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Geographic isolation no barrier to world-class excellence

Wesfarmers has been working in close partnership with the Telethon Kids Institute since the establishment of the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases in 2014.

With a $5 million commitment over four years from Wesfarmers, the Centre was established with the aim of preventing and improving the treatment of infectious diseases in children and adolescents. Infectious diseases are the most common reason for hospitalisation of young children in Western Australia, and the number one cause of death in children worldwide.

With leading researchers and clinicians, the Centre has become a national leader in paediatric infectious diseases research. In the three years since the Centre was established, Wesfarmers funding has helped to leverage a further $9 million in competitive research funding for 16 projects led by the Telethon Kids Institute. Work at the Wesfarmers Centre is shaping how vaccines are used to protect children from influenza, whooping cough, gastroenteritis and pneumonia. The Centre has also played a major role in advancing the elimination of rheumatic fever, an important cause of heart disease and premature death in Aboriginal people.

Wesfarmers partnership with the Telethon Kids Institute continues to evolve as we look for opportunities to collaborate. As an extension of the Telethon Kids Institute’s community engagement program, researchers have been invited to Wesfarmers to present on key topics to employees. Wesfarmers also is supporting the ‘SmartVax’ program, which is looking for ways to optimise online software used as a vaccination reminder for parents. In addition, Wesfarmers is funding a scholarship for an attendee to the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases inaugural Hot Topics conference, an international course for paediatric infectious diseases trainees and consultants.

Wesfarmers has had a long association with the Telethon Kids Institute, and is proud to be a current research partner of this West Australian-based organisation.