Upon taking up the institute directorship in 1923, Sir Charles Kellaway’s first objective is to obtain funds required by the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute to do significant research. Initial funds have been attained from the Walter and Eliza Hall Trust, The University of Melbourne and the Edward Wilson Trust, but more is required. Kellaway sets out to build relationships with Australian Government officials and private businesses to advocate for medical research funding.
A combination of circumstances including the 1928 Bundaberg disaster, growing outbreaks of tropical disease and increased occurrence of snake bites prompts the Australian Government to provide a research grant, for the first time, of £2500 from the Department of Health.
Burnet describes the grant as, “the forerunner of systematic support for medical research by the [Australian Government] which, from the foundation of the National Health and Medical Research Council, provided from one-third to a half of the institute’s budget.”
In 1937, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants funding system is officially established.