HMRI's 25th Anniversary: Get the silverware out – it’s time to celebrate! 

Mar 27 2023

Picture this.  

The year is 1998; John Howard is Prime Minister of Australia, NSW is led by Premier Bob Carr, we’re headed to the movies to see our favourite pig in the city, some of us couldn’t get enough of Ricky Martin and his “Cup of Life” and season one of the all new NRL has arrived.  

And significantly in 1998, Hunter Medical Research Institute took the first step on a journey that would lead us to become one of the world’s premier medical research organisations.  

We started with a pool of 90 affiliated researchers located across nine sites with a unique, and at the time, radical ambition; to deliver world-class research that translates into real-life medical and health improvements.  

It’s incredible to realise HMRI was established with just $100,000 in seed funding ($50,000 each from the University of Newcastle and the Hunter New England Local Health District) back in 1998.  

Fast forward 25 years and HMRI’s Director, Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin has lit the birthday candles on a year-long celebration. Speaking at the official launch this week, Frances is excited for what is ahead.  


“This year is a huge celebration of collaboration and partnership across the University of Newcastle, the Hunter New England Local Health District, HMRI and, most importantly, our amazing Hunter New England community.”
- Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin, HMRI Director   

For 25 years, we’ve been working to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities and we do this by supporting world-class research that translates into real-life health and medical improvements. 

The coming year will be a time for us all to reflect and share; share our history and share our stories of the impact HMRI has had on us as researchers, clinicians, leaders, community members, participants, and research donors.  

For 25 years, we have been powering medical breakthroughs and for the next 25 years and beyond, we will continue to do the same. 

And for Frances, it presents a terrific opportunity as we develop our strategy and our vision for the next 25 years.  

The words expressed by Laureate Professor Clare Collins AO this week sums up how many of us feel about HMRI.  


“I think of HMRI as like a giant lighthouse; providing that guiding light and that assurity and safe passage because research is really challenging to negotiate. I think without HMRI, I might not have made it along that path. I think I probably would have floundered particularly as an early career researcher.”  
- Laureate Professor Clare Collins AO

“HMRI was the lighthouse, the guiding light, the rock, and the strong foundation. I hope I’m around for the next 25 years to be part of the journey.”  

Happy 25th HMRI.