The NHMRC is established, initially focusing on medical research, with a £30,000 allocation.

Assistant biochemist Miss Verney South, in the Pathological laboratory.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is established, initial discussion focuses on medical research, including the £30,000 allocated for grants in the first year.

Burnet describes the NHMRC establishment as lifting “a great weight…from Kellaway’s shoulders.”

A brighter future

The institute has survived the war and the following Depression, gained donations from prominent philanthropists and made great contributions towards medical research.

“The best medical research in Australia was being done in the institute and, from the [NHMRC’s] first year onward, a higher proportion of its grants have come to the institute than to any other organistation. In 1937-38 the total sum was £4278, in 1938-39, £6586. They sound trivial sums … but they seemed to us a wonderful lightening of our cramping poverty.”

The NHMRC continues to support the institute and our research.

View related events
Dr Charles Kellaway becomes the institute’s second director (1923-44), raising the institute’s public profile and successfully steering it through the Great Depression.
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.
Surviving the Great Depression with Australian Government grants and donor support