The Audrey Michael award announcement
Late Audrey Michael who was a Principal Lab Technologist at IMR, served the institute for 29 years until her passing in 2014

The Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research (PNGIMR) celebrated its 50th Anniversary in August this year and a number of important announcements were declared wherein one of them was the Audrey Michael Award.

The announcement was made by Dr Andrew Greenhill, Senior Lecturer in Microbiology and Fermentation Technology, at the Federation University, Australia.

According to Dr Greenhill, the Audrey Michael Award for exemplary service to the PNGIMR seeks to acknowledge staff members who have given excellent service to the Institute and exhibits at least some of the characteristics of Audrey Michael.

Over the past 50 years, the Institute has been dedicated to improving the health of the people of Papua New Guinea (PNG) through a greater understanding of the important diseases that affect them, leading to preventive and control strategies.

“The excellent work of PNGIMR would not be possible without many dedicated and loyal staff members like the late Audrey Michael,” he said.

“The staff of PNGIMR have raised an enormous amount of money, and dedicated considerable time to make this event happen. It is up to us, the external collaborators, to fund this award for IMR staff and not the staff themselves,” said Dr Greenhill.

He added that it is hoped that the costs associated with the award can be met through the Buttressing Coalition.

Mrs Audrey Michael commenced work in the Bacteriology Laboratory at PNGIMR in 1985, having previously completed training in Medical Laboratory Technology. Over time Audrey became a highly skilled and knowledgeable bacteriologist.

Dr Greenhill confessed that when he arrived at IMR in 2008 as Head of Bacteriology and got to know Audrey and her great skills, he wondered why there was any need to employ him.

Meanwhile, the Audrey Michael Award will be presented to a member of staff who has, in the view of the selection committee, adequately demonstrated the following values – dedication to the goals of the Institute; integrity; mentorship and/or pastoral care; humility; promotion of gender equity; and, loyalty to the Institute and colleagues.

“I would like to thank all those who have helped with the establishment of this award as well as thank Audrey’s family for their blessing to announce an award in her honour. And finally, thanks to Audrey for leaving a legacy that all of us in this room can strive to emulate,” he concluded.