22/10/2020 - 15:54

Van Der Wielen to chair health council

22/10/2020 - 15:54

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The state government has appointed the advisory council of the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund, including HBF chief executive John Van Der Wielen as chair.

Van Der Wielen to chair health council
John Van Der Wielen has been the chief executive of HBF since 2017. Photo: Attila Csaszar

The state government has appointed the advisory council of the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund, including HBF chief executive John Van Der Wielen as chair.

The fund was established after the WA Future Fund, the state’s sovereign wealth fund, was repurposed, allowing interest earned on it to be directed to local health and medical research, innovation and commercialisation.

The advisory council will provide advice to the minister for health and the Department of Health on how the money is spent.

Members of the council include business and not-for-profit leaders BioCurate chief executive Glenn Begley, Silver Chain chief executive Dale Fisher, and Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services chief executive Vicki O'Donnell.

Academic leaders on the council are Curtin University dean of medicine Sandra Eades, and Monash University Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences executive dean Christina Mitchell.

Community representative Kane Blackman was also appointed to the council.

Mr Van Der Wielen, who has been the chief executive of HBF since 2017 and has held other leadership roles in the insurance and finance industries, will chair the council.

He said there was nothing more important than the health of people and it was great the Western Australian government was prioritising health.

“It is also a fantastic opportunity for WA to shine globally as a research and innovation hub,” Mr Van Der Wielen said.

“I look forward to assisting the government make a success of what I believe is a very powerful opportunity for WA to diversity its interests and strengthen the health of Western Australians while also contributing to economic sustainability.”

Health Minister Roger Cook said the fund marked a turning point for health and medical research innovation in WA.

“I’m excited about the high calibre people and expertise we’ve been able to assemble to support the FHRI Fund through the advisory council,” he said.

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