AusBiotech Updates

Dr Lavelle recognised with tributes and Life Membership

19 July 2016: As tributes and messages of support continue to flood in after the announcement that long-time CEO of AusBiotech, Dr Anna Lavelle, will step down from the leadership, AusBiotech has conferred a Life Membership in recognition of her excellent service to biotechnology and her meritorious service to AusBiotech.

The announcement came at AusBiotech 30th Anniversary Luncheon at the Arts Centre Melbourne on Friday, where 250 of the industry’s who’s who gathered to celebrate the achievements of the past three decades and to be inspired about the future of the industry.

The event was a fitting scene for the recognition after the awarded and highly-respected leader who has been at the helm of AusBiotech for 11 years, making an indelible mark on the success of AusBiotech and Australia’s life sciences industry. Throughout the event and weekend, the tributes flowed in from members and supporters. 

Medicines Australia issued a media release acknowledging “the great contribution made by Dr Anna Lavelle to Australia’s biotechnology industry…”

“Throughout her eleven years at the helm, Dr Lavelle has been a tremendous advocate for her members and the broader life science sector.”

“Her decision to step away will be a big loss not just to her members but the broader sector as a whole.”
A sample of the social media posts is provided below:

Dr Jan Tennent tweeted: “Warmest congratulations & deep gratitude to Dr Anna Lavelle: handing over the reins @AusBiotech >10yrs of visionary leadership #legacy”

Elane Zelcer tweeted: “An amazing contribution to the Australian biotech sector by #AnnaLavelle @AusBiotech #Ausbiotech30.

Shanny Dyer tweeted: “…Anna Lavelle was a great ambassador for the biotech industry.”

Peter Bradley tweeted: “Well deserved @AusBiotech life membership to @annalavelle whilst we celebrate 30 years of @AusBiotech #ausbiotech30.

Kathy Connell posted on LinkedIn: “Thank you Anna for your tenacious support of the Australian biotech sector these past 11 years…” and Lisa Renkin commented: “What an incredible contribution you've made Dr Anna Lavelle…”

The honour of a Life Membership is determined by a resolution of the Board and has been conferred only three times in the history of AusBiotech, to:

  • Dr Martin Playne, who is thought of as the founder of the Australian Biotechnology Association (ABA), which is today known as AusBiotech. He was the number one member as well as the first appointed President and Chairman.
  • Dr Peter Riddles, who was President of the Australian Biotechnology Association (ABA) from 2000, when he chaired the Steering Committee that recommended and oversaw the transition to AusBiotech, and became the inaugural President of AusBiotech.
  • And the extraordinary Emeritus Professor Nancy Millis, who was one of the pioneers of the study of fermentation biotechnology in Australia. Sadly Nancy passed away in 2012 at the age of 90, but AusBiotech continues to honour her contribution each year at the AusBiotech conference with the Millis Oration.

The leadership changes at AusBiotech will take effect from 1 September 2016 and see Dr Lavelle’s tenure continue in the role of Principal Advisor to the Board. At the same time, current Chief Operating Officer, Mr Glenn Cross, will step into the role of CEO with Chief Industry Affairs Officer, Ms Lorraine Chiroiu, as the Deputy CEO.

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