There’s a knack to raising funds

Featured in Burwood Scene, June 18, 2014.

WITHOUT exception there will be a story in every Burwood Scene promoting a fundraising event, be it a school-driven project, service organisation, local ladies club or just one person wanting to make a difference.

We’ve all attended a fundraiser or bought a raffle ticket to support near and far causes. That’s how it’s done in Australia.

It’s always perplexed me somewhat that medical research, equipment and programs are not better funded by state and federal governments. Essential life-saving equipment is often paid for by registered clubs (as a good way of giving back some of those poker machine profits). Organisations such as the Cancer Council NSW receive some government funding in the form of competitive, peer-reviewed grants for its research and that totalled just over $1million in 2012/13.

However, Cancer Council NSW provided almost $34 million dollars directly toward cancer research, advocacy, prevention and support programs and services across the state in the same period. All the Biggest Morning Teas actually making a difference.

There’s a knack to running successful fund raising events. The right day, time, promotion, food, prizes. It’s truly inspirational just how much money a small group can raise when they have the knack…. and my assessment is that the knack is about being a people person.

Last year Bendigo Bank launched the ANZAC Research Medical appeal to assist Professor Hart fund the $5million his team needs for the first human clinical trial for an anti-cancer vaccine. I’ve written about Professor Hart and his work many times and will continue to do so. I’ve lobbied whomever and wherever to raise awareness (and it helps having a newspaper to do so) and encourage fundraising opportunities.

Burwood Rotary club President, Sana Kamalesan heeded the call and will present a hefty cheque to the appeal at the end of June. All of which came from the local community. You can also imagine my glee when the Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey toured the ANZAC Research Institute on June 6 and declared the work being done there was exactly the sort of facility that would benefit from the Medicare $7 co-payment. Excellent. Therefore, I am 100 per cent behind the proposed co-payment scheme where $1billion per year will pour into our medical research teams in Australia starting in about 18 months. The tricky bit will be to ensure that bureaucracy does not eat up funds.

By Belinda Noonan.

Photo Caption: PhD student and haematologist Dr Robin Gasiorowski explains the research.

Photo: Michael Santer


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