Bow ties, food and dancing: 21 years of research celebrated

WIMR board members Julia Strelitz, and Dr Bill Ketelbey, WIMR CEO Professor Tony Cunningham, WIMR chief executive, WIMR research assistant, student and University of Sydney medallist Orion Tong, WIMR board member Susie Young WSLHD chief executive Danny O’Connor, Professor Peter Doherty, Nobel Laureate and first patron of the Westmead Institute.

More than 350 guests celebrated at Oatlands House for the 21st birthday of the Westmead Institute for Medical Research (WIMR).

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) chief executive Danny O’Connor said the celebration over the weekend was a wonderful experience.

“It was an enormously memorable evening,” Mr O’Connor said.

“The Institute has grown to be a large and highly productive institution. It is characterised by a wonderful collection of people with extraordinarily high levels of energy, including a great appetite for dancing when the occasion arises.

“Huge congratulations to WIMR chief executive Tony Cunningham and his team and all of those who work at the Institute for the benefit of so many in our community.”

Special guest, former Australian of the Year and Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty attended the event and extended his congratulations to the Institute.

“Congratulations to everyone who has been involved in, and supported, this great enterprise,” Professor Doherty said.

Other dignitaries joined the celebrations, including NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, the Hon Brad Hazzard MP; and Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Andrew Wilson, who both extended messages of support and congratulations.

Executive director of the Westmead Institute, Professor Tony Cunningham said the evening was a celebration of the Institute’s proud history and achievements.

“Over the past 21 years our researchers have made significant breakthroughs in some of the biggest health issues facing our society, including breast and ovarian cancer, melanoma, leukaemia, diabetes, HIV, multiple sclerosis, kidney and liver diseases.” Professor Cunningham said.

“Together, we will show that the Westmead Institute can thrive for the next twenty, fifty and one hundred years.”