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© Pinnacle Charitable Foundation ABN: 1115 144 0423. August 2020.

Collaborating with our Affiliates to enable great charities to make a real difference


Australian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation (AARF) Funding: Together with Spheria Asset Management, the Foundation is supporting researchers to study the very early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Currently there is no effective treatment nor cure for Alzheimer’s, and with 1,800 Australians diagnosed with dementia every week, the disease remains the second leading cause of death in Australia. Analysis into early stage cell changes at the onset of Alzheimer’s – to better understand its origins - has been identified as essential to both develop the most effective treatment of the disease, and in the search for a cureAs noted by CEO Liza Dunne: 

"It is critical to accrue this knowledge at the pre-clinical stages of Alzheimer’s disease, as this is when interventions can have their greatest impact." 

Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) Funding: Specialised pieces of equipment to assist in accelerating cutting edge research have been purchased through a long-term partnership with the Foundation, Res Cap and Plato. Current support is enabling researchers to take advantage of the purchase of a new, updated Cryostat – a fundamentally important piece of equipment utilised for great benefit throughout the Institute. According to Partnerships Manager Maxine Morrison:

"Since the installation of the upgraded Cryostat, members of the Gene Therapy Research Unit have been processing tissue samples containing primary human liver cells to determine the therapeutic potential of their gene therapy vectors. Their work has commercialisation potential as well as delivering cutting-edge genome editing systems, which can be transferred and applied across many other fields of research."

The Mirabel Foundation Funding: The Foundation and Firetrail are together supporting Mirabel’s recently established operations in the NSW Hunter Valley, which is connecting with close to 300 children and their carers. The delivery of youth support and therapeutic children’s groups is now being facilitated via Zoom, with families embracing the use of technology and a changing service delivery model. The potential longer term benefits for families living in regional and rural areas are clear, and the message below from NSW State Manager Jane Shelton summarises Mirabel’s success in being flexible and proactive: 

"Prior to COVID-19, we could not have imagined a time when face-to-face contact with the Mirabel young people and their grandparent carers might place them at risk of serious harm. We never anticipated a need for our programs of support to be so completely reimagined, but we’ve quickly adapted to make sure that isolated young people will not be further disadvantaged by the challenges presented by this pandemic."    

Raise Foundation Funding: Raise is also being supported by Res Cap and the Foundation, with funding designed to offer Raise’s flagship in-school mentoring program in calendar 2020 to two high schools in Western Sydney. Raise has been profoundly affected by COVID-19 restrictions, given that the mentoring program is based on intensive face to face connections on school premises over a sustained period of six months. Meeting the challenge has involved adapting the program for online delivery in small groups, training Counsellors in online facilitation skills, and developing different methods to conduct mentoring to ensure young people continue to be supported. 
As outlined by CEO Vicki Condon AM in August, solid progress has been made: 
We are excited that our mentoring programs have started across NSW, SA, WA & QLD, in various forms, which is a big relief. We know our young people are struggling more than ever right now, so we are comforted that we can finally bringing their Raise Mentors to them, face to face or online. We are poised to continue with curiosity and inspiration to ignite our growth plan, and starting to turn the wheels of opportunity from our target of 1500 mentoring matches in 2020, to the possibility of 2500 in 2021. In order to do this, we are having to step in with courage to navigate the challenges presented by the Coronavirus pandemic, to ensure we emerge stronger out the other side for young people who are really struggling.

Yalari Funding: Res Cap and the Foundation have been actively involved with Yalari’s Orientation Camp which is held at the start of each year, providing an invaluable experience for all new Yalari students. The camp also offers an important leadership and mentoring opportunity for existing students and for alumni. 

While Yalari students experienced an exceptionally tough time when they were required to head home from schools across the country in Term 2, they have proven highly resilient and in the main have coped well - and continue to do so - with online learning. The challenges faced, and overcome with great tenacity and spirit have been captured by Managing Director Llew Mullins; 

"Many of our students have found the situation physically and emotionally taxing. Fear of falling behind, feeling overwhelmed or stressed, disconnection and isolation, and lack of connectivity with peers are some of the difficulties being expressed to our student support officers by the children. We have had to innovatively adapt the way we deliver our student support services, working tirelessly to help students move through these challenges and get them on the road back to boarding school."