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Commitment to medical research

Neville and Di Bertalli were recognised for their commitment to medical research through support of the Bionics Institute at a Government House Victoria celebration of the first bionic ear implant on 2 July.

The Bionics Institute Catalyst Award was presented to former Bionics Institute Board Member, Neville Bertalli and his wife, Di Bertalli to acknowledge their dedicated support since 2005.

Her Excellency, Professor, the Honourable Margaret Gardner AC, Governor of Victoria, kindly hosted a celebration of the 46th anniversary of the successful implantation of the first multi-channel cochlear implant and personally thanked inventor, Laureate Professor Graeme Clark AC for transforming the lives of people with hearing loss.

One of Australia’s greatest breakthroughs, the cochlear implant was invented and developed by Professor Clark’s team at the University of Melbourne, first implanted at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, and led to Australia’s leading medical device company, Cochlear Ltd.

“It was a pleasure to host an event to celebrate the vision of the Bionics Institute and recognise the contributions of those who make its work possible.” Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Margaret Gardner AC, Governor of Victoria

The cochlear implant not only changed the way hearing loss is treated forever, but also led to Professor Graeme Clark founding the Bionics Institute in 1986 to continue development of the cochlear implant.

The Bionics Institute has remained at the forefront of hearing research since then, while also expanding into the development of medical devices to treat some of the world’s most challenging conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s.

Robert Klupacs, Bionics Institute CEO says that innovative medical breakthroughs would not be possible without collaboration between researchers, engineers and healthcare professionals combined with the vital support of Board Members, volunteers and our caring supporters.

He said: “From all of us at the Bionics Institute, we want to say thank you to everyone for making our groundbreaking research possible. We truly could not have done it, or continue, to do it, without you.”

Acknowledging two of the Bionics Institute’s most longstanding supporters, he said:

“Neville and Di Bertalli’s inspiring commitment to medical research through support of the Bionics Institute has had a major impact on society that will last for years to come. We are honoured to recognise your support with the Bionics Institute Catalyst Award.”

“Di and I have seen the world benefit from the many leaps forward in medical treatments over our lifetime, like the cochlear implant. We and our family are passionate about supporting medical research and inspiring the next generation of brilliant minds to transform lives. Neville Bertalli

“We have been delighted to support Professor James Fallon’s research into neuro-stimulation. His research has led the Bionics Institute to find new treatments for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.”

Chair of the Bionics Institute Board of Directors John Stanhope AM said: “It is wonderful to celebrate the proud history of the Bionics Institute. Our goal remains to provide a better quality of life for people who are suffering from difficult to manage medical issues. For those of you who have supported us on the journey, I thank you.”

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