Burnet celebrates International Women's Day

Burnet Institute

07 March, 2014

Professor Margaret Hellard delivering the keynote address at the IWD lunch 2014

Burnet would like to thank the 100 women who joined us today at our special International Womens' Day luncheon to embrace the vision of creating change for young women by investing in their education and health.

Keynote speaker, Professor Margaret Hellard, a revered researcher, clinician, mentor, mum, sister, daughter and friend, spoke passionately about the need to advocate for equal opportunities for women to a quality education and health equality.

“An estimated 31 million girls of primary school age and 34 million girls of lower secondary school age were not enrolled in school in 2011,” Professor Hellard said.

“Investing in young women’s education and health creates change and can transform their lives.”

Young inspiring researchers at Burnet joined Margaret in talking about their work and the impact it could have on the lives of young women.

(Photo: Dr Cath Latham highlighting how microbicides can empower women).

Dr Cath Latham explained how women can be empowered through control of their own protection using microbicides. Associate Professor Emma McBryde said more than eight million people, many of them women, have the deadly infectious disease, tuberculosis. Dr Megan Lim spoke about why Burnet was involved in changing behaviours of young women by texting health messages to ensure knowledge about STIs, HIV and infectious diseases. Dr Freya Fowkes discussed the Burnet-led breakthrough of understanding how the immune system in pregnant women responds to malaria, and Lisa Davidson also gave a perspective of Burnet’s home management of malaria in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

Professor Hellard also raised the question of how do we reclaim feminism for everyday Australian women and men. On the eve of International Women’s Day, we know many organisations and women will be thinking just that.

Photo: (L-R) Mrs de Kretser, Chloe Bryce-Shorten, Margaret Hellard, Caitlin Symon, Lady Anna Cowen, Kate Cowen.

Photo: Chloe Bryce-Shorten enjoyed meeting some young inspirational researchers, Alyce Vella, Freya Fowkes and Megan Lim.

Photo: Burnet’s HIV Ambassador, Belinda Collins chatting with Dr Carol Ginns and population health researcher Shelley Cogger.

Photo: Many of our supporters came dressed in IWD-purple!

Photo: You can tell from the smiles it was a very enjoyable lunch!