Conversation with the National Health & Medical Research Council

During 2013 a clumsy attempt to discredit the work of the Waubra Foundation CEO, Sarah Laurie, occurred in the form of an anonymous document which appeared on the desk of Michael Moore, CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia. The Waubra Foundation has been advised by a defamation lawyer that the anonymous document is defamatory.


Mr Moore forwarded the anonymous complaint to the NHMRC and to several other professional organisations with a suggestion that the CEO be investigated for conducting unauthorised “research”. The NHMRC promptly wrote to the Foundation’s CEO requesting her to answer the questions posed in the anonymous document. On the day after the NHMRC communicated with the CEO, an article appeared in Crikey referring to the fact that the NHMRC was “investigating” the CEO of the Waubra Foundation, suggesting that this was confirmed by an NHMRC “spokesperson”.

The NHMRC eventually noted on their website that the Waubra Foundation CEO was not under investigation.

The chain of letters relating to this matter is available for anyone interested.

Letter from NHMRC (Ms Sarah Byrne) to the Waubra Foundation CEO, Sarah Laurie

Response from Waubra Foundation Chair (Mr Peter Mitchell, AM) to Ms Byrne

Ms Byrne advice that the matter was not under investigation in letter to both the CEO, Sarah Laurie and the Chairman, Mr Mitchell

NHMRC Website entry on the matter →

Waubra Foundation director to NHMRC Chair (Hon Justice Bennett, AO) →

Follow up letter to NHMRC Chair →

Second follow up letter to NHMRC Chair →

Waubra Foundation Chair to NHMRC Chair

NHMRC CEO Prof Warwick Anderson AM to Waubra Foundation Chair

Read Professor Anderson’s apology to Sarah Laurie →