Have you seen a sawfish?

Media releases

From Sydney to Cairns to Darwin to Perth, we want to hear about your sightings – a live fish, a saw on the wall of your local pub, or a photo from your family album.

“Your sightings, no matter how long ago they happened, will help us work out how many sawfish there used to be, how many remain, and how we can help them recover,” says Dr Barbara Wueringer, a zoologist and the director of Sharks and Rays Australia (SARA).

A sawfish caught at Manly, Sydney in 1926.
Photo source: Queensland State Library.

Forty years ago, sawfish were regularly seen off Sydney and the east coast, and Perth and up the west coast. Today they’re rarely seen outside of the Gulf of Carpentaria, NT and the Kimberley.

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Media Release: Melbourne steps up to drive global health

Melbourne Global

Images, video overlay, two case studies (rotavirus vaccine and TB in adolescents) and backgrounder available.

Melbourne Children’s Global Health initiative to take action for the:

  • Two million children dying annually from pneumonia and diarrhoea
  • 8 million new child and youth cases of TB each year
  • Mental health and wellbeing of youth caught up in global unemployment, civic unrest, conflict, urbanisation and migration
  • Hospitals and health workers who want training and education to help them save their young patients.

Three of Australia’s child health leaders are joining forces to tackle global child health. Melbourne Children’s Global Health will build on the achievements of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) and the University of Melbourne. [continue reading…]

Backgrounder: What is Melbourne Children’s Global Health? What will we do?

Melbourne Global

Melbourne Children’s Global Health is an initiative to improve the health of children and adolescents in disadvantaged populations globally through partnerships in research, public health, education and advocacy.

The initiative has been created by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics, and the Royal Children’s Hospital under the auspices of the Melbourne Children’s Campus, and with the support of the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation.

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Images: Melbourne Global

Melbourne Global

For hi-res versions please click on the photo and then right click to download the file.

The first baby in Indonesia to be vaccinated with the new vaccine. (Credit: Melbourne Children’s Campus)

The midwives and doctor at the Jatinom Primary Health Centre in Klaten District, Central Java, which is connected to the new rotavirus trial. (Credit: Melbourne Children’s Campus)

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Videos: Melbourne Global

Melbourne Global

High quality videos are available to download via Dropbox.

Click here to download videos.



Case Study: New rotavirus vaccine enters manufacturing

Melbourne Global

Bio Farma, Indonesia’s national vaccine company, is completing a phase 1 trial of a new rotavirus vaccine invented in Melbourne and has started pilot manufacture of the vaccine. Licencing trials are next, followed hopefully by release of the new vaccine in 2021.

The project is the culmination of a 42-year partnership between Melbourne and Gadjah Mada University which started after Ruth Bishop and colleagues found a virus, now known as rotavirus, in babies at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. They showed it was the cause of an acute gastroenteritis that was hospitalising 10,000 Australian children every year and killing more than half a million children worldwide. [continue reading…]

Case Study: TB in adolescents: Melbourne Children’s Global Health guides new WHO roadmap

Melbourne Global

In 2017, almost one million children fell ill and over 200,000 children under 15 died of tuberculosis, according to the latest WHO Roadmap. The report also identifies a previously underreported challenge, TB in adolescents.

University of Melbourne researcher Ms Kathryn Snow has estimated that about 1.8 million young people develop TB every year comprising [continue reading…]

Melbourne paediatrician wins 2018 CSL Florey Next Generation Award

CSL Florey Medal, Media releases

Oxygen halves child pneumonia deaths

A Melbourne student researcher and doctor has helped Nigerian hospitals halve the number of children dying from pneumonia—just by improving training and access to oxygen.

Dr Hamish Graham has been awarded with the inaugural $20,000 CSL Florey Next Generation Award for top PhD candidate in health and biomedical sciences. [continue reading…]

CSL Young Florey Medal – photos from the award night

CSL Florey Medal

The Hon Catherine King MP, Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare, presents winner Hamish Graham with the CSL Florey Next Generation Award (Photo credit: AAMRI/Bradley Cummings)

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2018 CSL Florey Next Generation Award finalists

CSL Florey Medal, Media releases

Canberra, Hobart and Melbourne young health and medical researchers vie for $20,000 top PhD student award

  • Eradicating gut worms: a path out of poverty
  • Oxygen halves child pneumonia deaths
  • Smart blood pressure measurement to cut heart risk

Scientists available for interviews

Media contacts: Tanya Ha, tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au, 0404 083 863;
Niall Byrne, niall@scienceinpublic.com.au, 0417 131 977, (03) 9398 1416

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Eradicating gut worms: a path out of poverty

CSL Florey Medal

Naomi Clarke, Australian National University

Hundreds of millions of children worldwide are infected with intestinal worms, which can stunt their growth and trap them in a cycle of poverty. Naomi Clarke has shown more can be done to reduce these worm infections worldwide.

