The Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Foundation is a registered and self-funded charity which has as its object, the advancing, promoting and encouraging of medical research in Australia.
Al Rosenstrauss OAM
Al Rosenstrauss OAM, was instrumental in establishing the Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation, first suggesting the concept to Mrs Cooper and then implementing it as a Founding Director and Secretary of the Foundation. Al with the assistance of his wife Valerie put great energy and time into managing the Foundation’s property portfolio, administering the grant applications and the presentation dinner for the next 28 years, until his retirement in March 2012. Al Rosenstrauss passed away peacefully in a Gold Coast hospital on 21 September 2012.From the outset, Al applied his own unique style to the operation of the Foundation, championing the concept of the Foundation; taking a genuine interest in the activities of the grantees; acknowledging the contribution of junior researchers by encouraging the chief investigators to bring their “team” to the presentation dinner and of course the informality of the presentation dinners themselves.
Al also sought to ensure that the Foundation would target research in fields that did not attract the same level of public support as some high profile charities. His dedication and passion to the Foundation and its cause was recognised by the awarding of a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2008 Australia Day Honours list.
Throughout all this, Al’s wife Val, worked tirelessly in support of the Foundation, performing all of the “back room” tasks that though unseen, were necessary for the smooth conduct of the Foundation’s business. This work included the collation of the grant applications, record keeping and of course, the planning and organisation of the annual presentation dinner.
The work performed by Al and Val in connection with the administration of the Foundation (as distinct from the management of its property portfolio) was done on a voluntary basis, so that the amount available for grants could be maximised each year.
In 2011, on his 86th birthday, Al finally retired from his business and in doing so, signalled that he would inevitably be retiring from the Foundation, which occurred on 8 March 2012. In recognition of the contribution of both Al and Val to the establishment and operation of the Foundation, the Directors announced at the 2011 Presentation Dinner the creation of a new Fellowship named in their honour.
It was always expected that this award would attract a number of high calibre applicants, but the Directors were both thrilled and overwhelmed by both the number and quality of the candidates. With the assistance of a number of independent academics, the applications were carefully reviewed and the successful applicant was chosen from the short listed finalists.