Spinnaker (formerly Fremantle Hospital Medical Research Foundation) was established as a fully independent charitable entity in 1996 at Fremantle Hospital to provide a centre of research excellence for the community of south metropolitan Perth. The Foundation awarded its first grants in 1999 following a concerted three year campaign to raise capital significant enough to underpin a sustainable annual program of research funding for the community at, and served, by the hospital.
In 2016 the Foundation expanded its partnership to include Fiona Stanley Hospital, renaming to Spinnaker as homage to its founding chair Warren Jones (1936-2002). Warren was a local resident of Fremantle and the manager of the successful America’s Cup syndicate in 1983. As Chairman of the Board of Fremantle Hospital, Warren had a vision for a research foundation that would directly benefit the well-being of the people of his community.
The Foundation upholds this proud tradition today maintaining a focus on the identified health needs of our community to inform the allocation of funds for grants, clinical research scholarships, travel awards and exceptional research projects. Spinnaker prioritises research that aims to translate findings to practice to ensure the best possible diagnosis, treatment and care for the people who attend the hospitals we support. We also prioritise projects that focus on prevention to ensure improved life outcomes across the entire cycle of life.
We rely on our generous donors to fund research that seeks to better understand critical health issues for our local community, knowing that it will have a global impact. We know that better research means better health, and we strive to fund the next great discovery.
Anyone who lives or works south of the river is familiar with the sight of yachts with their colourful spinnakers aloft, harnessing the power of the Fremantle Doctor.
We chose to name our health research foundation after this iconic sail as it symbolises the tireless energy of medical researchers, who are continually moving forward, racing to find answers and make breakthroughs, in their quest to improve the health of our community.
It’s also a nod to Warren Leslie Jones (1936 – 2002), local resident, businessman and successful America’s Cup syndicate manager who had the vision to realise that a research foundation based out of Fremantle Hospital would benefit the well-being of local residents.
The Fremantle Hospital Medical Research Foundation that Jones helped established in 1996 is still continuing its good work. However, 2015 brought winds of change with the Fiona Stanley Hospital taking over the role of major tertiary hospital south of the river.
This created the need for an independent charitable trust to co-ordinate funding for health research in the southern region – the Spinnaker Health Research Foundation.
Spinnaker has received no direct government funding. Instead, we historically we have relied on the support and generosity of people and local businesses within the community, and the responsible investment of our capital funds. While corporate trustees from the business world helm Spinnaker, a scientific advisory committee made up of leading clinical and medical professionals and scientists guides funding decisions.