Helping Our Community to Flourish

General Peter Cosgrove AC MC, Professor Maxwell Bennett and Bishop Michael Putney will officially launch the Tropical Brain and Mind Research Foundation on Monday, 12th August at the Museum of Tropical Queensland (6pm) to the Townsville business community.

The Foundation is the initiative of Professor Maxwell Bennett who heads the Sydney Brain and Mind Research Institute. Professor Bennett was an invited speaker in 2011 at the Townsville Catholic Education Mental Health & Well-Being Symposium. Recognising the issues and specific needs of North Queensland communities, Professor Bennett began working with a local steering group toward the establishment of a Foundation for the north.

The Tropical Brain and Mind Research Foundation has two aims:

  • To identify research projects that provide the best hope of overcoming the effects of brain and mind disorders; and
  • to facilitate financial support for these projects.

"For communities to flourish, individual must also flourish, which requires health minds and bodies," Professor Bennett said.

"Populations in the tropical regions of Australia are the subject of major stress, trauma and other diseases of the brain and mind."

"These range from children suffering from various forms of abuse and neglect which can lead to physical and mental health issues, to veterans returning from deployment with post-traumatic stress disorders."

"Such conditions are the focus for the research work of the Tropical Brain and Mind Research Foundation and we will be introducing the Foundation concept to the local business community in the hope of fostering strong support"

Members of the Foundation are

  • Professor Max Bennett, Sydney Brain and Mind Research Institute
  • Dr Cathy Day, Director Townsville Catholic Education and Adjunct Professor James Cook University
  • Professor Sue McGinty, Acting Director Cairns Institute, James Cook University
  • Professor Yvonne Cadet-James, Chair Indigenous Australian Studies, James Cook University

At present a particular cluster of projects concerned with foetal alcohol syndrome and autism spectrum disorders is under consideration and the researchers will be present at the launch to discuss their projects and anticipated outcomes with potential donors. The next cluster of projects to be given priority will address post-traumatic stress.