About 130 guests joined us at inaugural International Women’s Day breakfast on Thursday 8 March, to be inspired by some of Queensland’s most successful and influential women in children’s health research.

Professor Ros Boyd, Associate Professor Karen Barlow, Associate Professor Christel Middeldorp, Dr Severine Navarro and Professor Jennifer Martin shared their experiences and tips on forging a successful career in research during a Q & A panel at the event at Rydges Southbank in South Brisbane.

The event, hosted by Juiced TV’s Pip Russell (another inspiring woman we’re proud to support), also saw the launch of our new Mary McConnel Career Boost Program for Women in Paediatric Research, which aims to help women advance their research careers in Queensland and play a leading role in finding more cures and better treatments for sick kids everywhere.

The program is named after Mary McConnel who established the first children’s hospital in Queensland (and second in Australia), namely the Hospital for Sick Children in Brisbane in 1878. This later became the Royal Children’s Hospital and ultimately the Lady CIlento Children’s Hospital.

The catalyst for Mary’s desire to establish a children’s hospital was the lack of hospital facilities for children in Brisbane during the mid-1870s. During that time, Mary witnessed many accidents and sickness among children, who were unable to be treated at the adult hospital because the wards were overcrowded. It was in 1877 (predominately at the Brisbane Exhibition – Ekka), with the assistance of a committee of women, that Mary raised funds to establish a hospital for children.

In a time when a woman’s place was in the home, Mary’s achievements in founding Queensland’s first hospital for children was a truly remarkable feat.

Mary was a strong leader and advocate for child health and welfare issues, and the Children’s Hospital Foundation is proud to carry on her tradition of highlighting, celebrating and encouraging women in paediatric research.

Applications for the first round of theMary McConnel Career Boost Program for Women in Paediatric Research are now open and will close at 5pm on 4 April 2018.

For more information and to apply, see https://childrens.smartygrants.com.au/2018WIS