Creating Difference

In 2023/24, Bellberry celebrates its 20th year of operation. This page will be your guide to what’s happening across the year including celebratory events, grant announcements, news and interviews.

Bellberry has been transforming medical research in Australia since 2004, with its ground-breaking model of independent Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs).

Bellberry was founded with one HREC; two decades later we host 12 (NHMRC certified) HRECs that meet weekly with a panel of more than 150 independent experts.

We have two key objectives: that is, to protect the welfare of human research participants, and to improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of research.

Twenty years on, we are proud that these two principles continue to underpin everything we do.

Bellberry developed a new model for reviewing human based research by creating institutionally-independent HRECs made up of leading experts in their field.

From day one, our focus has been to provide robust, rigorous and timely reviews using the expertise of some of the most highly qualified people in Australia.

Today, Bellberry is the largest reviewer of human research in Australia, providing HREC services for more than 35% of all CTN (Clinical Trial Notification) trials conducted in Australia.


As an independent, not-for-profit organisation, Bellberry’s surplus funds are donated back into the sector to support the advancement of research knowledge through philanthropy and education.

To date, we have committed more than $9 million to Australia’s medical research sector, across a portfolio of people, projects and direct action initiatives.

To mark the start of our 20th year, Bellberry hosted an International Scientific Congress in Adelaide in June 2023 to discuss and workshop a coordinated approach for managing accelerated patient access to potentially beneficial medicines.  Experts from all over the globe, including from the UK, US, Canada, Europe, Singapore and Japan, came together at this forum to work through this complex issue. Take a look at the highlights video from the Symposium in the Videos tab below. You’ll also see a tab for Podcasts where you will find our brand new podcast series, ‘From Lab To Life’.

With more exciting activities and initiatives planned to mark Bellberry’s special milestone of 20 years,  be sure to drop by this page regularly for the latest news on what’s been happening.

Join us in celebrating 20 years of Bellberry!

Listen to our brand new podcast series, ‘From Lab To Life’, where we go behind the scenes to understand more about the clinical trial and medical research sector. You’ll hear from experts in the sector, including researchers, clinical trial participants and members of Human Research Ethics Committees, exploring challenges and opportunities facing the health and medical research world.

Introducing Bellberry’s new podcast series, From Lab To Life – join us as we go behind the scenes to understand more about the clinical trial and medical research sector.

As Bellberry celebrates its 20th year of operation in 2023/24, in this first episode ‘Creating Difference’ we speak with Bellberry’s CEO, Kylie Sproston, to understand what Bellberry is and how it works.

The role of a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) is to ensure that all kinds of research involving or impacting on humans conform to the highest standards of ethical practice and academic integrity. In this episode, ‘Behind Closed Doors’, we meet four members of Bellberry’s HRECs to understand what motivates people to take on this responsibility and how the process works.

As a Not-For-Profit organisation, Bellberry allocates surplus funds raised from HREC review back into the health and medical research sector. In this episode, ‘Chasing The Money’, we hear about Bellberry’s flagship philanthropic program, the Bellberry-Viertel Fellowship, and the impact this funding can have on research careers.

Bellberry has a record of bringing people from all sides of the fence together to make progress in some of the most difficult issues in medical research. In this episode, 'Tackling A Wicked Problem', we hear from experts from across the globe who were brought together by Bellberry to attend an International Scientific Congress in Adelaide in June 2023 to examine how to achieve better outcomes for patients when it comes to accelerated access to potentially beneficial medicines.

Bellberry’s award winning work is supported by a dedicated, talented and growing team. In this episode, 'All In A Day's Work',we meet some of the members of the Bellberry team and find out why they do what they do. They give us an insight into the organisation, the work they do and what gets them out of bed every day.

In this episode of From Lab to Life, we hear the insights from some of the smartest researchers in the country about how they have succeeded in their careers. In 'Speaking From Experience' we hear from Laureate Professor Ingrid Scheffer, Professor Doug Hilton, Emeritus Professor Ian Frazer, Professors Marnie Blewitt, Kim Jacobson and Di Yu about how they have navigated a successful path in the complex and demanding field of medical research.

What are the changes in medical treatment that are going to affect us in the coming years? In our latest episode of From Lab to Life we hear from three researchers and Bellberry HREC members who have a front row seat to the latest developments. 'On the Horizon' reveals that one of the biggest influences on medical innovation is the pandemic. Despite having a devastating effect across the globe it has forced immense change in medical research.

In 'The Quiet Achiever' we met someone who has made an extraordinary contribution to Australian health in a career spanning over six decades. Professor Emeritus Lloyd Sansom AO started his career as a pharmacist, going on to become Professor of Pharmacy as well as Head of the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences at the University of South Australia. In 2002 he was awarded an AO and in 2004 his contribution to the University was recognised with the naming of the Sansom Institute for Health Research. He was also Chair of the Australian Pharmaceutical Advisory Council from 1991-2000 and Chair for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee from 2001-2012. Recently Lloyd retired as a member of Bellberry’s Board and in this episode he gives us insight into his life, work and lessons learnt.