I would like to start by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we stand, the Ngunnawal people, and their elders past, present and emerging.
In doing so I commit the Government, which I am proud to be a part of, to the implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart – in full.
We punch above our weight in research. We are only 0.1 per cent of the world’s population, but we do 3 per cent of the world’s research.
We are home to some of the world’s most brilliant researchers and the most cutting-edge research.
Research that has led to life changing inventions - like Wi-Fi, Spray-on skin, a vaccine for HPV and Polymer bank notes.
Today we come together, for the first time in a couple of years, to recognise and celebrate some of the best of the best – the Australian Laureate Fellows.
The Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme reflects our country’s commitment to excellence in research by supporting world-class researchers to conduct ground-breaking, basic and applied research.
It is an honour for me to be here to recognise everyone who has been awarded this prestigious fellowship this year, last year and the year before.
Like everything else, COVID had disrupted the annual ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship Pin Award Ceremony.
As a result, this year is the biggest Laureate Pin Ceremony ever held.
Australian Laureate Fellowships include fellowships allocated to exceptional female researchers who promote women in research and to mentor early career researchers to encourage them to enter and establish a career in research.
We’ve just heard a bit about some of the work Professor Liu and Professor Dollard are doing.
Congratulations to you both, for your research and for the ambassadorial role you have embraced to encourage and mentor early career researchers, particularly women.
I would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the other recipients of the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowships over the last few years, Professor Sundhya Pahuja and Professor Larissa Behrendt.
Professor Behrendt is now also a member of the team that will develop the Australian Universities Accord.
I also want to pay tribute to the Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship recipients Professor Joanne Etheridge and Professor Catherine Lovelock.
Can I also congratulate the ARC.
The work the ARC does is critical.
It plays a fundamental role in supporting, shaping and sustaining research.
Over the last three years the ARC has awarded a total of $146.5 million in research funding to Australian Laureate Fellows.
Funding that supports each of you to lead the way on competitive basic and applied research – across STEM and the Humanities.
Soon we’ll have a chance to hear the full range of research projects represented in the room today.
Research to help communities survive bushfires.
Research to develop new technologies for mapping the human brain.
And even a study on the age of stars and ‘starquakes’ to help us better understand how our Milky Way was formed and developed.
Australian Laureate Fellowships do not come easy.
Every one of you has been awarded because a rigorous, peer-reviewed process has recognised you as an outstanding researcher.
It is a privilege to be here with you today and thank you for what you do, for your contribution to research and to creating a better future for Australia and the world.