The second Sohn Hearts and Minds Investment Leaders Conference which took place in late 2017, at the beautiful Sydney Opera House was another outstanding success. This innovative forum, which raises much needed money for four charities, which are; ourselves, the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, JDRF Australia and the Black Dog Institute continues to go from strength to strength.
We are happy to announce that this event delivered over $510,000 to MS Research Australia, which will be used to fund the best quality MS research projects in Australia. The forum brings in business leaders and traders from all over the world, providing stock tips to those interesting in investing. Many of the top stock picks have been up at least 50%, some are up over 105%. Because of the organisers ability to receive pro bono support, it is also a very low cost event meaning that most of the proceeds go to the four charities.
It was a very buoyant Prime Minister who gave an address to the 550 strong crowd in a week when the marriage equality bill was passed. Mr Turnbull and his family are certainly no strangers to philanthropy and his speech touched on a wide range of subjects including anonymous giving, the differences between government funding and philanthropy and some of the Commonwealth’s big ticket items in supporting type 1 diabetes, mental health and cardiac medical research. The full speech is available for viewing here.
The PM did not mention any Commonwealth medical research initiatives involving MS though it was good to hear in January that Professor Anne–Louise Ponsonby from Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, an important member of MS Research Australia’s Vitamin D trial platform had been awarded a grant of $887,000 from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). This is for a clinical trial that will evaluate how a mitochondrial therapy may alleviate fatigue and depression among people with relapsing MS. Congratulations to Anne-Louise.
We desperately need to ensure that we keep engaging with Commonwealth and State government funders of medical research to ensure that MS receives a bigger slice of the pie, which it has done in the past. This is essential.
We wholeheartedly thank Matthew Grounds and Gary Weiss, two Board members of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute who have been the brains and driving force behind this event. Not only has this lead to some desperately needed funding, it has built some great research and awareness collaborations between the four charities.
Every donation to MS Research Australia, no matter how big or small, makes and incredible difference to the lives of people living with MS.
The PM said it well when he addressed the audience; “Australia needs investors like you – people willing to reach beyond what we think is possible, in science, in business and in philanthropy”. A great example of a low cost, high-impact, win-win initiative that looks set to get bigger and better every year.