Premier’s Award selection for excellence in research, innovation and mental healthcare

Commitment to public service is clear at Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN).

Four CALHN entries to the 2023 Premier’s Excellence Awards have been announced as finalists.

Dr Griffith Perkins is a finalist in the category Emerging Young Talent – Individual. Griffith leads a team of clinicians and scientists focused on optimising vaccination for people at risk of serious infections due to being immunocompromised.

Associate Professor Alexandre Santos is a finalist in the category Driving Innovation – Individual. A senior medical physicist, Alex is making radiation treatment safer and more targeted for patients with cancer.

Professor Michael Brown and the RAH Immuno-Targeted Cancer Therapies team are finalists in the category Driving Innovation – Team. They have designed, advanced and translated world-first new therapies for brain and pancreatic cancers – diseases for which current treatment options are extremely limited.

Louise Hann, Eva Gill-Minero, Kathryn Beharrie, Suzanne Millard and Michael Rudman are finalists in the category Driving Innovation – Team. They have been recognised for their Mental Health Co-Response Service (MH-CORE), a SALHN, CALHN, NALHN and SAAS partnership. The service involves experienced mental health clinicians working alongside police officers to respond to police call-outs where mental health might be a factor.

Boosting immune responses

A finalist in the Emerging Young Talent award category, Dr Griffth Perkins is the current Mary Overton Research Fellow at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Griffith’s work focuses on improving understanding of immunity, the biological system that helps you fight off infectious diseases. A healthy immune system is key in responding to vaccines and enabling protection against diseases such as pneumonia, flu and COVID.

Griffith is aiming to improve immune responses in people who take immunosuppressive medications, for example after receiving a donated organ such as a kidney.

“Griffith is a standout early career researcher and leader in immunology and clinical transplantation within South Australia,” says Dr Toby Coates AO, Director of Kidney and Pancreas Islet Transplantation at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.


“His leadership, commitment to addressing critical challenges, extensive publication record, and clinical trials mark him as a distinguished contributor to the field.”


“Griffith not only embodies research excellence but is also a leader and innovator shaping the future of immunological research.”

Exceptional outcomes for South Australia

The Premier’s Excellence Awards acknowledge individuals and teams across the South Australian public sector who strive to deliver exceptional outcomes for South Australia while living the Public Sector Values. It is the highest reward and recognition program open to all South Australian public servants.

Winners in each category will be announced at an award ceremony on March 8 2024.

Congratulations to all the finalists!