Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


In Memory of Ralph Mitchell

It is with great sadness that Children’s Medical Research Institute announces the loss of our Chief Operating Officer, Ralph Mitchell, who died suddenly on 19 May 2019.

Ralph joined CMRI in 2010 as Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary after a career in Sydney, Singapore, London, New York and Dallas, primarily in corporate finance and investment banking, and subsequently became CMRI's COO.

Director Professor Roger Reddel said that Ralph became fully acclimatised to the culture of CMRI, which prizes working for the public good and regards other related organisations as collaborators, not competitors. He also developed an excellent working knowledge of our scientific research. What he enjoyed more than anything else was achieving "deals" that truly advanced the interests of all parties.

“In the nine years he was here at CMRI, Ralph Mitchell in my view became one of the very best medical research institute COOs in Australia, with a wide range of knowledge and insight across the whole sector,’’ said Professor Reddel.

"He was both a strong advocate and a highly effective enabler for all of our key networks, including the Westmead Research Hub, the Westmead Health and Medical Research Precinct more widely, The University of Sydney, and Paediatrio – a company which facilitates collaborative children's health research in NSW and beyond. He was also a significant asset to the CFO/COO group within the Australian Association of Medical Research Institutes.

"Within CMRI, Ralph's many achievements included skilful management of our investments, and working successfully with the commercial sector to enable increased funding of vital medical research.

“On a personal note, Ralph was a truly wonderful colleague. Partly because of our different backgrounds, we often had divergent viewpoints which was a very healthy basis for discussion and getting good decisions and outcomes. Those discussions were always pleasant and constructive.’’

His passing is felt deeply by the CMRI staff and Board, and by colleagues across Australia. In the many tributes that are flowing in he is described by colleagues as being deeply insightful, professional, constructive, innovative, loyal, consistent, generous, warm-hearted, compassionate, collegial, with a sharp mind and a good sense of humour, and as a true gentleman.

We extend our deepest condolences to his family.

We would like to provide a place for CMRI staff, students and supporters to leave a message for Ralph's family. If you wish to share such a message, please fill in the form below.