Flash Back Friday – 40 years since the first Mater Research Fund

13/Aug/2021     Mater Group

Mater Research is now taking applications for the Betty McGrath Seeding Grants in conjunction with Mater Health, Mater Education and supported by the Mater Foundation.

Although Mater Research (MMRI) was established in 1998, the first Research fund at the Mater was set up in 1981.

The Mater Annual Report for that year described this as a significant development and the money was used to buy several pieces of equipment.

The following year the John P. Kelly Research Foundation was officially established at the Mater by the Sisters of Mercy, who made a substantial initial donation.

They named the Foundation in honour of Mr Kelly, who was Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Mater Hospitals for over 40 years (1938- 1979).

The first John P. Kelly Research Grants were distributed in 1983 - $70,000 (approximately $230,000 today) - a remarkable amount raised through fund raising. It was the first hospital based and funded Research Foundation in Queensland. 

The Sisters of Mercy established the J.P. Kelly Research Foundation to encourage, support and promote research within the Mater Hospitals complex, South Brisbane.

The Foundation also provided support staffing, research facilities and training for students, doctors, scientists, nurses and technicians and Mater people could apply for funding for a specific research project.

The mission of the grants stated Mater Hospitals are dedicated to teaching and research, which, in accordance with modern technology, will improve patient care a statement that still rings true today.

As a state-wide hospital service Mater continues advancing its digital capabilities and technology, the pillars of Research, Education, Health and Foundation are supporting each other in providing and improving health care for Mater patients and Queenslanders.

Photo: Announcement of JP Kelly Research Foundation Grants 28 October 1983. L-R Sr Angela Mary Doyle, (Snr Administrator), Mr Kevin Cronin (Hospital Board Chairman), Prof. Yee Hing Thong (University Department of Child Health), Dr David Tudehope (Director of Neonatology)., Dr Michael Irving, Griffith University, Dr Dick Chalmers (Laboratory Manager). The painting is of Mr John P Kelly.

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