to research into substance misuse and work relating to alcohol and other drug policy matters.

Past medallion recipients:

  • Professor Paul Torzillo
  • Professor Peter Morris
  • Dr Christine Connors
  • Dr Vicki Krause
  • June Oscar AO
  • Dr John Boffa
  • Associate Professor Susan Sayers
  • Yalu' Marngithinyaraw Indigenous Corporation
  • Ms Stephanie Bell
  • Dr Valerie Asche
  • Ms Margaret Brewster
  • Professor Bart Currie
  • Father Frank LFlynn MSC AC*
  • Mr Harry Giese AM MBE*
  • Professor Michael Good
  • Professor Richard Gye AO
  • Dr John Hargrave AO MBE
  • Mrs Susan Hutton
  • Professor David Kemp FAA*
  • Professor John Mathews AM
  • Dr Brian Reid
  • Dr KS Sriprakash
    * Deceased

The Ryan Family Prize is an internal annual award that recognises outstanding contributions to Menzies – individuals or groups who go above and beyond and help make Menzies a great place to work and/or to help Menzies achieve excellence.

The successful nominee is awarded with a $3000 prize and presented with a perpetual trophy.

The Companion of Menzies was created in 2018 to recognise exceptional contributions and support to the continued development and success of Menzies School of Health Research.

2019 recipients of the Companion of Menzies are: 

Pat Anderson AO
Pat Anderson’s leadership over many years in the establishment, growth and sustainability of Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) and the Lowitja Institute helped contribute to developing a cohort of leaders in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research and community-driven approaches. She is a powerful social justice advocate who works tirelessly to improve health, education and protection outcomes for Australia’s First Peoples.

Professor Tony Barnes
Tony Barnes in his role as Director provided leadership of the CRC for Aboriginal and Tropical Health and maintains strong research collaborations and institutional engagement with Menzies through his leading role as a statistician and in exploring the demography of the Northern Territory at the Northern Institute at Charles Darwin University.

The inaugural recipients are:  

Dr Val Asche 
Dr Asche was the head of the microbiology research unit at Menzies School of Health Research from 1986 to 1994 under its founding director Professor John Mathews. She continues her support for Menzies and we have the annual Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence. 

The Hon Austin Asche AC QC
Austin Asche was Former Northern Territory Administrator, Chief Justice and Inaugural Chair of the Northern Territory University whose support over the years has been wonderful for all of us at Menzies.

Richard Ryan AO 
Richard Ryan also has a long association with Menzies Chair for numerous years before becoming the inaugural Vice Chancellor of the Charles Darwin University (CDU). Richard returned to us from CDU and makes sure he keeps the wheels running as our treasurer and co-chairs our finance committee.

Val Asche has been a close friend of Menzies for a long time. We are thrilled that she continues her support through the Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence.

Established in 2001, the award is presented each year to a student whose academic performance in a completed course has been outstanding. The student is awarded with $250 towards study materials and books.

  1. Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence 2018

    Congratulations to Alison Fitzgerald, Clare Brown, Dr Eswaran Waran and Judith Watson, who have each been awarded the 2018 Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence.

  2. Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence 2017

    Congratulations to Gerrard Murray, Catherine Connolly and Chevy Brown who have been awarded the 2017 Val Ashe Prize for Academic Excellence.

  3. Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence 2016

    Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence: Congratulations to Emma Grimes, Jodi Phillips and Leigh Moore who have been awarded the 2016 Val Ashe Prize for Academic Excellence. The Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence is awarded annually to recognise outstanding achievement by...

  4. Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence 2015

    Congratulations to Josie Povey and Alexis Harper who have been awarded the 2015 Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence.

  5. Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence 2014

    Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence: Congratulations to Heather Wallace and Camille Mewett who have been awarded the 2014 Val Ashe Prize for Academic Excellence. The Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence is awarded annually to recognise outstanding achievement by students...

  6. Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence 2013

    Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence 2013


    Congratulations to Rachel Conn and Zeina Hayes who have been awarded the 2013 Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence.