New Health Research Centre To Boost Jobs In Ballarat

08 October 2018

The Andrews Labor Government is backing a new collaborative health research centre in Ballarat – to support local jobs and bring the region’s best minds together to tackle some of medicine’s most difficult problems.

Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford today announced a $300,300 grant at the St John of God Hospital to deliver the Ballarat Innovation and Research Collaboration in Health (BIRCH) project.

The new centre will be a collaboration between St John of God Ballarat Hospital, Ballarat Health Services, Federation University and the four other universities operating in Ballarat – Australian Catholic University, Deakin University, Notre Dame University and University of Melbourne.

It will be the first-time collaboration has occurred between two major hospitals and universities for health research in Ballarat and showcase the region’s health research capabilities.

BIRCH aspires to have 300 researchers within a decade and over 1000 researchers working and living in the region within the next twenty years.

It will attract medical practitioners to the region and make it easier for medical graduates to settle in Ballarat and contribute to meeting Ballarat's future health and education workforce needs.

The City of Ballarat’s “Now and Into the Future” campaign and the Central Highlands Regional Partnership both identified BIRCH as a key project – which will create job opportunities for science, medical, allied health and nursing graduates and students.

The Labor Government has invested $461.6 million to completely rebuild and redevelop Ballarat Base Hospital, has increased operational funding by 10.2 per cent over the last year and 32.4 per cent since coming to government.

The project is supported by the Labor Government’s Regional Skills Fund, which supports initiatives that increase skills, boost community resilience and create new jobs in rural and regional Victoria.

Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford

“By funding this great project, we’re taking full advantage of Victoria’s world-leading health research capabilities to create jobs, strengthen Ballarat’s economy and pave the way for future growth.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“Ballarat has some amazing medical research already taking place, and this project will bring this excellence together to achieve more and put Ballarat researchers in the spotlight.”

Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight

“This is the first-time two major hospitals and universities have collaborated for health research in Ballarat and will provide a massive boost to our medical research capabilities.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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