Nominations are invited for a new Perron Institute award, the Byron Kakulas Medal, celebrating innovation in health and medical research.

Created in honour of the Western Australian based Perron Institute’s Founding Director Emeritus Professor Byron Kakulas AO, it commemorates the Institute’s 40th Anniversary.

The inaugural award will recognise the contribution of an individual or small team having a transformational impact on the health and wellbeing of Western Australians.

Perron Institute Director, Professor Steve Wilton AO, says medical breakthroughs are achieved with original thinking.

“Professor Kakulas has always focused on the big issues on the basis that solving these can lead to the greatest breakthroughs,” he said. “This philosophy shapes the thinking behind the Byron Kakulas Medal.

“Innovators who drive progress in medicine have various roles. They include researchers, health professionals, philanthropists, leaders of health NGOs or community organisations, media figures and others who have changed medical research, clinical practice, health policy, service delivery or community outreach in WA for the better.

“The Perron Institute wishes to acknowledge and celebrate their contribution and invites people across WA to nominate individuals or teams for this prestigious new award,” Professor Wilton said.

“Australia punches well above its weight in medical research and our nation has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, reflecting the quality of Australia’s healthcare system.

“WA leads the nation in many areas of medicine, and this needs to be more widely celebrated. As an example, WA is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic with among the world’s lowest per capita hospitalisation and death rates- a credit to the quality of our healthcare system.”

The Byron Kakulas Medal, co-designed by Byron’s talented wife Val Kakulas, will be awarded annually. The recipient will receive the medal, a $5,000 cash award and deliver a lecture at a public event to be held later in the year.

Nominations will be adjudicated by a distinguished independent Awards Committee. Members are Professor John Finlay-Jones (Chair), former Governor of Western Australia, the Hon Kerry Sanderson AC CVO, former WA Chief Scientist, Professor Lyn Beazley AO, Chief Health Officer of WA, Dr Andy Robertson, Professor Lindy Fitzgerald (Perron Institute and Curtin University), Debra Langridge (Head, Consumer and Community Involvement, Western Australian Health Translation Network) and Professor Wilton.

Nominate a person or team for this award online and find out more here. The deadline has been extended to 31 August 2022 (midnight AWST).