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Australian Government Invests A$28.1M to Establish Genomics Agency

NEW YORK – The Australian government said this week that it has invested A$28.1 million (US$21.1 million) to establish Genomics Australia, a new agency tasked with supporting the integration of genomic medicine into Australia's healthcare system.

According to a statement issued by the office of Greg Hunt, Minister for Health and Aged Care, a taskforce in the Department of Health led by Kathryn North, director of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, will design and establish Genomics Australia. The agency will become a legislated corporate Commonwealth entity under the health portfolio beginning Jan. 1, 2024.

Genomics Australia will collaborate with consumers, health professionals, researchers, and industry. It will also include strong engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experts, disability groups, and culturally and linguistically diverse groups to ensure their representation, the Department of Health said.

Once established, the agency will also advise the government on the operation of a A$500 million 10-year genomics mission. In a statement, the Department of Heath also noted that Genomics Australia "will provide the coordination and strategic approach required to harness this powerful new discipline, support whole-of-health system change, and accelerate the translation of genomic technologies into clinical practice and public health services."