Ms Roberta Withnall - A Long Association With Medical Research

Ms Roberta Withnall - A Long Association With Medical Research
Partner For The Future
Ms Roberta Withnall - A Long Association With Medical Research

Ms Roberta Withnall is a valued volunteer at Garvan however, this is not her first foray into the field of medical research. During her time in the UK, Ms Withnall witnessed some truly important developments in the field.

Following a few years teaching Nature and Physics in the UK and Sydney, and working for the Australian Atomic Energy Commission, Roberta was offered a post at the headquarters of the

UK’s Medical Research Council (MRC) in the Cancer Research Division, which she eagerly accepted.

“During this time, I had the chance to visit many UK research establishments, and it was really then that my interest in medical research was stimulated,” explains Ms Withnall.

A transfer to the MRC Clinical Trials Unit saw Roberta working with esteemed epidemiologist Professor Janet Darbyshire, CBE who lead the push to centralise clinical trial data in the UK. Then,

when the HIV/AIDS epidemic took hold, a committee made up of representatives from the UK, France and USA was established. Roberta was tasked with organising a meeting that had been convened in Sydney, co-chaired by the UK and France. She says, “I particularly recall all of us being squashed up in a tiny office, in the building that was later demolished to make way for The Kinghorn Cancer Centre.”

Roberta is delighted to have retired to Sydney, and is now located only a short distance from Garvan.

She says, “The closeness of Garvan and The Kinghorn Cancer Centre has provided me with the opportunity to attend seminars, obtain literature, and keep up with the latest research developments – particularly in relation to cancer.” 

She is also delighted to be volunteering with Garvan’s lively and hard-working finance and accounts team, where she feels very much at home. 

Ms Withnall is a Garvan Partner for the Future, which means she has decided to leave a lasting legacy to medical research by including a bequest in her will. Roberta explains, “I am pleased to say that spending time at the Institute, and seeing the inspiring and important work being carried out by

Garvan’s gifted researchers has confirmed to me that including a bequest to Garvan in my will was a sound decision.”

If you would like more information about volunteering for Garvan or leaving a bequest to Garvan in your will, please contact Carol O’Carroll on 02 9295 8117, or email