Former West Australian treasurer Ben Wyatt has joined the board of medical research centre the Telethon Kids Institute.

The institute announced on April 20 that Mr Wyatt had joined the board, with the institute’s chair and former Federal foreign minister Julie Bishop welcoming Mr Wyatt with a glowing review.

“Ben has had an exemplary career of service to the community through politics,” Ms Bishop said.

“I am confident that with his skills, experience and connections, he will be an outstanding contributor to our mission to improve the health and development of children and young people in this State, and around the world.”

Mr Wyatt commended the institute’s commitment to working with Aboriginal communities.

“The institute’s focus on working in partnership with communities and families to improve the trajectories for Aboriginal children is particularly important for me,” he said.

“We cannot accept or ignore the continued disparities where our kids often start way behind other Australian children in terms of health and opportunities.”

According to the Australia Institute of Health and Welfare, from 1998 to 2008 there was a 61 per cent reduction in the gap in death rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous infants aged under one-year-old, however there was no significant reduction in the gap from 2008 to 2018.

By Hannah Cross