New Chair for Future Health Research and Innovation Fund

  • New Chair for Government’s Future Health Research and Innovation Fund Advisory Council
  • Experienced leadership to advance WA’s health, medical research and innovation projects
  • Outgoing Chair acknowledged for setting Fund strategy and governance

Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson today announced Rebecca Tomkinson’s appointment as the new Chair of the Cook Government’s Future Health Research and Innovation (FHRI) Fund Advisory Council.

Ms Tomkinson replaces outgoing Chair, John Van Der Wielen, who transformed the fledgling fund to a vibrant force in just over four years, delivering millions of dollars in innovation research grants and opportunities in Western Australia.

An experienced chief executive officer and member of several boards, Ms Tomkinson brings leadership, Government relations, strategic communications, policy development, advocacy, and business transformation experience to the role.

Ms Tomkinson is currently Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) Chief Executive Officer, leading policy development, and promoting the resources sector.

The Cook Government’s FHRI Fund drives health and medical research, innovation, and commercialisation in WA, to improve the health and prosperity of the community.

It also provides an opportunity to diversify the economy, create jobs, improve the sustainability of the health system, and position WA as a leader in research and innovation.

Since its inception, the FHRI Fund has awarded more than $100million in grants to 480 recipients, with $250million available over the next four years.

As stated by Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson:

“I would like to thank John Van der Wielen for his vision and leadership over the past four years, establishing the structures to ensure the success of the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund.

“Bringing to the table his significant business expertise, he established a governance model, advocated for investment in the health and medical research sector, and introduced a range of programs and initiatives directly benefiting research.

“The Fund is now well-placed for the future, thanks to Mr Van Der Wielen.

“I am confident Ms Tomkinson will take up the challenge and continue the Cook Government’s vision for growing Western Australia’s world class health, medical research and innovation sector.”

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