women look at samples in lab with white coats on
Microbiologists Dr Lea-Ann Kirkham and Dr Elke Seppanen. Image source: Telethon Kids Institute

How Telethon Kids Institute are playing a vital role in the fight against COVID-19

The Governor is committed to supporting Western Australian organisations who are helping in the fight against the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past month, the Governor has been connecting with his patronage and other State-based organisations to receive briefings on their work and to offer encouragement and support.

Last week, the Governor spoke with Telethon Kids Institute Director, Professor Jonathan Carapetis AM, about the Institute’s targeted efforts to fight COVID-19, including the work of infectious disease researchers at the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases.

The Governor was pleased to hear that experts are working hard to help global efforts in developing a potential vaccine and preventing the spread of coronavirus.

Each area of expertise is playing their own vital role in the collaborative effort to learn more about the virus:

  • The Infectious Diseases Epidemiology team are designing studies to take a deeper look at the clinical aspects of the disease and how the infection is passed from person to person.
  • The laboratory-based microbiologists are helping to guide diagnostic tools used to identify people testing positive for coronavirus.
  • And lastly, the Clinical Trial Researchers are participating in large-scale testing of potential new vaccines and treatments.

The Telethon Kids Institute’s central mission is to improve the health, development and lives of children and young people through research and the application of knowledge gained from that research. The Institute’s participation in the fight against COVID-19 will have benefits for children and adults not just in WA but globally,

“We are so fortunate to have a world-class Institute like Telethon Kids based here in WA – they are one of the largest and most successful medical research institutes in Australia and play a major part in our State’s world leading ranking in this space.


Now they are on the case to help combat COVID-19 and we could not be more proud as West Australians.”


The Hon Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia

Visit the Telethon Kids Institute website (external link)

The Governor’s priorities

Supporting and advocating for health research in Western Australia is one of the Governor’s priorities.

In October 2019, the Governor and Ms Annus were pleased to host the inaugural ‘Governor’s Lecture’ with the Telethon Kids Institute in the Government House Ballroom. The lecture has brought, and will bring, the very best researchers from around the world to Perth, for the benefit of supporters, community leaders, and our State’s own researchers.

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