Our Vision


Our aspiration is to build the Woolcock into the pre-eminent centre for sleep and respiratory research and translation in Australasia, and one of the top four centres of its kind in the world.

Who are we?

The Woolcock is a world-class network of specialised researchers and clinicians who deal with the causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of respiratory disease and sleep disorders. 

Our Values

Collaborators and stakeholders

The Woolcock operates in a complex, dynamic and fast moving environment. We manage mutually beneficial relationships with an extensive range of entities and individuals:

  • Researchers – research staff and research students; national and international collaborators
  • Research funders – NHMRC and ARC, State and Federal Governments, research funding bodies
  • Patients, families and communities
  • Governments – State, Federal and overseas. The NSW Office of Health and Medical Research
  • Higher Education – in particular, The University of Sydney and University of Technology, Sydney
  • Clinical – referring and visiting clinicians; professional associations and societies
  • Health services – public and private hospitals and particularly, RPAH, Royal North Shore and Liverpool hospitals; primary care networks; private facilities
  • Commercial partners and philanthropic donors
  • Woolcock – staff, students, affiliates, board and company members, alumni and former staff
  • Media – the scientific, health and general media


Ann Woolcock

The late Professor Ann Woolcock (1937 – 2001) established the Institute in Sydney in 1981 with a vision to become Australia's centre of excellence for respiratory research.

Originally called the Institute of Respiratory Medicine, the Institute was renamed in 2002 in honour of its founder.

The Woolcock soon outgrew its first home at The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown and expanded into several locations. In 2008 the Institute moved to the purpose-built laboratory and clinical complex in nearby Glebe where it remains today. The move was made possible with the generous support of the state and federal governments.

In recent years our activities have continued to grow and diversify into related areas such as paediatric sleep disorders, lung cancer and emphysema.

Strategic Objectives

Our 6 objectives are supported by a number of initiative, performance is tracked by key measures that are regularly reviewed by the Board and Management:

A. To grow research quality and impact and enhance research training

  • Our ambition is to be amongst the leading research and research training Institutes of our kind in the world.

B. To maximise clinic quality, research engagement, multidisciplinary integration and productivity

  • We operate a unique model of research-driven, multidisciplinary team care provision with opportunities to engage a broad range of our clinicians, patients and researchers in the delivery of quality care.

C. To grow and deepen mutually beneficial research and clinical partnerships and collaborations

  • We will continue to strengthen and renew partnerships with health services, overseas agencies and Universities.

D. To present the latest research findings to health professionals and to shape policy formation and public awareness of breathing and sleep diseases

  • The Woolcock has a major role to play in education, evidence-based policy formation and advocacy for sleep and respiratory disorders nationally and internationally.

E. To refresh and enhance our brand and reputation and step up performance in development and fundraising

  • We will continue to roll out our branding refresh and deepen our fundraising performance.

F. To continue to improve organisational efficiency and effectiveness

  • We will maintain our focus on streamlining processes, management and governance systems to maximise the time researchers and staff spend on the things that matter.