Global efforts to control intestinal worms are reducing infection rates. Naomi’s research demonstrates that more can be done—simple changes to program guidelines could benefit millions of children and their communities. [continue reading…]

Oxygen monitoring halves child pneumonia deaths

CSL Florey Medal

Hamish Graham, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, University of Melbourne

Targeted oxygen therapy could save the lives of thousands of children. Melbourne researcher Hamish Graham says the key is identifying the children who need it most. He found that providing Nigerian hospitals with equipment and training to measure blood oxygen levels has halved the number of children dying from pneumonia.

Hamish, a paediatrician who has worked in Sudan and Nigeria, is now working to make oxygen—a treatment we take for granted in Australia—available to every child who needs it.  [continue reading…]

Smart blood pressure measurement to cut heart risk

CSL Florey Medal

Dean Picone, Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania

Heart disease is the world’s biggest killer, and high blood pressure is the number one warning sign. Dean Picone is developing a smarter way to measure blood pressure, to save lives and prevent unnecessary treatment.

“We’ve been measuring blood pressure the same way for more than 100 years,” Dean says. He thinks modern technology can do better than the standard inflatable cuff method.  [continue reading…]

2018 Metcalf Prizes – Media release

Media releases, National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia

Winners of the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia’s Metcalf Prizes announced.

Why do some cancer cells get away? – Heather Lee, Newcastle

Newborn babies offer clues for healing hearts – Enzo Porrello, Melbourne

Scientists available for interviews

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Newborn babies offer clues for healing hearts

National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia

For a few short days after birth, the heart can regenerate damaged tissue. Enzo Porrello wants to understand why this ability turns off, so that he and colleagues can switch it back on to heal broken hearts.

Understanding regeneration could lead to new treatments for different types of heart disease, the world’s biggest killer, from birth defects to heart attacks late in life. [continue reading…]

Leukaemia: studying the cancer cells that get away

National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia

Heather Lee is analysing individual cancer cells to understand how some survive therapy. Her research ultimately aims to prevent relapse and lift survival rates for leukaemia.

Heather invented a way to study the genetics of individual cells more closely that will help her find out why some cancer cells are treatable, and others go rogue. With her new technique, she can see the chemical ‘flags’ that tell the cell how to interpret its genetic code. At the same time, she can watch how those instructions are—or aren’t—carried out.  [continue reading…]

Friend or foe: how do you feel about the insects and spiders living in your home?

Macquarie University, Media releases

A jumping spider commonly found in Australian backyards. Photo: Jim McLean

Do you love or loathe your creepy-crawly house guests? Are you an insecticide at the ready kind of person? Or do you take a more live and let live approach?

Researchers from Macquarie University and the University of Sydney want to know about the insects and spiders living in and around your home, how you feel about them, and what you do to control them.  [continue reading…]

2018 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science: the breathing Earth, light beams, frogs, crystals, guidewires

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Recipients from Brisbane, Townsville, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Cessnock available for interview.

Photos from the awards presentation are available. Please credit ‘Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science, Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’.

Winners of the 2018 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science (Credit: Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science, Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation and Science)

Profiles, more photos, and broadcast quality video are available below.

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Prime Minister’s Prize for Science: Revealing the breathing Earth

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Emeritus Professor Kurt Lambeck AO

Emeritus Professor Kurt Lambeck AO has revealed how our planet changes shape—every second, every day, and over millennia. These changes influence sea levels, the movement of continents, and the orbits of satellites.

Kurt’s original work in the 1960s enabled accurate planning of space missions. It led him to use the deformation of continents during the ice ages to study changes deep in the mantle of the planet. It also led to a better understanding of the impact of sea level changes on human civilization in the past, present and future.

Today’s highly accurate GPS-based systems build on his work and enable precision agriculture, new ways to explore for minerals, and the remarkable navigation tools we all use in our smartphones.

For transforming our understanding of our living planet, Kurt Lambeck receives the $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science. He is an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University in Canberra.

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Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation: Switching light for faster, more reliable internet

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

The Finisar team: Dr Simon Poole, Mr Andrew Bartos, Dr Glenn Baxter and Dr Steven Frisken

Finisar have created technologies that make global internet connections faster and more efficient. About half of the world’s internet traffic travels through devices developed by the team and made in Sydney.

The global internet we rely on is carried by optical fibres that link continents, countries and cities. The speed and volume of internet traffic was limited by the need to convert data from light to electrical signals for switching and processing. To tackle the problem, the Finisar team created light-bending switches using prisms, liquid crystals and silicon, which have dramatically improved the capacity and reliability of the internet. One switch can handle a million simultaneous high-definition streaming videos. The team are now working on boosting the capacity of their devices further to meet the demands of 5G and the Internet of Things.

For creating and commercialising technologies that underpin the global internet, Dr Simon Poole, Mr Andrew Bartos, Dr Glenn Baxter and Dr Steven Frisken receive the $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation. Their company, Finisar Australia, is based in Sydney.

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