Globally the human condition is improving:

·         developing countries’ GDP growing much faster than the OECD.

·         700 million fewer people living in absolute poverty

·         Geoff Lamb7 million fewer children dying every year

·         370 million children vaccinated averting 5.5 million future deaths

Join 1,600 Melburnians to hear Gates Foundation policy director at 6 pm on Monday 29 April, Melbourne Convention Centre, reveal the prospect of ending absolute poverty.

Geoffrey Lamb, the Gates Foundation’s President of Global Policy and Advocacy, is the 2013 Graeme Clark Orator.

He will review the extraordinary successes of the past half century in reducing mortality and disease. He will show how investments in health have been critical for economic growth and the reduction of global poverty – and have helped bring the goal of an end to absolute global poverty within generational sight.

He will highlight how Melbourne discoveries like rotavirus are contributing. 

“In retrospect the huge basic health advances of recent decades may have been the easy part,” says Geoff Lamb. 

“What needs to be done to ensure the next transformation in global health, and make the end of absolute poverty attainable?”

“For example, big investments in routine vaccination and cleaner water may already have delivered up most of their dividends, and meantime we may face a “long contraction” in public finances that will make it much harder to fund future investments.” 

The Graeme Clark Oration is a free public lecture established to honour Professor Graeme Clark, inventor of the bionic ear. “Melbourne researchers have already made large contributions to global health,” says Professor Clark.

“Sir Macfarlane Burnet and his followers revealed fundamental workings of the immune system and inspired Ian Frazer to develop the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil. Ruth Bishop and Ian Holmes discovered rotavirus and showed it was responsible for deadly diarrhoea in infants. Peter Coleman and his colleagues developed the anti-flu drug Relenza.”

“But, as Geoff Lamb will tell us, there is much more to be done to fight infant mortality and reduce poverty.” 

This is the fifth Oration. Past speakers include: Dr Craig Venter, who led the private sector bid in the race to sequence the complete human genome; Professor Dame Linda Partridge, a guru in ageing research; Professor Terry Sejnowski, a pioneer in computational neuroscience and decoding the brain’s networks; and Professor Graeme Clark himself, who left practice as a doctor to engineer the bionic ear.

The Oration is hosted by the ICT for Life Sciences Forum, collaboration between Melbourne’s leading medical research institutes, hospitals and universities to share ideas about the convergence of biology and computer science.

For interviews contact:
Niall Byrne, Science in Public, +61 (417) 131 977,

To book into the lecture





Niall Byrne


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