The Medich Foundation supports the communities that we invest, live and operate in.
The Foundation was established in 2012 by Roy and Anthony to provide a focus and coordinating body for the family’s philanthropic activities. Roy’s wife Patricia and daughters Kim and Melinda, along with Anthony’s wife Juliana, are all involved in the Foundation’s initiatives in different roles, making it a true multigenerational family collaboration.
Our primary focus is contributing to leading medical, arts and community organisations. We also actively support groups, initiatives and people that are local to the communities where we operate.
We believe society is only as strong as its weakest, and that giving back in a way that improves both quality and longevity of lives helps create the kind of Australia we all want to live in. Identifying and supporting leading organisations and initiatives, particularly in the field of medical research, provides the best chance of positive progress and outcomes.
The Medich Foundation was recognised as one of the Top 50 private givers in the Financial Review Philanthropy 50 list for financial year 2018-2019, donating in the areas of health and medical research, arts and community organisations.
St Vincent’s Hospital
The Foundation is a Visionary donor of the St Vincent’s Hospital, its goal is to foster excellence in patient care, medical research and clinical education.
Through this relationship, the Medich Foundation supports a range of programs and departments within the hospital, including the recent redevelopment of St Vincent’s Private Hospital. This support has been ongoing since 2015.
Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment
Cancer is, at its core, a failure of the body’s immune system to isolate and destroy rogue cells within the body. As such, every cancer is as unique as the person diagnosed with it, and different people’s immune systems respond differently to treatments.
Medich Foundation helps fund the St Vincent’s Immune Monitoring Core Facility located in the Kinghorn Cancer Centre, a joint facility of St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.
By taking a precision or personalised medicine approach, clinicians at the Immune Monitoring Core Facility can tailor the cancer treatment to each individual patient. This approach can have an enormous impact on a patient’s ability to mount a strong immune response to a particular therapy.
Cellular Therapies Research
The Medich Foundation has purchased an Aria 3 Cell Sorter and funded its new housing in the St Vincent’s Centre for Applied Medical Research. The Cell Sorter will support research into the use of stem cell transplantation to treat blood cancers and auto-immune diseases being undertaken by St Vincent’s leading haematologists.
For more information, please visit The Kinghorn Cancer Centre’s website at tkcc.org.au.
Robotics Surgical Program
The Medich Foundation is assisting St Vincent’s to establish the first single-port surgical robotics program in Australia through purchase of a new Single Port Robot, the first of its kind in Australia.
St Vincent’s has been at the forefront of robotic surgery in Australia since first launching the Robotic Surgical Program in 2005 and has treated over 4,300 patients in the specialty areas of Urology, Head and Neck Surgery, Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Surgery. This next generation in robotics allows complex surgery to be performed with just one minor incision point, resulting in shorter hospital stays, less blood loss, less pain and fewer surgical complications or side effects for patients.
For more information, please visit the St Vincent’s Curran website at www.supportstvincents.com.au
Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation
The Foundation supports a range of research and other programs for the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick. In recognition of this ongoing support, the Hospital has inducted The Medich Foundation into its Hall of Champions.
Research Starter Grants
The prestigious Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation Research Starter Grants provide crucial support to promising young paediatric or established researchers with an innovative idea. The funding enables them to conduct pilot projects to investigate better diagnosis, prevention and treatment options to save and improve the lives of sick or injured children.
In 2018, The Medich Foundation supported the Starter Grant awarded to Felicity Wright for her cancer research, Thiotepa Kinetics and Genomics Study that looks at the blood levels of chemotherapy given as part of a transplant conditioning regimen.
Due to commence later this year, the Medich Foundation is also supporting Associate Professor David Ziegler with his work to further develop the Medication Reminder Smartphone Application. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) is the most common cancer to affect children and this app is a new approach to improving medication compliance in patients on maintenance therapy.
Kids Research is the research division of the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.
