Burnet Institute – 23 April 2016
The presentation of a $50,000 donation from the June Canavan Foundation was a special highlight of an event in Brisbane to support Burnet Institute’s Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies (HMHB) program in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Burnet Institute Patron and former Governor General Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO was the keynote speaker at the dinner hosted by Ashurst Australia, also attended by Burnet Patron Sir Kostas Constantinou OBE, HMHB Patron Dame Carol Kidu DBE, and PNG Foreign Minister The Hon Rimbink Pato.
They were joined by Burnet Institute Chair Mr Robert Milne, Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC, Burnet Board Member and Ashurst Global Vice Chair Ms Mary Padbury, and corporate, government and health policy leaders including the Federal Minister for International Development & the Pacific, Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.
Queensland and PNG have close and longstanding ties, and there’s strong support for Burnet’s work in PNG, and the HMHB project in particular, in the ‘Sunshine State’.
A naturalised PNG citizen and former PNG Minister for Community Development, Dame Carol Kidu was born in Queensland and visits the state regularly to spend time with family. Similarly, Sir Kostas Constantinou has close personal and business ties with Queensland.
A $10 million philanthropically funded five-year research program, HMHB aims to arrest a maternal mortality rate in PNG that’s one of the highest in the world and 80 times worse than Australia’s by developing and testing effective interventions in partnership with local representatives at district, provincial and national level.
More than 5000 newborns die each year in PNG, and another 7000 won’t survive to their fifth birthday, yet two-thirds of these deaths could be prevented with basic but effective interventions.
Earlier this week, new HMHB Principal Supporter, Bank South Pacific committed PGK 250,000 per-year over three years towards the program.