It’s official – the third annual HMRI Open Day held on September 25 was the biggest and best ever, smashing previous attendance records as 2500 community members flocked through the doors and into the wonderful world of medical research.
Researchers were able to share their projects with the public throughout the day at the various interactive booths and seminar sessions.
“We were delighted with the community’s attendance and the opportunity it presented us to share the amazing developments that are occurring in the Hunter,” HMRI Director Professor Michael Nilsson said. “It more than doubled last year’s attendance figures, showing the incredible levels of interest and engagement with people of all ages.”
While heavy rain dampened some of the outdoor activities, the day ran smoothly with the help of the 44 volunteers. The Greater Building Society and Markey Group both had eager employees lending a hand through corporate volunteer programs.
Malcom Ison from The Greater Building Society was excited to get involved in the Open Day.
“It was a very enjoyable day. I had a go at face painting and I’d never done it before, so it was interesting. One little girl wanted a mermaid and I thought it looked like an ice cream in a green cone but she was very happy,” he joked.
The day featured various information sessions for the major research areas of mental health, cancer, cardiovascular health, women’s health, stroke and asthma which community members could engage in.
Questions rolled in thick and fast from our future scientists as children of all ages got the opportunity to ask researchers about their experiences. PhD student Chloe Warren was among the panelists.
“It was a good to talk to such a diverse group of people. We got really specific questions about our research as well as recommendations and how we got here,” she said. “Everyone looked really excited. It’s like the HMRI Christmas!”
* HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.