Sep 19, 2016

Georgia RichardsWe’re incredibly proud of the brilliant, dedicated people working to enhance the health of our veterans and the wider Australian community here at the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation. Their dedication extends beyond their job, which is demonstrated by Georgia Richards from our Veteran Mental Health Initiative who recently received some special recognition…

While Georgia was a Science Honours student at the University of Queensland she conducted a clinical pilot study into the role of long-term opioids in people with chronic low back pain. Georgia is now working at the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation on the Veteran Mental Health Initiative. Her research into chronic pain from her Honours has recently been recognised by the Australian Women’s Weekly and Qantas Women of the Future Award, awarding Georgia with the Women of the Future Judges Choice Award.

How does it feel to win the Judges Choice Award in The Australian Women’s Weekly Qantas Women of the Future Award?

It is an absolute privilege! I am extremely excited and very honoured to have been chosen by such an esteemed group of judges and from an amazing and inspiring group of young women. I cannot thank the Australian Women’s Weekly and Qantas enough for this opportunity.

What does this award mean for you?

Chronic pain remains the most neglected and under-funded of all major health conditions. As an early career researcher, this award will provide me with the opportunity to interest collaborations that will progress my research into chronic pain and society’s reliance on prescription medications. In addition, this award will help raise awareness and educate others about chronic pain and the importance of funding chronic pain research.

What is chronic pain?

Chronic pain is complex and difficult to treat. Its experience varies between individuals and may seriously impact one’s quality of life. People with chronic pain may face challenges in maintaining employment, participating in domestic and leisure activities and may experience coexisting disorders such as insomnia and/or depression and anxiety.

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How has your work at the GMRF Veteran Mental Health Initiative motivated your research?

My research in chronic pain was conducted before commencing work at the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation however working on research for veterans has motivated me to seek funding opportunities, such as the Women of the Future Award, so I can continue chronic pain research that I hope will one-day improve the welfare of veterans living with chronic pain.

What do you hope your future research will achieve?

When I receive the opportunity to conduct further chronic pain research I hope to reduce the burden of chronic pain and increase a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment. Ultimately, I hope to reduce society’s reliance on prescription medications and build a better understanding and recognition of medical research in Australia.

To find out more about Georgia’s achievement you can visit The Australian Women’s Weekly website, or watch this short video from The Women of the Future event.

Georgia Richards