The theme of this year’s Science on the Swan conference was ‘Partnering for success’, held over three days at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre earlier this month.  

Professor Ian Everall, Executive Director WA Health Translation Network (WAHTN) opened the action-packed program. In the first session: ‘Partnering with State and Commonwealth’, the Hon Stephen Dawson MLC (Minister for Emergency Services, Innovation and the Digital Economy, Medical Research and Volunteering) delivered the Opening Address.  

“Our annual Science on the Swan conference showcases the very best of research and scientific endeavour in Western Australia,” Minister Stephen Dawson said. 

“It’s a medical health and research sector showcase that successfully brings together our State’s universities, medical research institutes, public and private hospitals and the WA Department of Health. 

“Science on the Swan is a valuable opportunity to promote the skills we have right here in Perth to translate WA scientific efforts into real impacts and deliver better health outcomes to the wider community locally, nationally, and internationally.”  

Hosted by the WAHTN, the conference covered a mix of fundamental, biomedical, clinical, health and social science fields and offered exposure opportunities for industry and researchers. It also connected early career scientists and researchers to senior and established health science and clinical leaders.  

The Hon Amber-Jade Sanderson MLA (Minister for Health and Mental Health) launched the WA Mental Health Research Strategy, and Angela Kelly PSM (Acting Director General WA Dept of Health) presented the WA Health and Medical Research Strategy: Implementation and Governance. The keynote speaker was Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM. 

The second day began with the Consumer and Community Involvement (CCI) Q&A Breakfast ‘Partnering with Consumers’ and launch of the WA CCI Community of Practice. The panel included Yvonne Parnell (WA Dept of Health, National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Health Research Impact Committee and NHMRC Consumer and Community Advisory Group), Professor Peter McEvoy (enAble Institute and Curtin University) and Professor Merrilee Needham (head of Myositis Research and consultant neurologist at the Perron Institute and Fiona Stanley Hospital). 

Kelly Beer, also from the Myositis Research group at Perron Institute and CMMIT, Murdoch University presented a talk titled: ‘From the back seat to the driver’s seat – our journey to co-production’ in the ‘Consumer and Community Involvement in Research’ session. 

In the ‘Research Translation’ session chaired by Professor Daniel Fatovich, Perron Institute Research Chair in Palliative Care at UWA, Professor Samar Aoun presented a talk titled: ‘Rethinking care at the end of life: Outcomes of compassionate Communities Connectors Program in Western Australia’. Her key point was to provide evidence of how we can make the community equal partner at end-of-life care. 

You can view the program here.   

Photo caption: L-R Dr Rebekah Puls (Perron Institute Director of Research), Prof Fatovich, Prof Aoun and Prof Everall.