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Partnership priority given the green light: BIRCH receives funding


The Central Highlands Regional Partnership today welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement of funding for the new Ballarat Innovation and Research Collaboration in Health (BIRCH).

The Minister for Regional Development was at the St John Of God Hospital in Ballarat to announce a $300,300 grant towards the initiative which had been identified by the Partnership as a priority.

BIRCH will be a new collaborative health research centre, bringing together the region’s best minds to tackle some of medicine’s most difficult problems.

A collaboration between St John of God Ballarat Hospital, Ballarat Health Services, Federation University and the four other universities operating in Ballarat – Australian Catholic University, Deakin University, Notre Dame University and University of Melbourne, BIRCH aspires to have 300 researchers within a decade and over 1000 researchers working and living in the region within the next twenty years.

George Fong, Chair of the Central Highlands Regional Partnership which has advocated for the project, welcomed the announcement which “will set a national standard on how collaboration in health and research can work.”

He also spoke of the “unique health challenges we face in the region.”

“There are unique aspects of health within regional areas where the statistics are saying we are not doing so well and we need to understand why."

"This is a most important initiative for the communities of regional Victoria.”

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