What would it take to make Australia the healthiest nation in the world?We’d need to grow some of the world’s best food. We’d have to...

Moonshot or myth: Can Australia be the healthiest country in the world?


Level 6 Terrace Entrance (Circular Quay West Side)
2000 NSW


Dr Larry Marshall

Chief Executive, CSIRO

Dr Larry Marshall is Chief Executive of CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency and innovation catalyst. CSIRO solves Australia’s greatest challenges, turning excellent science into profound impact in partnership with industry, government, universities and the community.

CSIRO’s work has enabled great Australian industries like cotton and wool, delivered environmental interventions like myxomatosis and dung beetles, saved lives with enhanced food products and 3D printed body parts, and changed the world with inventions like fast WiFi.

Larry is a scientist, technology innovator and business leader with a wealth of experience in creating new value and impact with science. He has a PhD in Physics and became a global leader in laser research, for which he was honoured as a Federation Fellow and later as an ATSE (Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering) Fellow.

He invented the “eye-safe” laser which enabled lasers to be used safely in public. He was inspired at Stanford to found his first company, Light Solutions, which invented the world’s first solid-state green laser for the treatment of blindness in diabetics. Light Solutions merged with infra-red laser company Iris Medical in 1995, and the green-laser sales propelled the new company Iridex to IPO (initial public offering) on Nasdaq.

He was CEO/MD and founder of another five companies, frequently based on Stanford’s science, in biotechnology, telecommunications, semiconductors, and venture capital, including Arasor which he took public in 2006. In 2007, he became MD of Southern Cross Ventures, specialising in Australian innovation, where he delivered the first Nasdaq IPO of an Australian-venture backed startup commercialising science.

He has 100 publications and conference papers, holds 20 patents, and has served on 20 boards of high tech companies operating in the US, Australia and China. Larry is a Male Champion of Change committed to tackling gender equality. He is a passionate supporter of Australian innovation, returning to Australia to lead CSIRO, which he believes is the essential catalyst to improve Australia’s innovation performance.


Event Details

What would it take to make Australia the healthiest nation in the world?

We’d need to grow some of the world’s best food. We’d have to lead on medical responses, through cutting edge treatments and world-class hospitals. We’d need clean air and open spaces for exercise, and a population sold on the benefits of sport. In short, it’s a grand national mission that would take a lot of different experts working together.

For over 100 years, CSIRO has been working with partners in research, industry, government and the community to make this vision a reality. From investigations into how to grow the perfect citrus fruit in NSW in 1924, to our research today into personalised health, like matching your diet to your genetics and 3D printing customised body parts, CSIRO brings together leaders in their fields across the country to deliver on complex and innovative visions.

But as pressure on our healthcare system increases, costs escalate, and healthy choices compete with busier lives, we need a new approach to our nation’s wellbeing. As part of VIVID Ideas, join Dr Larry Marshall, Chief Executive of CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, on a journey towards realising the moonshot of becoming the world’s healthiest country.

Personalise MyVivid

Want the site to get more relevant to your tastes? Tap a few taste bubbles.

Want the site to get more relevant to your tastes? Sign up for a MyVivid Account.