2018 Chairman’s Report: Arrow Annual General Meeting

November 19, 2018
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Good evening ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Arrow Bone Marrow Transplant Foundation. Firstly I would like to apologise for Sue and I not being here but the unfortunate timing of our holiday to Bali could not be avoided. We certainly do wish we were there with you tonight to celebrate the fantastic year that Arrow has experienced in 2018.

Throughout the year there have been a number of milestones and highlights.

  • Raising $300K to enable Arrow to fund a dedicated room in the new Bone Marrow Transplant Ward at St Vincent’s Hospital.
  • The opening of the ward that was fully funded through the generosity of public donations through the St Vincent’s Curran Foundation without government assistance and the intake of the first patients over the last couple of months. The huge benefits to the patients are already being acknowledged.
  • Receiving a $1M donation to primarily fund the ongoing research of Professor Ma’s team. This donation will hopefully lead to some significant breakthroughs and we look forward to hearing the results from this generous gift!
  • The Frenkel Foundation raising a massive $41K at their annual dinner for Arrow that will be presented to us at next year’s dinner.
  • The fundraising achieved through this year’s City2Surf.
  • The recent donation of $30K from Woolworth’s for food cards to help with our patient support program.
  • The donation from Tour de Cure that will be used to pay for petrol cards and utility bills for patient and family support.
  • Another year of support from the Dave “Coke” Wards Surfing Contest who are Arrow’s longest serving fundraisers.
  • A successful tour of the labs in the St Vincent’s Centre for Applied Medical Research to enable our supporters to see firsthand the great work of some of the researchers we support via grant funding.
  • The continued support and take up of the scholarships we provide to nurses and other allied health care professionals working in the Haemotology and stem cell transplant field.
  • The part funding of the latest addition of the ABMTRR’s Annual Data Summary data.
  • The Tracey Scone Wig Library continues to be a wonderful asset when it comes to helping women from over 20 treatment centres who are suffering hair loss as a result of their treatment.
  • For me personally one of the biggest highlights of the year was to take on the Hawkesbury Canoe Classic with our Vice Chairman Neil Pennock. The HCC are our biggest ongoing source of funds and we thank them for their continued support that has seen them raise nearly $4M since our partnership began.

Neil and I completed the 111 km in 12 hours 49 minutes and 55 seconds. Which was a very commendable effort particularly as this was Neil’s very first Classic and only the seventh time we paddled together. Neil and I should also thank our land crew – Kathryn Viegas, my wife Sue and kids Jess and Matt. I would also like to thank our supporters that helped us raise a few thousand dollars. It’s not too late to sponsor us if you missed out. Please see either Gloria or Neil after the meeting if you would like to find out how.

All of those wonderful highlights would not have happened if not for our two dedicated staff members. Robyn and Gloria constantly go above and beyond our expectations. They attend meetings and events outside their normal hours of duty. They develop relationships with many of our close supporters to enable Arrow to maintain a personal connection that is sometimes lost with bigger organisations. They both work extremely hard for our wonderful charity! For this I would like to thank them personally and on behalf of the Arrow board and the wider Arrow ‘family’.

I would also like to thank the Arrow Board of Directors for their work throughout the year to help guide Arrow through an extremely positive year! The contribution of our Treasurer Dave Eden has us in an extremely strong financial position. Our Vice Chairman Neil Pennock is a real dynamo and is constantly working behind the scenes to promote and improve Arrow. Our Committee of Lisa Cuthbertson, Leonie Wilcox, Professor Ma, Associate Professor Dodds, Colleena Presnell, Julie Soon and Philip Hartog are all contributors to our sub-committees and they all help in so many other ways. Arrow has a great team that I’m proud to be a part of and I would like to thank them all for their hard work!

This year we have four new nominations for our Board of Directors and it is with great pleasure I can announce that Michael Quigley, who is actually a past Chairman of Arrow, and Greg Arandt have been nominated as well as Dr Keith Fay and Dr Tim Molloy. These appointments will be of huge benefit to Arrow and I look forward to having their wealth of business and medical knowledge and their own personal experiences guide our strategies into the future.

It is now with much sadness that I must also let you know that after their involvement in Arrow for many, many years Prof David Ma and Julie Soon have decided to stand aside from the Arrow Board. Julie has inspired many over the years with her touching personal story and David will of course continue on with his research, and his association with Arrow will now go on well into the future thanks to Michael and Vicki Quigley’s generosity. We wish them every success and look forward to hearing the results of David’s team’s work on a regular basis.

2018 has been an amazing year for the Arrow Bone Marrow Transplant Foundation. I believe this has been one of Arrow’s most significant years on record! I hope we can only build on this success in 2019 and well into the future.

 

Mark O’Hara

Chairman

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