We’re proud to have funded The Medich Clinical Research Centre, a new world-class space that brings together 600 researchers, support staff and students to diagnose, trial new medications and streamline treatments for children to live better lives.
The Centre allows kids to access clinical trials and medical research in a family-friendly environment. In turn, clinicians can translate leading-edge research into real benefits for children not only at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick but across the world, enabling bench-to-bedside care.
This space will continue to support the Hospitals’ aim of providing hope through research to children and their families affected by complex illnesses and disabilities.
For more information about Kids Research, visit www.kidsresearch.org.au
Zero Childhood Cancer
We are a founding partner of Zero Childhood Cancer, a world-leading initiative led by the Children’s Cancer Institute and The Kids Cancer Centre at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, part of The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.
Zero Childhood Cancer brings together all major Australian clinical and research groups working in childhood cancer to offer Australia’s first personalised medicine program for children with high-risk or relapsed cancer.
Personalised medicine is treatment that is customised to the patient. Even if two children have the ‘same kind’ of cancer, they may respond differently to anti-cancer drugs because their immune systems are unique. By personalising medicine, Zero Childhood Cancer aims to treat each child’s cancer in the most targeted way possible to improve survival and reduce side effects.
As of August 2020, the Zero Childhood Cancer has enrolled 365 children with 10 pending enrolments. The average treatment turnaround time is nine weeks (bettering the original aim of 12 weeks). The types of cancers treated include central nervous system (brain), sarcoma, leukaemia/lymphoma and 22 other rare cancers.
In 2020 the Zero Childhood Cancer program successfully secured a $67m commitment from The Australian Government, together with the Minderoo Foundation. The funding will be rolled out with a phased approach over a three year agreement that will see all children diagnosed with cancer having access to the personalised medicine program.
At the Benefactor Awards 2020, presented by her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC, Governor of New South Wales, the Medich Foundation was acknowledged by the Children’s Cancer Institute, along with 5 other individuals and organisations for their support of the Institute.
We’re proud to be a founding partner of this unprecedented collaboration that stands to revolutionise the way childhood cancer is treated and represents an integral step towards curing every child.
For more information about Zero Childhood Cancer, visit www.zerochildhoodcancer.org.au
Batyr’s Being Herd Pathways – empowering at risk youth to find and retain meaningful employment or study
The Medich Foundation is a proud supporter of youth mental health charity, Batyr. Batyr is a for purpose youth mental health organisation, delivering evidence based preventative educational mental health programs. Since inception in 2011, Batyr has empowered over a quarter of a million young people across Australia.
We are supporting Batyr in delivering an innovative project addressing the link between youth unemployment and youth mental ill-health. These programs will focus on the Southern Highlands and South West Sydney region, due to the high youth unemployment rate in that area.
The Being Herd Pathways Program delivers workshops and mentoring to empower at-risk young people to find and retain meaningful employment or study. Batyr do this through focusing on improving mental ill-health for young people not currently engaged in employment, education or training (NEET), a key barrier to securing and maintaining meaningful employment or study.
For more information about the program, visit: https://www.batyr.com.au/being-herd-pathways/
Art Gallery of NSW
The Medich Foundation is a Gold Benefactor of the AGNSW Leadership and is a Foundation Donor for the Sydney Modern Project at the AGNSW. We are also proud to support local artist Geoff Kleem, and we have commissioned a major art installation by him, which we expect will unveil in 2020.
Sydney Modern Project
This major project is one of Australia’s largest philanthropic efforts within the art world and will provide a world-class space where residents and visitors can learn, create and be inspired by art in all its evolving forms.
The expansion is due for completion in 2021 to coincide with AGNSW’s 150th anniversary. It will enable the Gallery to show more of the State’s outstanding art collection and host the best exhibitions from around the world. The existing and much-loved historical building will link to the new building – designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects SANAA – via an outdoor art garden.
The Sydney Modern Project represents an unsurpassed public-private partnership in the arts, with the NSW Government providing indispensable funding for construction. However, this project can only reach its full potential through philanthropy. As such, The Medich Foundation joined the AGNSW Campaign as a Leadership Donor to help bring this landmark project to life.
