The Westmead Institute was an eye opener to living life on the edge in many respects!

The Westmead Institute was an eye opener to living life on the edge in many respects!

Last Friday I was lucky to get a tour opportunity through ‘The Westmead Institute for Medical Research’. They are a world leading research institution and many years ago when I was studying my Bachelor of Applied Science, I heard about them in those days.

Ironically today I can literally walk there from my house in about 7 minutes.

Through a Parramatta Chamber event I met one of their senior managers and they invited me on tour. As curiosity has never killed this cat (lol); I thought it was a chance to get behind the scenes and explore what they are up too.

With thanks to Kerri Crossling and co for looking after me; I was taken through level after level of hardcore research action. There was analytical equipment in small boxes that cost over $1,000,000 AUD and I was given a window into living life and research on the edge. I saw stressed researchers, test tubes, micro burettes, centrifuges and scientific equipment that was beyond my own level of technological comprehension.

What shocked me about the experience was learning about the uncertainty that the researchers live under. Many who work there live on grant money meaning that if their grant runs out, their research ends and their careers may even be over.

Usually every few years they have to apply for new grants and get new funding sources and live under the infinite pressure of having to write papers, deliver results and come up with new breakthroughs that will keep bringing them more funding.

It got me thinking on not only wow have I got life good, but it served as a salient reminder of what life and business is like for all of us. It’s a competitive modern world that we are living in and if we aren’t improving what we do, looking after our clients and driving our knowledge; our competition most certainly are and can overtake us before we know it.

I have learned personally that in order to not only survive, but to thrive; we must be on ‘the edge’ of what we do. We must have the latest equipment, be up to date with the most recent thinking and be able to pass that knowledge onto our clients before other suppliers do.

My advice and lessons friends? Like our friends at Westmead Institute, success and life is always on the edge for us. We must be pushing our barriers all the time, out performing others around us and coming up with the goods first!

In that scenario it sets us up as leaders in our industry. I figured this out about 2 – 3 years ago and since that I have never looked back. Go hard, master what you do and remember; you don’t need the whole seat, just the edge.

Thank you Westmead Institute, love your work and some fantastic lessons!



2 Responses

  1. Hey, Thanks for writing about us! yup, very few realise how tough the grant situation is and how researchers are always plagued with uncertainty wrt to their future! scary in so many ways, but keeps us determined; the results always rewarding and makes all the down times worth it.

    • Thank you Kavi and yes! I thought it was pretty crazy. It was a new experience for me learning how unstable life is for you awesome researchers. It’s a pity they have setup the game like this in Australia – if we are going to be the ‘Ideas Generation’ as Malcolm Turnbull puts it – getting top minds to fight over scraps isn’t going to drive the outcome.

      Best of luck! Impressed 🙂

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