Events

The Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet Annual Address.

In 2013 the Order of Australia Association Gippsland Regional Group organised a gala public function to be known as the Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet Annual Address. The purpose of the event was to recognise Australia’s most celebrated Nobel Prize for Medicine awardee and perpetuate his memory.

The event is held in Traralgon on a Wednesday evening on a date in October that is a close as possible to the 20th, being the anniversary date of the award of the Nobel Prize.

Macfarlane Burnet was born in Traralgon where he spent his important formative years developing an intense lifelong interest in all things biological. His lifetime work to bring a healthier life to the world’s populations led to the near eradication of some dreadful diseases including Polio and Tuberculosis.

The concept of the gala event is for the annual address to be given by a very distinguished leader in the health research sector, in a dinner setting and delivered in “layman’s terms”, so that the average person gains an in-depth understanding of what is being discussed.

Fortunately, due to the generous support of several Gippsland based companies, the cost of the event has been significantly reduced and remains within reach of a wide range of Gippsland residents.

Making new discoveries in science and medicine requires strong commitment, a ‘prepared’ and creative mind striving for excellence.  Sir Frank Macfarlane-Burnet arguably the greatest Australian Medical Scientist clearly excelled and was awarded the Nobel Prize for his outstanding work in Medicine in 1960. Sir Frank (or ‘Mac’) was also the inaugural ‘Australian of the Year’ in 1960.

Since the initial Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet address in 2013, there have been an array of eminent speakers who have come to Traralgon as guests of the Order of Australia Association, Gippsland Regional Group and delivered addresses on a wide range of medical research topics ranging from the development of the ‘bionic eye’ to harnessing the immune system to fight cancer.

The speakers to date:

  • 2013 – Professor Jeffrey Rosenfeld AC OBE, CStJ
  • 2014 – Professor Ian Gust AO MD
  • 2015 – Professor Brendan Crabb AC
  • 2016 – Associate Professor Irina Caminschi PhD
  • 2017 – Professor Douglas Hilton AO
  • 2018 – Associate Professor Seth Masters BSC PhD