Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Public Sector Management; Federal-State Relations

Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Deputy Premier; Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade; Tourism; Commerce; Science

    Record $10 million boost for health and wellbeing of WA kids

    17/10/2021 9:00 PM
    • Record $10 million donation to Telethon to help the health and wellbeing of WA kids
    • Includes $2 million towards the WA Child Research Fund program
    • Latest round of grants for 18 child health research projects to share in $4.32 million
    • Projects funded by the McGowan Government and Channel 7 Telethon Trust 

    Premier Mark McGowan today presented a record $10 million donation to Telethon for it to undertake critical work funding charities to deliver key services and programs, which benefit and improve the lives of Western Australian children.


    The boost represents an increase of $4.5 million in support from last year's contribution and is the biggest donation from the State Government yet, with $8 million going towards the Telethon Trust.


    Part of the State Government's support includes a $2 million contribution towards the WA Child Research Fund (WACRF) program. 


    The latest round of the program has enabled 18 research projects, valued at $4.32 million, to proceed.


    Receiving almost $250,000 from this year's WACRF program, an Edith Cowan University study led by Dr Prashant Bharadwaj will provide key data for development of a prognostic tool for childhood dementia.


    An estimated 250 young Western Australians are living with the cruel disease, which causes severe degeneration of the central nervous system with symptoms showing in children as young as two years old.


    A Curtin University research project investigating an antiviral strategy to tackle common respiratory viruses in young children will also receive $250,000 from the program.


    Led by Associate Professor Anthony Kicic, the study will investigate therapies to reduce airway inflammation, which can cause permanent damage to the lungs of children with underlying conditions such as asthma and cystic fibrosis.


    Also benefiting from a $250,000 WACRF funding boost is a study into whether premature birth will lead to breathing problems and reduced physical activity later in life, with the aim of finding treatments to prevent health issues from developing.


    The Telethon Kids Institute project, led by Dr Christopher O'Dea, began 15 years ago with a group of babies and children who were born early. Researchers have been assessing the respiratory health of participants at regular intervals since then. 


    The WACRF program was established by the Department of Health and the Channel 7 Telethon Trust in 2012 to fund health and medical research that focuses on the health of children and adolescents in WA.


    Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:


    "This record funding contribution will support Telethon's continued efforts in improving children's health and wellbeing across Western Australia.


    "The State Government's ongoing support goes towards helping WA's world-class child health researchers, which is vital if we are to better understand diseases and chronic conditions and find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat them.


    "Having been to many organisations including a therapy facility just this week, I am heartened with the work of health and allied health staff as they provide direct support and care to these children and their families.


    "I'd encourage Western Australians to contribute generously to Telethon 2021 as they do every year because it's this support that goes to helping Western Australian children, many with chronic or serious medical conditions."


    Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:


    "These research projects are just a few of the highly innovative and incredibly important studies underway in Western Australia.


    "The McGowan Government is committed to further developing and enriching WA's health and medical research ecosystem, and to ensuring research findings can be translated into tangible benefits for all Western Australians."


    Premier's office - 6552 5000

    Health Minister's office - 6552 6500