Change Makers | Lily Calderbank

16 Sep 2021

Lily Calderbank

UNSW Sydney Annual Giving Coordinator, Lily Calderbank, is a proud member of the CHeBA Change Makers - Next Gen Philanthropy program. Change Makers are an exclusive group of next generation philanthropists aged 18-40 who are supporting critical research into Alzheimer's disease and other dementias for a brighter future in ageing.


What does it mean to you personally to be a ‘philanthropist’?

To be honest, not much. When I hear the word philanthropist I always think of someone like Bill Gates. I suppose I would label myself a supporter or advocate.

What is your hope as a Change Maker – Next Gen Philanthropist?

My hope is that it makes some small difference. My hope is that there are others doing the same as me so that that small difference turns into big change.

What inspired you specifically to become a Change Maker and give to CHeBA’s research into Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias?

It might sound counter intuitive but I’m an avid boxer and boxing fan. It’s a dangerous sport with a long history of brain injury and many older boxers come to suffer from dementia and CTE. It’s important to me that CHeBA’s research continues so that we learn more about what contributes to healthy brain ageing and what the greatest risk factors are. I love the sport and I want boxers to be able to make an informed decision when participating but we need more research to guide that.

Lily boxing
Lily on the attack in the boxing ring
Lily Kraken Play
Lily performing at the 'This Is Not Art Festival', Newcastle

Is this your first regular giving?

I have always used workplace giving to support causes I’m passionate about. For me, it’s the easiest way to give regularly. I set and forget then review my support roughly once a year.

Do you have any interesting or unusual hobbies or passions?

I box 6 days a week and am currently training for my first amateur fight. I’m passionate about theatre and the arts. My first degree was in performance making and I’m in a performance collective that creates work that makes it difficult for the performers to present (such as building and sailing a raft with no expertise or materials in a day, walking 20km to get to the theatre, attempting to meet each other in our dreams, hanging from pinatas, exploring and re-enacting our friendship through impersonators). We also write Christmas plays and perform them for our friends each year just because we like the holiday.


Join the Change Maker – Next Gen Philanthropy program and advance CHeBA’s research
in ways to prevent cognitive decline, improve cognitive functioning as we age,
devise better care for people with dementia and to diagnose people at risk for dementia.

For more information, please contact

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