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Community Engagement

The Perkins is all about you, the people of Western Australia.

We want to share with you the amazing research happening in our state – research that aims at keeping our families together longer.
Individuals and community groups are welcome at our Lotterywest BioDiscovery Centre.
We have a range of activities available for you. If you are a Community Group looking for a unique experience or a school student with a fascination for science, you are welcome at the Perkins!

Guest Speaker

If you are unable to visit us – and your community group would like to find out more about the lifesaving research happening at the Perkins – we can have a member of staff attend your community group meeting to speak or present.

Please email or call to organise a speaker to come to you.

Please note: We will endeavour to meet your request, however, acceptance will be based on staff availability. Bookings within business hours are preferable.


(08) 6151 0811
[email protected]

Talk & Tour

Duration:             1.5 hours

Cost:                    $5 per person

This tour is designed for adult community groups.


On a tour of the Perkins site in Nedlands, you will learn how our close-knit team of researchers work together to defeat major diseases that impact our community.
See the world-class facilities and hear how Perth’s bright minds are using amazing technology to develop exciting new medical solutions.

During your tour you will:

  • See an original sample of the mould used by Sir Alexander Fleming to grow penicillin – signed by the revolutionary scientist himself!
  • Walk down our ‘information corridor’ and discover historical highlights in medical research that led to the medicines we rely on today
  • Hear about the life-changing discoveries happening in your home town
  • See the state-of-the-art research laboratories at the Perkins
  • Meet your dedicated researchers (where possible)

Tours of the Perkins are available to clubs, associations and businesses (10+ people).
A tour takes approximately one and a half hours, however, we can be flexible to suit your group.
There is a coffee shop on site that provides a suitable option for morning tea or lunch after your tour.

(08) 6151 0811
[email protected]

Live in the Lab

Approximately two hours

Closed in shoes (no sandals), long hair must be tied back

Cost :
$35.00 per person*


Unleash your inner scientist with a hands-on experience using technologies and processes used by our Perkins researchers.
Learn about the importance of medical research at the Perkins – then experience the science yourself.

Don a lab coat, gloves and safety glasses and experience how scientists conduct the experiments that lead to new discoveries, new medicines and a brighter future. Our fun and informative laboratory sessions will enable you to explore different scientific techniques in a research-grade laboratory.

Choose from:

  • Live in the Lab – The DNA Experience
  • Live in the Lab – Diagnosing a Heart Attack

Please note: Live in the Lab activities are designed for adult community or corporate groups. These sessions require a minimum of 10 in order to run.

*Fees go towards supporting the vital research and education programs conducted at the Perkins.

(08) 6151 0811
[email protected]

School Holiday Adventure

Calling all magnificent young scientists! Join us in the BioDiscovery Centre during the school holidays.

Holiday Program 1.0: Cells and Proteins
Magnify the microscopic world of the human body!
Investigate how your cells function using micropipettes, microscopes and other cool equipment used by medical research scientists.
Discover how scientists use cells in research.
Please note: This is strictly for ages 10 to 14

Runs in the last week of the January and July school holidays.

Number of available places for morning session:
Number of available places for afternoon session:

Holiday Program 2.0: Microbiology
Learn how to ‘stain’ a scientific sample and use a micropipette.
Use your science sleuthing skills to identify different bacteria.
Please note: This is strictly for ages 10 to 14

Runs in the last week of the April and October school holidays.

Number of available places for morning session:
Number of available places for afternoon session:

Please note

  • These programs are aimed at a general audience and should not be seen as an academic extension or challenge activity.
  • As part of the program, your child/ren will be working in a fully functional scientific laboratory and will be handling scientific equipment and materials.
  • Whilst all care will be taken as to safety precautions, please note that the Lotterywest BioDiscovery Centre cannot be held liable for any injury or damage to either your child/ren or personal property.
  • All samples and microscope slides will be disposed of in biohazard waste receptacles at the cessation of the activity.
  • Your child/ren will be using the internet as a research tool during the course of the program. Children are responsible for self-monitoring their use of the internet to appropriate sites for the purpose of research.

(08) 6151 0811
[email protected]

Perkins Profs OPEN

Academy duration: 10 weeks (1 term), 2 hours per week
Terms 2 and 4: Tuesdays

Time: Tuesday after school 4:30 – 6:30 
Price per student: $350
Suitable for: Year 10 – 12

This specialised program offers STEM education to capable high school students. It provides them with opportunities to explore the career path of medical research.
Perkins Profs Open classes run in Term 2 and 4. They can be attended by students from any school. This option is provided for students whose schools do not organise a school booked Perkins Profs session.

Introduction to Medical Research

Students are guided by Perkins research scientists through the lab techniques and knowledge used to understand medical research. Lab sessions include staining cancer cells, amplifying genes, introduction to bioinformatics, viral outbreak, protein identification and using nanoparticles for drug delivery. The course concludes with a graduation in the final week where family members are invited to celebrate the students’ achievements.

To apply

  1. Complete the application form
  2. Email your completed application to [email protected]
  3. Make a payment of $350 at least two weeks prior to the program start date. Payment details will be sent out once your application has been processed.

PLEASE NOTE CANCELLATION POLICY: A refund of the registration fee will only be made if the Centre is notified one week prior to the program start date.

(08) 6151 0811
[email protected]


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Red Hat Society members swap hats for lab coats

Two chapters of the Red Hat Society visited the Lotterywest BioDiscovery Centre for Live in the Lab sessions in May. Under the guidance of Perkins Community Education Manager, Pauline Charman,…

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JCCA students become researchers for a day

The Lotterywest BioDiscovery Centre was full of bright young minds with the John Curtin College of the Arts Year 7 Academic Excellent Program students visiting the Perkins in April. The…

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Together we can achieve the research for those in need.

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