We commissioned Geoff Kleem to produce a major art installation which was unveiled in early 2020 as part of the Shadow Catchers exhibition . In his new site-specific work, Kleem photographically reconstructs institutional fragments 1:1 in massive form. Displaced, familiar and yet utterly foreign, the intervention in the museum space alters the viewer’s perception of what is known and recognisable.
For more information about the AGNSW, visit www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au.
To learn more about The Sydney Modern Project, visit www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/sydney-modern-project.
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Foundation is a lead donor and Major Benefactor of the MCA and its newly established Social Impact with Art fund. It provides philanthropic support to enable the Museum to acquire and commission new works and provide programs to people of all ages through their National Centre for Creative Learning (NCCL).
Philanthropic support is essential to ensure the MCA’s curators continue to build a resource of national importance through the acquisition of outstanding works by Australia’s contemporary artists.
Early Learning Program
As part of the Social Impact with Art fund the MCA has established the Medich Foundation Early Learning Program. The program reaches the youngest Australians at the most critical point in their development by exploring new ways to understand what high quality learning is, particularly in areas of economic disadvantage.
Launched in 2017, Art and Wonder is one of the initiatives that sits under the Early Learning Program. It is aimed at children aged 1-4 and uses contemporary art as the starting point to observe and analyse the impact on the children’s development.
For more information, visit www.mca.com.au
To learn more about the Early Learning Program, visit www.mca.com.au/learn/early-learning
National Gallery of Australia
As a Life Governor of the National Gallery of Australia, the Medich Foundation has most recently committed to being the Major Patron of their Know My Name exhibition in 2020.
Know My Name celebrates and elevates Australian women artists and is the first of many National Gallery initiatives that will lead the national cultural agenda by championing art and artists in our lives. A range of programs sit under the umbrella of Know My Name, including exhibitions at the gallery, dedicated educational resources for all students and domestic and international artist-led public programming.
Biennale of Sydney
The Biennale of Sydney is a non-profit organisation that engages Australian and international audiences with challenging and innovative contemporary art from around the world. The Medich Foundation was a benefactor of the 2018 Biennale of Sydney and specifically supported the video installation by artist Nicholas Mangan. We are delighted to commit our support of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney in 2020 as ambassadors of this important cultural event. This includes supporting the creation of a new site-specific outdoor installation of two greenhouses at Cockatoo Island by Tony Albert.
The Biennale exhibition hosts a three-month program of artist talks, performances, forums, guided tours, family days and other special events. Since its inception in 1973, it has provided an international platform for innovative contemporary art, showcasing the work of nearly 1800 artists from more than 100 countries.
Today, the Biennale of Sydney ranks as one of the leading international contemporary art festivals and continues to be recognised for showcasing inspirational and challenging art from Australia and around the world.
For more information, visit www.biennaleofsydney.art
Sydney Living Museums
The Medich Foundation has recently become a member of the Sydney Living Museums Governors’ Circle, supporting work by renowned artist Jonathan Jones titled ‘Untitled (maraong manaóuwi)’.
The site-specific installation involves the repeated visual representation of a symbol that can be read as an emu footprint and/or the English Broad Arrow. It will seek ways of acknowledging the complexities of both symbols including the ways we understand early colonial Australian history, the intersection between British Military/convict narratives and Aboriginal stories.
The installation is part of the Hyde Park Barracks renewal, a visionary project that involves a complete renewal of this UNESCO World Heritage site, creating a world class museum that is collaborative in its approach to history.
For more information, visit https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au
Shaun Gladwell’s 1000 Horses
1000 Horses, by London-based Australian artist Shaun Gladwell, was held as a special exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art until April 2018. It commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba.
Commissioned by Dr Gene Sherman AM and Brian Sherman AM, with support from The Medich Foundation, it was a large-scale cross-cultural installation that linked Australia with historic Palestine and modern-day Israel.
