Young Tall Poppy Mentoring Sessions – September – November 2021

About the Sessions

Our objective with this program is to provide an opportunity to network with each other and to hear from experienced researchers/mentors about their career.

The sessions are aimed at our Young Tall Poppies from 2011 although anyone is free to register.

Our plan would be to run one- two sessions each month with opportunity for an experienced Tall Poppy to be able to talk about issues such as

    • Advice to your younger self
    • Leadership in science
    • How to maintain the spark of enthusiasm the start of their career

We envisage each session taking about an hour.
All sessions commence at 5.00 pm except Monday 20th September which is at 1.00pm.

Session Details – Note – All times are Sydney times.

Some session details have been amended since initial email notification sent.

Monday 6th September 2021 5.00 pm – Presenter – Professor Angela Moles – UNSW Registration – Click here for Registration which includes Zoom Link

Monday 20th September 2021 – 1.00 pm – Presenter – Associate Professor Seth Masters – The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute Registration – Click here for Registration which includes Zoom Link

Monday 27th September 2021 – 1.00 pm – Presenter – Dr Sarah Meachem – AIPS Director and researcher. Registration – Click here for registration which includes Zoom Link –  NB Note revised presenter and new time 

Monday 18th October 2021 – 5.00 pm – Presenter – Professor Kathy Belov, Professor of Comparative Genomics and Pro Vice-Chancellor Global Engagement – University of Sydney. Registration – Click here for registration which includes Zoom LinkNote change of session presenter.

Monday 25th October 2021 – 1.00 pm – Presenter – Professor Andrew Hill – La Trobe University. Registration – Click here for registration which includes Zoom Link – NB Note new time

Monday 22nd November 2021 – 5.00 pm – Presenter – Professor Vanessa Hayes – Garvan Institute & University of Sydney. Registration – Click here for registration which includes Zoom Link

Monday 29th November 2021 – 1.00 pmNB Note new time Presenter – Professor Elizabeth New- University of Sydney. Registration – Click here for registration which includes Zoom Link 

March 2021 Newsbrief

Hi and welcome to 2021.

This year we are trialling sending out a short quarterly email update to all our supporters, Tall Poppy Alumni and attendees at our various functions.

Like many organisations we are now tentatively getting back to a new normal in relation to our events and we are pleased to advise that our Young Tall Poppy applications are now open, as are our bookings for our Post Budget Briefings events in May.

From Maria Kavallaris AM – Co Chair AIPS.

Welcome everyone in our AIPS community. Thank you to our sponsors and supporters who have been instrumental in allowing us to continue our work over these last 12 months.

On behalf of AIPS I acknowledge the great work done by our junior researchers through the Young Tall Poppy awards and to the support from CSL for the 2020 CSL Florey Next Generation Awards.

The work our young researchers are doing is vital to our future international growth and competitiveness. It also has the potential to change our lives in ways which we cannot yet imagine. We are pleased and proud to be part of the process of nurturing this research excellence and recognise them early in their career.

The 60 Young Tall Poppy awardees made in 2020 across every state and territory join over 800 Alumni now working in the fields of research not only in Australia but across the world.

We are now in a good position to increase our outreach and are working to build relationships throughout the scientific education and wider communities.

Don’t forget that our Young Tall Poppy award applications are open, and we look forward to receiving many high-quality applications again this year.

Young Tall Poppy Awards

Applications for the 2021 Young Tall Poppy awards are now open and close on the 6th of April. All details can be found on our webpage. Click here for link. Please feel free to forward this onto any of your colleagues.

Post Budget Health Briefings

We are pleased to announce it this year we are running our Post Budget Health Briefings. Booking links for both of these events are available below.

The 2021 Post Budget Health Briefings are generously sponsored by the Johnson and Johnson Family of Companies and Medicines Australia . The Australian Institute of Policy and Science would like to acknowledge companies for supporting these significant events in the health calendar.

Outreach Activities.

