Virus expert to share

THE Latrobe Valley community and medical professionals will this month get a rare opportunity to hear from one of the country’s foremost medical researchers without having to leave the local area.

Virologist Professor Ian Gust will be the guest speaker at the second annual Sir MacFarlane Burnet Address at the Traralgon Bowls Club on 22 October.

Professor Gust is best known for the development of vaccines against the Hepatitis A virus and in 1985 was appointed as the inaugural director of the Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research at Fairfield Hospital where he held the position until 1991.

The address – organised by the Order of Australia Association’s Gippsland regional group – aims to perpetuate the memory of Traralgon-born virologist Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1960 for his contribution to immunology.

“The mission of the Order of Australia Association is pride in Australia and we’re proud Gippsland has produced Sir Macfarlane Burnet,” event coordinator Doug Caulfield OAM said.

“We have taken up the perpetuation of his memory.”

In this spirit, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research will fund the attendance of 12 students from the Monash University School of Rural Health Churchill, while an Order of Australia Association benefactor will fund the attendance of two Latrobe Regional Hospital interns.

However, Mr Caulfield said the talk would not solely cater to those with a medical background, rather, it was tailored to the broader community.

“We try to draw speakers who can relate to non-medical people,” he said.

“You don’t get this sort of talk locally, you normally have to visit the lecture halls of Melbourne.”

Doors will open at the Traralgon Bowls Club at 7pm on 22 October for a 7.30pm start.

Tickets are $50 per person including a two-course dinner, with drinks at bar prices.

A 50 per cent student discount is available.

Bookings are essential.

To request a booking slip, email or phone Doug Caulfield on

0409 008 494.