Our name

Harry Perkins AO - Inaugural ChairmanThe Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research was named in honour of our inaugural Chairman, the late Harry Perkins AO, who played a pivotal role in the creation of the Institute.

Harry’s vision and commitment to improving the lives of Western Australians led to the creation of the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research in 1998.

The respect in which he was held and his unrelenting drive to boost medical research in Western Australia were instrumental in bringing together The University of Western Australia and the Royal Perth and Sir Charles Gairdner hospitals as the founding partners.  He also led the team which raised the funds for the establishment of the Institute.  One of the major gifts was a  $5 million donation from Wesfarmers.

A farmer in the Bruce Rock area, where he was born, Harry Perkins went on to a distinguished business career, culminating in 16 years as Chairman of Wesfarmers Limited.  He died of cancer in 2002.

Harry was one of those rare individuals who, having identified a need, went out and did something about it.

The annual Harry Perkins Oration commemorates his great service to the people of Western Australia.

The word in our logo is based on Harry Perkins’ actual signature.

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