February 23, 2015

From the CEO’s Desk

Dear Readers,

When I last wrote the CEO message in preparation for our November edition of LungNet News, I shared with you our plans to launch an exciting new campaign – a campaign which challenges us all to think about what we can do… with Just One Breath. The Just One Breath campaign was officially launched at Lung Foundation Australia’s inaugural gala fundraising dinner in Sydney on 1 November 2014.

As many of you will be aware by now, we have teamed up with some exciting Australians (jazz musician James Morrison; pop icon Christine Anu; tennis star Casey Dellacqua; Red Bull pilot Matt Hall; big wave surfer Justen Allport; Australian sprinter Melissa Breen; and country music legend Archie Roach) who do pretty extraordinary things with Just One Breath.

The campaign is all about getting the majority of Australians who never think about their lungs to consider what lung health means to them. At the moment, it is being promoted through social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

If you haven’t yet seen the campaign, I urge you to visit www.justonebreath.com.au. The clips are beautifully filmed, thanks to the excellent work of film-maker Jason van Genderen and his colleagues at Treehouse Creative.

I also urge you to listen carefully to the theme song. This was written specially for our campaign by a young singer-songwriter-actor, Israel Cannan. We were very lucky to have experienced Israel perform his song live for the first time at the gala dinner. I wish you all could have been there.

Speaking of our gala, I am delighted to report that we successfully raised $37,000 to support our Information and Support Centre. A true highlight of the evening was John Alexander, the member for Bennelong, personally auctioning off tennis lessons for six people with himself and tennis great, Ken Rosewall. After some very competitive and vigorous bidding, John offered two sets of lessons to the two top bidders and instantly doubled our receipt for that prize!

In addition to raising much needed funds for our work, we all packed the dance floor until the last song of the last set.

So, if you missed the event this past year, mark your diaries for 2015. The second annual gala dinner will be held on Saturday, 17 October and more information will be available in the next few months.

In other fundraising news, readers will be interested to read the inspirational story about Peter “Tuffy” Tuffield, written by his long-term friend and National Australia Bank (NAB) colleague, Shane Talbot (featured on page 8 of this newsletter). Shane, as a tribute to his great mate who was battling lung cancer at the time, started Tuffy’s Kokoda Challenge – a fundraising trek along the infamous Kokoda Trail. That was three years ago. Working with Tuffy’s family and vast network developed over years at the NAB, Shane’s Everyday Hero page has raised more than $80,000 to support the Lung Foundation.

As always, we are so grateful for and reliant on the support of the community.

We raise funds in the community for a reason – to help deliver important programs that support those with lung disease and their carers. This year, we are looking to establish some new programs, including:

  • A new national registry for patients in Australia diagnosed with bronchiectasis
  • The second short course for Rare Lung Disease in Australia (16 and 17 October)
  • A new peer support program for those with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • The launch of an online patient education resource for those with COPD.

Watch for more detailed information in future editions of LungNet News.

In closing, I would like to welcome our newest Board member, Mr Tony Hyams. Mr Hyams comes with significant Board experience and was the Australian CEO of Credit Suisse. Until recently, he served as Chair of the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme and the Commonwealth Civilian Superannuation Scheme (ARIA).

I know you will join me in welcoming Mr Hyams to the Board and thank him for his significant contribution to the Lung Foundation.

Heather Allan