Professor Sue Thomas
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Research Council

Welcome to the third edition of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Making a Difference publication, featuring a snapshot of ARC-supported research projects that have delivered notable outcomes in 2018–19. Anyone with a natural curiosity will find the diverse research stories in this publication to be fascinating—from bull ant venom pain remedies, to a performance-based research laboratory staged at sites across the Kimberley, to a blast simulator that will test the frontiers of explosives protection—and it is with great pleasure that we share them with you.

The ARC proudly supports some of the world’s greatest fundamental and applied research, and we take care in this publication to feature a sample drawn from a wide range of universities, and across a wide range of disciplines. This includes research that is pure ‘blue-sky’ knowledge creation, as well as industry-ready commercial outcomes, and a spectrum of projects that are conducted by early career researchers, through to some of Australia’s most well-known research leaders. The ARC is unique in Australia for its support of such research diversity.

Australia’s innovative strength is well known overseas, and this strength is underpinned by the excellence that is found across all research disciplines and in universities all around the country—as we know, from measuring Australian research against world-standard benchmarks in our State of Australian University Research 2018–19: ERA National Report. The impact of this research on the lives of ordinary Australians is also significant, as is illustrated in so many more stories also available to explore, drawn from our inaugural 2018 Engagement and Impact Assessment.

The Australian research sector is a wonderful community to support, with new incredible stories of innovation and discovery year on year. Our lives and culture are much richer for the work of our research community, and I thank them for what they give back to us all.