Thursday, 14 July 2011


A decade of discovery


Leaders of government and the research community have congratulated the Australian Research Council on ten years of outstanding service as a statutory authority.

The ARC was a Labor initiative established by Minister John Dawkins in 1988. It then became an independent statutory authority on 1 July 2001, with the support of both sides of politics. Over its life the ARC it has launched thousands of Australian and international researchers on the path to world-class discovery.

“The ARC underpins our commitment to excellence in science and research,” Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said.

“Take the Cochlear implant, made possible by ARC-administered funds, or the Bionic Eye, an extension of that research that offers new hope to the vision impaired. Through the ARC, our researchers are building the foundations for a richer, fairer and greener future.”

The ARC administers the Australian Government’s National Competitive Grants Program, a core component of the Government’s science, research and innovation investment, which is a record $9.4 billion this year.

Some of the ARC’s key achievements during the past decade include:

  • implementing and improving highly successful grant programs, including Linkage and Discovery, and the Government’s new Laureate, Super Science and Future Fellowships
  • supporting the internationalisation of Australia’s research effort by establishing global linkages, and attracting highly skilled researchers and research investment to Australia
  • cultivating the Centres of Excellence as prestigious hubs of expertise for our best and brightest researchers, in all areas across the humanities, engineering, science and social sciences
  • establishing a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration and fostering new linkages between the arts and sciences
  • helping female and Indigenous researchers build rich and fulfilling research careers
  • rolling out the Excellence in Research for Australia initiative, the first-ever comprehensive evaluation of the quality of research across Australian institutions by discipline.

The ARC’s current CEO, Professor Margaret Sheil, thanked all those whose involvement and support of the ARC has been critical to its success.

“Thanks are extended to all ARC staff over the ten years, Senior Executives, Research Committees, researchers, and the Research Administrators who have all contributed to the success of the ARC. Thank you also to the broader research sector for its vital ongoing support of and confidence in the ARC,” said Professor Sheil.

More information about the Australian Research Council and its programs, visit the ARC website.

Media contacts:
Sheena Ireland, Minister's Office, 0417 181 936
Tamsin Allen, ARC, 0412 623 056