6 July 2023 - 10:00am to 11:00am

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring health and medical research investment delivers the greatest benefit to the community while driving long-term economic sustainability.

The Department of Health and Aged Care and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) are undertaking national consultation to improve alignment and coordination between the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and Medical Research Endowment Account (MREA) to streamline government investment in health and medical research.

This special consumer webinar is a joint initiative between the Consumers Health Forum of Australia, Department of Health and Aged Care, and NHMRC. It will provide an opportunity for consumers to hear about the consultation process and to ask questions.

The webinar will include a panel of consumers, as well as representatives from the Department and National Health and Medical Research Council.

The webinar replay is available on the Department of Health and Aged Care website and you access the slides here

Watch the replay


Dr Shyamsundar Muthuramalingam (Shyam)

Dr Shyam has a PhD in chemistry and is a renal transplant recipient with lived experience of Haemodialysis (HD) and kidney disease. Shyam discovered a passion for consumer advocacy, community engagement and research implementation as a person with lived experience and research training and is now a leader in developing, implementing and evaluating consumer and community engagement strategies across a range of policy-setting bodies including Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry (ANZDATA), South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), The George Institute for Global Health and Kidney Health Australia (KHA).

Shyam represents the community voice as a consumer member of the National Clinical Advisory Committee at KHA and the Australian Medical Council, appointed by the directors to represent the community voice in the accreditation of medical degrees by Australian Universities. He was recently appointed by the NHMRC’s CEO as one of the members of the Consumer Statement advisory committee to review and refresh the NHMRC and Consumers Health Forum (CHF)Statement on Consumer and Community Involvement in Health and Medical Research, 2016 (the Statement).

Dr Anthony Brown

Dr. Anthony Brown is the Executive Director of Health Consumers NSW (HCNSW). Anthony is passionate about ensuring that the people impacted by decisions have a say in what those decisions are. He is an experienced researcher and is leading HCNSW’s work to increase consumer engagement in health and medical research in NSW. Anthony has experience as both Chief Investigator and Associate Investigator on both NHMRC and MRFF funded research projects, where he assisted to develop their consumer involvement. He is also an Adjunct Fellow at the School of Health Sciences, Western Sydney University; and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian Centre for Health Engagement Evidence & Values (ACHEEV), University of Wollongong.

Professor Anne Kelso AO

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Following her PhD at the University of Melbourne, Professor Kelso undertook research in immunology at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. From 2000 until 2006, she was also Director/CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre for Vaccine Technology. She then returned to Melbourne as Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza from 2007 until she took up her role with NHMRC in April 2015. She was appointed Officer in the Order of Australia in June 2007 for service to science. 

Professor Kelso is a member of several government and international committees, including the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (advising the Minister for Health and Aged Care on the strategy and priorities for the Medical Research Future Fund), the Board of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases and the Board of Trustees of the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization.

Dr Masha Somi

Chief Executive Officer, Health and Medical Research Office, Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care

Dr Masha Somi is the Chief Executive Officer of the Health and Medical Research Office within the Department. Dr Somi and her team lead the implementation of the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund and $500 million Biomedical Translation Fund, and support a range of other research efforts. Dr Somi has over 20 years’ experience in the Australian Public Service, the last thirteen years as a senior executive in the Department working on national health programs in immunisation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, preventive health, and health reform.