Menzies' researchers are developing a new centre to develop the biomedical workforce in the Northern Territory.

Associate Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan, Dr Robyn Marsh, Dr Kalinda Griffiths and Mark Mayo have received the biennial $1 million Ramaciotti Biomedical Research Award, which will be used to develop the Ramaciotti Centre for Excellence in Building Regional and Remote Biomedical Capability. The Centre will establish a sustainable, local and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander biomedical workforce in regional and remote northern Australia and develop biomedical career progression for regional and remote youth, with a focus on career development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.

Associate Professor Smith-Vaughan says there is a shortage of biomedical staff in the Northern Territory and the majority of the workforce is transitory. She believes that the Centre will help train new people into the workforce as well as support career development.

“This Centre will provide previously unimagined opportunities for regional and remote youth. It will support young people into further studies and right through to become industry-ready graduates to fill the gaps in our regional and remote health and biomedical workforce.

“Having the Ramaciotti name behind this Centre, will help Menzies build capacity in the delivery of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health staff and develop a model which can be implemented beyond the Northern Territory,” A/Prof Smith-Vaughan said.

The Centre will provide multiple biomedical training entry points from school engagement, certificate level training for high school graduates, cadet training for undergraduates, internships in remote and regional centres across northern Australia, and higher degree and research career opportunities.

Perpetual (the providers of the grant) has made a video about the key purpose of creating pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth and developing a biomedical workforce for regional and remote Australia. Watch the video here.