Powerful new network to ensure Indigenous Australians can benefit from genomic medicine

Media release from the Australian Alliance for Indigenous Genomics (ALIGN)

A national alliance of the brightest minds in genomic science, academia, policy makers, industry and Indigenous leaders will work to break down barriers to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can benefit from advances in genomic medicine if they choose.

The Australian Alliance for Indigenous Genomics (ALIGN) has been formed to ensure Indigenous Australians are considered and included in the application of genomic medicine – where information from DNA is used to better inform patient risk, diagnosis and care. Supported by Telethon Kids Institute, the Australian National University and 28 other key partners, ALIGN will be governed by an Indigenous Council to ensure every ‘gift’ of DNA provided by Indigenous Australians is treated with respect.

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Today: from $3 billion genome to the $1,000 genome. Tomorrow: your code on your phone?

The International Congress of Genetics returns to Australia


  • 4 pm: Evensong celebrating science and faith at St Pauls Cathedral – more below
  • 6 pm: Congress opening ceremony with Victorian Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas, and Congress Chair Kathryn North, Melbourne Convention Centre


  • Capturing the genetic code of every species in the Tree of Life.
  • Nobel Laureate Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, African Biogenome Project leader Anne Muigai, Science Executive Editor Valda Vinson on Women in Science – unique journeys to different peaks, with Jen Martin.

Media welcome

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Precision medicine for Indigenous communities

“Nothing about us, without us”

National Indigenous genomics initiative launch

Sunday 16 July 2023 10 am

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

A national centre launched today will bring the benefits of genomics medicine to Indigenous Australians, who still have a life expectancy 10 years less that the general population.

“80 per cent of this life expectancy gap is due to chronic disease,” says Alex Brown, Lead of The Australian Alliance for Indigenous Genomics (ALIGN) and Professor of Indigenous Genomics at the Telethon Kids Institute and the Australian National University. Alex is a member of the Yuin Nation and grew on the NSW South Coast.

“Australia is on the cusp of a new era in personalised medicine that will bring deeper insights into common diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer,” he says.

“ALIGN is a commitment designed by Indigenous people, for Indigenous people, to offer the benefit of genomic medicine to all,” he says.

“Its basic premise is ‘nothing about us, without us.’ This is critical to ensure equity is achieved in health outcomes,” he says.

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Dreamliner composites. Hearing loss. AI valuations. Healing chronic wounds. Mercury-free teeth.

Innovation winners from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane

Six Excellence in Innovation awards were presented last night at the Collaborate Innovate 2023 conference in Adelaide, held by Collaborative Research Australia. The awards are sponsored by UNSW.

“The winners have each shown how Australian research can be transformed through collaboration into impactful organisations and businesses, creating jobs and improving lives,” says Jane O’Dwyer, the CEO of Cooperative Research Australia.

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Sleep for bushfire survivors. Cane waste to rebuild soil health. The real cost of your carbon travel. Creating tri-sector careers.

  • Sleep for bushfire survivors
  • Cane waste to rebuild soil health
  • The real carbon cost of your travel
  • Creating tri-sector careers

Four early career researchers from Canberra, Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne recognised by Cooperative Research Australia for their innovative research and their ability to present it clearly and simply.

“These researchers illustrate the difference that deeply collaborative research can make for Australia,” says Jane O’Dwyer, the CEO of Cooperative Research Australia.

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Transforming Melbourne, transforming the world

International Genetics Congress returns

  • When will genetics deliver on the hype and truly guide your healthcare?
  • It’s in the air and water – a campaign to find and protect Australia’s missing plant and animal species
  • Growing rice without paddies and other plant breeding tricks
  • Life in the most extreme environments
  • How flies solve the riddles of rare human diseases
  • Catch-22: perils, promises, and profit from indigenous peoples’ DNA


  • Celebrating genetics at St Pauls
  • Counting peas: Mendel’s 201st birthday
  • An oratorio on the Origins of the Universe, of Life, of Species, of Humanity 
  • Are super athletes born or made? Genetics vs Sport 

Some of the hundreds of stories to be discovered at the 23rd International Genetic Congress, 16 to 21 July at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The media are welcome.

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Australia can turn research into innovation, jobs and companies

The idea that Australian can lead in research, but can’t capture the benefits will be challenged in Adelaide this week.

Cooperative Research Australia’s 2023 conference at the Adelaide Convention Centre will reveal how Australian researchers are successfully turning research into innovations that are transforming society and creating jobs and wealth.

Speakers include State and Federal science ministers and chief scientists.

Media welcome, contact Niall Byrne, for accreditation.

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Media welcome – International Congress of Genetics

Media are welcome. 
For more information and accreditation contact:
Niall Byrne +61-417-131-977

Twenty years ago, Australia hosted the International Congress of Genetics. It marked the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the Double Helix, explored the impact of the recently completed human genome project, and discussed how the genetics revolution would transform health, agriculture, food, sport, even the law.

Today, we’re seeing the genetics revolution in action:

  • mRNA is transforming vaccine and drug development,
  • mysterious genetic disorders are being unravelled and even cured,
  • plant and animal breeding is being transformed by CRISPR and other technologies,
  • pests, diseases and biodiversity are being monitored by eDNA,
  • synthetic biology is offering ways of turning agricultural waste into biofuels.

The Congress will be back in Australia, in Melbourne, from 16-21 July 2023.

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