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South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute

Home > Adelaide > Family | Free | Places of Interest | Tours | Unusual Things to do
by Graeme Fanning (subscribe)
I'm a tour guide who is passionate about South Australia and love to showcase to locals and visitors. Visit my facebook page at
Published October 19th 2015
Wouldn't it be "grate" to visit SAHMRI?
South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI)

How many times have you driven past this eye-catching building affectionately known as the "cheese grater" and wondered what it would be like inside, and more importantly what goes on once you step through the doors?

Well, wonder no more as you can book to go on a tour of the site which should satisfy your curiosity.

South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute
SAHMRI Building


It was flagged back in 2008 by a "Review of Health and Medical Research in South Australia" compiled by Professor John Shine and Mr Alan Young AM as a recommendation that a flagship research institute for South Australia be established.

Both the State Government and the Federal Government committed to the major project and in December 2009, SAHMRI was incorporated as the state's first independent health and medical research institute.

200 million dollars was allocated by the Federal Government to build the facility which incorporates state-of-the-art equipment and technology as well as high level skill sets by staff.

South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute
State-of-the-Art facilities

Internal layout and facilities

Upon entering the building, the first thing you notice is the high amount of natural light penetrating into atriums through the 6,300 triangular glass prisms cladding the building.

Most of the work areas are all open plan which encourages and fosters communication between the 600 or so researchers who inhabit the congenial and modern spaces.

The research carried out is divided into 6 main areas, namely Aboriginal Health, Cancer, Healthy Mothers, Babies & Children, Heart Health, Infection & Immunity, Mind & Brain as well as Nutrition & Metabolism.

Each one of these areas are seen as being the most important for human development and well-being and all research is subject to funding, and of course the amount of funding will determine how much research can be carried out.

South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute
Spiral Staircase


Tours are conducted at the site each Friday until 18th December 2015 at 9.30 am and 3.00 pm, except on Public Holidays.

The tour schedule for 2016 has also been released and will run from 8th January until 10th June with tours at 2.00 pm, except again on Public Holidays.

The tours take around 1 hour and visit state-of-the-art interiors, atrium, plaza area and spiral staircase, with an opportunity to hear from one of SAHMRI's leading researchers.

For individuals, tours are free, however if you are thinking of making a group booking for 5 or more, there is a charge of $250 per group up to a maximum of 25 people.

Bookings can be made on the SAHMRI website.

South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute
Unique Architecture

Ongoing Support

As you can imagine, millions of dollars of funding are poured into the attempt to make breakthroughs in medical science e.g. cures for cancers etc. so there are ways in which the public can assist so that this crucial work can continue.

Apart from general donations through the website, there are options of funeral tributes, with donations in lieu of flowers to go to SAHMRI, or perhaps special occasion tributes in lieu of gifts at Christmas to this vital institution.

Bequests can also be left as part of estates, so as to continue the great work already being carried out at SAHMRI.

SAHMRI also have a Windows Campaign, which allows anyone to "buy a window pane" in memory of a loved one, or it can even be an existing family member or friend.

South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute
Views of Adelaide from SAHMRI


If you haven't already taken the opportunity to visit SAHMRI, would highly recommend you do so.

Like me, you'll be gob-smacked by not just the building itself but what wonderful work is being done within its walls.

So as part of your weekend activities around Adelaide, make it a longer weekend by taking the Friday off as well as experiencing a tour through the complex.

As South Australians, we can be proud of what is being achieved already at SAHMRI, and it is important that we shout from the rooftops and tell as many people as we can about the future potential of medical research.

South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute
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Why? An opportunity to view a top level medical research institute
When: Between now and 18th December 2015 on Fridays 9.30 am & 3.00 pm for tours
Phone: 08 8128 4000
Where: North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000
Cost: Free for all tours apart from group tours which cost $250 per group
Your Comment
Would this be suitable for a person using a walking stick?
by mhari (score: 0|5) 1590 days ago
It is an interesting visit, inspiring really.

Till then, I had thought it was an air-con unit for the hospital. In a way, it is.
by (score: 2|555) 1588 days ago
I was in Adelaide recently, from Sydney, and my accommodation was directly across the road from the SAHMRI. I went on a tour and I highly recommend it. It was great
by Faye (score: 3|1175) 1587 days ago
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