Mater Researchers recognised at 2023 Mater People Awards

Thursday 02 November 2023

Each year, Mater recognises the outstanding achievements of Mater People across the health, education, research and foundation ministries at the Mater People Awards. At the 2023 awards, Mater Research was very well represented, with six finalists across three categories; Mater Early Career Excellence, Mater Research Excellence and Mater Innovator of the Year. 

Mater Research would like to congratulate all finalists and especially recognise Professor Josephine Forbes, winner, Mater Research Excellence, and Alicia Rooney, winner, Mater Early Career Excellence. 

As Mater Research’s Chronic and Integrated Care Program Leader and Glycation and Diabetes Complications Research Group Leader, Professor Forbes was honoured for her world-leading research on diabetic kidney disease. 

Prof Forbes’ research is not only investigating the causes of Type 1 diabetes but is also looking for ways to prevent it. She is passionate about creating a future where people don’t develop Type 1 diabetes. 

Prof Forbes said that the award is a lovely recognition of her team’s hard work.  

“We strive every day to discover and translate findings into meaningful change for people living with diabetes,” Prof Forbes said. 

“It is good to stop sometimes and reflect on where we have come from to refocus on the brighter future we hope to bring.” 

Senior Manager of Mater Clinical Trials Alicia Rooney, commenced at Mater Research in early-2023 with a focus on aligning Mater's clinical trial practices with the new Australian National Clinical Trials Governance Framework. This framework now requires healthcare services to offer clinical trial opportunities to patients alongside, and embedded in, clinical care. Clinical trial practices will now be assessed as part of Mater's hospital accreditation.  

Ms Rooney said she was honoured to have been recognised for her achievements. 

“It has been such a privilege joining Mater Research and leading an extraordinary group of dedicated clinical trial professionals. I am inspired every day by their commitment to improving health outcomes for our patients and community,” Ms Rooney said.  

Mater Research Director of Operations Emily Bailey said that Alicia is the driving force behind helping Mater's Clinical Governance team navigate the new accreditation requirements.  

“Alicia has rapidly developed extensive networks within Mater to educate, advocate and push for clinical trial activities to be understood and respected as a part of core healthcare delivery to Mater's clinical staff,” Ms Bailey said. 

Mater Research Executive Director Professor Maher Gandhi acknowledged other Mater Research finalists, Professor Katharina Ronacher, Associate Professor Jake Gratten, Associate Professor Jake Begun and Dr Yoon-Kyo An. 

“It was very apparent on the night that excellence across Mater is being facilitated via an increasingly research active and engaged workforce,” Prof Gandhi said. 

“It was wonderful to hear Mater Research being mentioned in numerous acceptance speeches!  We are delighted that Mater Research is enabling a culture of innovation across Mater.” 

To learn more about Mater Clinical Trials, click here.

To learn more about Professor Forbes, click here.