We are now focusing on our outreach activities 2021 and we’re really pleased to include some information below. If you would like to participate in any of these activities please contact us on

  • Tall Poppy Takeovers on Instagram: once a month a Tall Poppy takes over our AIPS Instagram account and showcases their lab and research. Commencing April 2021.
  • CSIRO STEM Professionals in schools: We’ve partnered with CSIRO STEM professionals in schools to get our Tall Poppies into schools and advance the Tall Poppy campaign.
  • Science Tall Tales: this series showcases the What, Why and Weird of the science that our Tall Poppies do. New short videos will be launched in Science Week 2021.

AQ: Australian Quarterly

Did you know that AIPS also publishes Australia’s oldest public affairs magazine? For over 90 years AQ: Australian Quarterly has provided in-depth, evidence-informed writing from the forefront of the debates shaping our country and the world. An annual subscription costs as little as $15 and supports independent, expert driven debate at a time when objective facts and the media are under attack.

In the current edition of AQ read up on the militarisation of police in Australia, the nation’s thin patchwork of human rights legislation, and the future of work in a post-COVID world. All this and more in digital and in print. See the website for a preview and to subscribe:


None of these activities would be possible without our many sponsors who continue to support us throughout these difficult times and we acknowledge and thank you for your support.

AIPS Staff

We thought it might be timely to introduce ourselves. The Institute has a small staff all working part-time out of our virtual offices.

  • Steve Burke – General Manager,
  • Grant Mills – Editor in Chief -Australian Quarterly,
  • Dr Julie-Anne Popple – Outreach Officer and
  • Dai Le – Marketing and Media Assistant.

More information about us can be found on our website here

Steve Burke

General Manager

When cells forget how to die – a hallmark of cancer

Andreas Strasser and David Vaux win $50,000 CSL Florey Medal for lifetime achievement for identifying cell death triggers and using them to fight cancer.

Full profile and photos available at:

Award presentation: 8.30pm (Canberra time), 27 November in the Great Hall, Parliament House

Past CSL Florey Medallists include Graeme Clark, Ian Frazer, and Nobel Laureates Barry Marshall and Robin Warren.

In 1988, two Melbourne scientists, Andreas Strasser and David Vaux, discovered the genetic triggers that cause billions of cells in each of us to die every day. They showed that some cancers cells can bypass the trigger and ‘forget to die’. Their findings led to powerful new treatments for leukaemia and opened a new field of research which generates 25,000 papers every year.

Professors Strasser and Vaux, both of Melbourne’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, have been awarded the biennial CSL Florey Medal, presented by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS).

The two scientists provided the first insights into the molecular mechanism for cell death, and the first evidence that the failure of this mechanism can lead to cancer and autoimmune disease.

The research revealed that cancer genes don’t just trigger runaway cell growth; some of them also stop the body’s normal process of programming cells to die, known as apoptosis. Avoidance of cell death is now recognised as one of the six universally accepted “Hallmarks of Cancer”.

David Vaux is deputy director of the Institute, and Andreas Strasser is the Division Head for Blood Cells and Blood Cancer. Much of their research has centred on the discovery of a gene called Bcl-2, which can stop the normal cell dying process. After identifying it, their respective teams worked on blocking its activity. The results led to potent new treatments that are now in use against two types of leukaemia.

David Vaux says he is honoured to be the joint recipient of the award, which is named in honour of Australian Nobel laureate, the late Sir Howard Florey who brought penicillin to the clinic.

“I’m proud to share this honour with Andreas,” he says. “And there is still so much more to do. We have potential new leukaemia treatments that target the Bcl-2 gene undergoing clinical trials at the moment.”

Andreas Strasser agrees. “Although our research into cell death and cancer has been underway for decades, it remains for me a vital and exciting field,” he says.

CSL Chief Scientific Officer Professor Andrew Cuthbertson adds that the research has global ramifications.

“Their discoveries are the basis for literally thousands of journal papers every year,” he says. “It’s true to say that there isn’t an oncology researcher anywhere in the world who isn’t aware of their work.”

AIPS director Peter McMahon accords the research in the highest degree of importance in the field.

“The ‘Hallmarks of Cancer’ constitute a global research framework,” he says. “Andreas Strasser and David Vaux have played a major role in building this framework and AIPS are very pleased be able to acknowledge this achievement with the support of CSL”

Media contacts:

Niall Byrne,, 0433 339 141, (03) 9398 1416

Tanya Ha,, 0404 083 863