NHMRC’s Outstanding Contribution Award recognises outstanding long-term contributions, individual commitment and support to NHMRC.

Sharon Lewin


2021 NHMRC Outstanding Contribution Award

Doherty Institute

Professor Sharon Lewin has been at the forefront of the infectious diseases response in Australia and globally through the HIV pandemic and now through COVID-19.

She is an exceptional researcher, leader, communicator and advocate. Her contribution during the COVID-19 pandemic has been thoughtful, measured, clear and compassionate, and is one of the reasons Australia is in such a good place in 2021.

She is the incoming president of the International AIDS Society and has made a major contribution to NHMRC as a Council member and two-term chair of the Health Translation Advisory Committee.

Professor Lewin personifies excellence in research leadership, and her contribution over the past two decades has been nothing short of outstanding.

Read more about the Outstanding Contribution Award.

Ian Olver


2021 NHMRC Ethics Award

University of Adelaide

Professor Ian Olver has made a significant contribution to Australian health and medical research ethics over the last decade.

As chair of NHMRC’s Australian Health Ethics Committee, and as a valued member of NHMRC Council from 2012 to 2018, his balanced and considered leadership style and willingness to engage sensitively on tough issues have supported a wider understanding of the ethical impact of emerging health and medical research innovations and technologies.

Professor Olver brings a breadth of perspective, intellectual heft and subtlety of insight to ethical deliberations, and NHMRC ethical advice has been richer for his engagement.

Read more about the Ethics Award.

Anne McKenzie


2021 NHMRC Consumer Engagement Award

Telethon Kids Institute

Anne McKenzie is a nationally and internationally respected consumer advocate who has worked tirelessly over a nearly 30-year career to change the conversation on consumer involvement in health research.

A passionate champion of the consumer voice, she has devoted her career to helping researchers understand the value of listening to those most affected by their research, and helping consumers get a meaningful seat at the research table.

A highly sought-after advisor, she has trained thousands of researchers and made a significant and lasting contribution to the formation and implementation of best-practice consumer involvement in Australia and overseas.

Ms McKenzie has been an integral member of NHMRC’s Community and Consumer Advisory Group since its inception in 2013 and has advocated for consumer involvement in urgent COVID-related research over the past year.

Read more about the Consumer Engagement Award.

Kieron Rooney


2021 NHMRC Research Quality Award

University of Sydney

To support its commitment to conducting high-quality animal research, the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre commenced a research and development program to implement actions recommended by NHMRC’s Best practice methodology in the use of animals for scientific purposes (2017).

Led by Associate Professor Kieron Rooney, and working with local and international collaborators, the team is investigating the barriers and facilitators to engagement with pre-clinical trial registration and developing educational tools.

The program is delivering a cultural shift in the conduct of animal research that will enhance transparency and reproducibility, reduce animal use and, ultimately, deliver improvements in human health.

Read more about the Research Quality Award.

Frederic Hollande


2021 NHMRC Science to Art Award

University of Melbourne

This image depicts a population of metastatic colorectal cancer cells which have been ‘optically barcoded’ with different fluorescence markers.

By tracking the different coloured tumour cells over time, the research team can monitor how individual cells respond to chemotherapy and use this knowledge to study mechanisms of drug resistance in cancer. 

This image is credited to Carolyn Shembrey of Prof Frederic Hollande’s Tumour Heterogeneity in Metastatic Cancer Laboratory at the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research.

Read more about the Art to Science Award.