The work referenced the final phase of the Battle of Beersheba on October 31st, 1917 in which the 4th and 12th Australian Light Horse Brigades, fighting with the Allied forces, played a central role in defeating the forces of the Ottoman Empire.
Shaun Gladwell’s work focused not on the battle but the horses, paying homage to what has been called ‘The last great cavalry charge in history’. Filmed in the similarly arid landscapes of Australia and Israel, the project comprised a two-channel, virtual reality film and 3-D printed sculpture.
Western Sydney University
We’re delighted to support Western Sydney University with our ongoing funding of the Roy Medich Bachelor of Medical Research Scholarship and Dr C Soon Lee, Foundation Professor and Chair of Pathology, through the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research at Liverpool, with a focus on cancer research.
Outcomes of Funding
PhD Graduates and Students
Dr Wayne Ng and Dr Vincent Ho, two Western Sydney University students were awarded their PhDs in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Dr Ng’s project examined a molecule known as PLK1 which is involved in the DNA damage molecular pathway. His work focussed specifically on how PLK-1 may regulate cancer cell response and death induced by radiotherapy through DNA damage in cancer cells. An interesting discovery about PLK1 is its role in DNA repair. It appears that the kinase activity ok PLK1 is required for the recruitment of radiation sensitive 51 homolog 1 (Rad51) to the DNA damage site for the Mre11 trimer formation.
As a result of Dr Ng’s work, Dr Ho further advanced the research on Rad51 and DNA damage in colorectal cancers.
Currently there is a third PhD student, Dr Eunice Dai who recently started work looking at the DNA damage pathway, studying the role of the STING molecule in colorectal cancer.
Translation to Clinical Practice
The technique used to detect molecules, known as immunohistochemistry, is now readily available in the pathology laboratory. Information on these molecules in the pathology samples of the patients with colorectal cancer can be validated and may be useful prognostic markers of patient survival outcomes and response to therapy in the future.
Some of the markers studied by PhD students may be further drilled down to the gene level. Such information can also be rapidly translated to clinical practice in the future with seamless implementation through the Genomics and Molecular Pathology Laboratory at Liverpool Hospital.
This laboratory is one of only three that are accredited for genomics testing using next generation sequencing.
Support of Scholarships
Mr Sami Mubarek was recently awarded a scholarship for 2020 and Mr Nikhil Autar has completed his Bachelor of Medical Research degree, with Distinction, after being awarded the scholarship in 2017. The following students have also been recipients of funding in the past:
- Mr Charles McCafferty, 2016
- Dr Kerenze C Chippendale, 2010
For more information see www.westernsydney.edu.au
We are delighted to have been a major donor of the new Year 12 Learning Hub at Kincoppal Rose Bay. The Hub opened in November 2018.
For more information see www.krb.nsw.edu.au
We have donated to Cranbrook School’s Campus Renewal Project to support the redevelopment and renewal of its Senior School campus at Bellevue Hill.
For more information see www.cranbrook.nsw.edu.au.
St Joseph’s College Boys from the Bush Bursary Fund
Supporting the St Joseph’s College Bursary Fund is important to The Medich Foundation, as Roy Medich is an Old Boy attending from 1962-1966 and is a SJC Foundation Platinum Life Member.
The College established the boys from the bush bursary in 2015. This fund provides financial support to young men from regional and rural Australia, particularly those affected by drought.
The Bursary Fund supports country families and provides educational opportunities at Joseph’s College that would not otherwise be financially possible or accessible.
For more information see www.joeys.org
Other charities & causes
As well as our major partners, we are proud to support a wide range of other organisations dedicated to improving the lives of those less fortunate in our society. Some of these include the Salvation Army, Barnados, the Public Education Foundation, The Smith Family and Variety. With recent beneficiaries being the Children’s Medical Research Institute’s Circle of Difference program and the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, a not-for-profit, comprehensive cancer hospital in Camperdown.