Trish Foundation’s contribution
to NHMRC Betty Cuthbert Awards
Roy and Carol Langsford travelled to Canberra on 30 November 2005 to attend the prestigious NH&MRC Betty Cuthbert Awards which were launched by the Minister for Health and Ageing, Hon. Tony Abbott.
Betty Cuthbert urging people with MS to 'Never give up'
Mr Abbott awarded Dr Mark Slee with the inaugural Betty Cuthbert Scholarship and Dr Helmut Butzkueven with the first Betty Cuthbert Fellowship at a ceremony in Canberra, the two new grants from the NH&MRC totalling $355,000. The two recipients were selected from a shortlist of eight potential NH&MRC candidates.
The NH&MRC Betty Cuthbert Awards, jointly funded by MS Research Australia and NH&MRC, with the Fellowship partly funded by the Trish Foundation, will strengthen Australia’s research into the causes of multiple sclerosis and speed up the discovery of therapies to reduce the devastating effects of the disease.
“It is so fitting that these prestigious awards are named after Betty Cuthbert,” said Trish Foundation Director Carol Langsford. “The Foundation is thrilled to be able to contribute to this Fellowship awarded to Dr. Butzkueven, which will bring the cure for MS one step closer.”
When announcing the NH&MRC scholarship and fellowship awards, Mr Abbott paid tribute to Olympic gold medal winner, Ms Cuthbert, who was struck down by multiple sclerosis almost 25 years ago.
Ms Cuthbert gave an inspiring speech. "All I can say is this MS, it just takes away your life," she said. "Never give up, never give up," she urged the 16,000 Australians who have MS.
The Betty Cuthbert Fellowship, which the Trish Foundation is partly funding, was awarded to Dr Helmut Butzkueven, of the MS Group at the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne, to continue his research into optic neuritis, the most common presenting symptom of multiple sclerosis.
Jeremy Wright, Executive Director, MS Research Australia, said that the awards were established to honour Betty Cuthbert, one of Australia’s greatest legends, and to encourage more top researchers to further investigate MS in Australia.
“The Betty Cuthbert Scholarship and Fellowship is an important award that aims to highlight the need for MS research and encourage more medical research into this area to help accelerate progress through to a cause and cure for MS.”