At the beginning of the Pacific campaign of WWII there was a critical shortage of quinine in Australia. 90% of the worlds supply was produced in Indonesia which lay directly in the path of the advancing Japanese forces. The Australian Army under the guidance of Colonel N.H. Fairley established a malaria experimental group in Cairns in 1943 where malaria was still present at the time. With the assistance of Australian Malaria Control Units and Mobile Entomological Sections the experimental group were able to advance their studies with sulphamerazine and atebrin. The final experiments in by the Cairns experimental group were conducted in Mar 1946.
The 1 Malaria Research Laboratory was established in
1967 by the efforts of R.H. Black, professor of
Tropical Medicine at the School of Public Health and
Tropical Medicine, Sydney University. Black was also
consultant in tropical medicine to the ADF and
following the malaria problems experienced by ADF
troops in Vietnam recommended to the ADF Medical
Services that they should conduct research into malaria
to minimise future problems with this disease. The 1
Malarial Research Laboratory was originally located
within the School of Public Health and Tropical
Medicine but moved to the Ingleburn Army Camp in 1973
and the name changed to the Army Malaria Research Unit.
In 1996 the unit moved to a modern laboratory complex
at Gallipoli Barracks, Brisbane and renamed the
Australian Army Malaria Institute.