News in 2010


  • 23rd: Prof Ian Hickie is a member of a special advisory panel established by the Federal Government to guide reform within the mental health sector, as reported in The Australian and NineMSN.
  • 22nd: In The Australian, mental health experts including Prof Ian Hickie criticise the official assessment of a $1 billion scheme designed to improve access to psychological care.
  • 16th: At the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Excellence Awards in Canberra, Professor Jürgen Götz received the NHMRC Achievement Award for Highest Ranked Project Grant. Australia’s peak body for health and medical research presented the awards to recognise the scientific merit, innovation and the research success of 10 of Australia’s leading health and medical researchers. Press release - PDF.


  • 18th: Dr Lars Ittner, Group Leader in the Laboratory for Translational Neurodegeneration, received the “Merck Young Achiever Award 2010 – For Excellence in Translational Medical Research” presented by The Australian Society for Medical Research and Merck Pty Ltd. This awards is in recognition of his team’s groundbreaking work on the cellular mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease which was published this year in the prestigious journal Cell.

(L-R) Sister Marilia Pereira, Associate Professor Sharon Naismith, Governor-General Quentin Bryce, Roger Norton, Dr Simon Lewis.


  • 14th: Associate Professor Sharon Naismith has been recognised for her research into risk factors for dementia at the Young Tall Poppy Science Awards. The prestigious annual Young Tall Poppy Science Awards recognise achievements of Australia's young scientific researchers and communicators. Initiated to encourage more young people to engage with science, award winners become ambassadors for science for twelve months through promotional activities with school students, teachers and the broader community.


Delivering the 2010 Walter Westman Lecture
  • 23rd: Delivering the 2010 Walter Westman Lecture, Prof Ian Hickie speaks about "Your mind and its potential to create a better world". He discusses the way in which cognitive and emotional health not only contributes to individual health and well being but also to the mental wealth of the nation.
  • 1st: A/Prof Nick Glozier at the Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI) and Centre for Integrated Research and Understanding of Sleep (CIRUS) released research today indicating that young adults who get fewer than eight hours of sleep per night have greater risks of psychological distress as well as a combination of high levels of depressive and anxious symptoms. The study was reported in The Brisbane Times, ABC News and ABC AM, Channel 7 News, Daily Mail, Wired and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.


  • 29th: ABC Radio's James O'Loghlin interviewed Prof Ian Hickie regarding mental health and uncertainty.
  • 21st: The Australian Financial Review reports on the Brain & Mind Research Institute's studies into lawyers with depression.
  • 5th: PD Research on ABC Catalyst: Dr Simon Lewis' research into the cause of 'freezing of gait', which affects over 50% of patients with advanced Parkinson's Disease (PD) featured on ABC Catalyst. For more information and details on how you can participate in this study call +61 2 9351 0702 or email . Additional information can be found at the Parkinson's Disease Research Clinic or read the media release.
PD Research on ABC Catalyst


  • 28th: ABC 612 Brisbane, Mornings with Madonna King interviews Prof Ian Hickie from the BMRI, who says that Julia Gillard's announcement of $277 million for suicide prevention is a poor effort that does not respond to the need for reform in youth services and early intervention. Hickie notes the coalition's mental health offerings are far greater than Gillard's as she is trying to mend a Rudd Govt failure to allot enough funds to mental health under public health reforms, also, many of the measures in Gillard's policy are already underway. Hickie says this is not a reform package and Gillard seemingly ignored the recommendations of two professionals to at least match the coalition's reforms. Hickie notes that Gillard saying mental health will be a second term priority has been heard by Premiers and PMs since 1993. Hickie adds that whilst the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission recommended to the Fed Govt it must introduce the headspace program nationally and support early intervention measures for severe mental illness, funding has not been raised for this reform since the Howard Govt.


  • 4th: The Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease (A+PD) Laboratory is offering three PhD top-up scholarships. If you are interested please contact or by 29 October 2010.


Prof Ian Hickie on Radio National Breakfast


  • 19th: Prof Ian Hickie says national mental health funding is a "disgrace". He wants mental health to be prioritised in the Federal Government's proposed health and hospitals reform package. Download the discussion from ABC Radio National.


  • 5th: Dr Simon Lewis leads a world first study on how thinking tasks impact on the 'freezing' of feet often experienced by people with Parkinson's Disease (PD) will lead to new directions for targeting therapy. Read the media release.