Darryl Johnson | Meet Our Fundraiser Series

08 Sep 2022


HEIDI DOUGLASS | h.douglass@unsw.edu.au

Specialist investment portfolio administrator – Integrated Portfolio Solutions – is embracing corporate social responsibility this World Alzheimer’s Day in support of The Dementia Momentum initiative led by UNSW’s Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), with Managing Director Darryl Johnson running both the half marathon and 10km Bridge Run in the Sydney Running Festival.

Managing Director Darryl Johnson says the approach to run on behalf of CHeBA was timely, as he is now witnessing the devastating impact that Alzheimer’s disease has on his family.

“My Aunt has dementia and until recently I hadn’t thought too much about how she manages because her husband was looking after her so well."

“Without warning he was diagnosed with late-stage cancer and passed away within just two weeks. My Aunt’s world – and the worlds of those people who had to assume carer responsibility – were turned upside down in the space of a moment.

Johnson says although he is running for his family, he is also running for every person living with dementia in Australia, as well as their carers.

Someone we know, likely someone close, will encounter dementia in their lifetime so I’m also running for the future and being positive about what it holds for people who have to live with this debilitating disease.

Darryl Johnson, Managing Director, Integrated Portfolio Solutions

Darryl Johnson
Darryl Johnson will run both the half marathon and 10km Bridge Run

Integrated’s team of 17 runners, comprised of Johnson’s colleagues and their families, is advocating the need for more dollars for research. So far, the team has raised nearly $3,000 to help change the future of dementia.

Of his team, Johnson says he has a tremendous amount of respect.

“Being a small business, it can be a challenge to find and retain good staff and I feel, right now, that we have a great team and I’m always working with my senior colleagues on ways to ensure it stays that way. There are a bunch of us who are all connected by challenging ourselves for the greater good – which can only lead to self-improvement.”

“There is endless encouragement to challenge the status quo and arrive at better ways to perform certain tasks,” says Johnson.

“My personal mantra has always been ‘there is always a better way’ and I do my best to impart that on the broader team. If people are challenging themselves to improve processes for the organisation, then they are also improving themselves.”

Johnson is leading by example and has set himself the challenge of a first-time back-to-back 21km half marathon and 10km Bridge Run in support of CHeBA.

I always intended on running the half marathon which starts at 6am. With most of the team running the 10km event which starts later I thought – why not do both?

“I told my team if we get at least 10 participants signed up then I’ll challenge myself to do both. With 17 signed up I’ll stick to my word.”

Johnson says his biggest challenge will be getting back to the start time by 8am.

“The logistics of that will be testing. I think I need to finish the half in under 100 minutes – I’m aiming for 90.”

Two out of three people globally believe there is little or no understanding of dementia in their countries.

“Without understanding and awareness there is no action until it is too late,” says Johnson. “We need to take action right now to prevent the onset of dementia as well as educate the broader community on prevention and modifiable risk factors to help delay the onset of any cognitive decline.

Johnson astutely notes that the challenge ahead has multiple layers – and believes a continuous cycle of education then action is required.

Through knowledge comes education, and CHeBA is a world leader in research into the ageing brain, and specially Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. CHeBA also prioritises research into healthy brain ageing and leads a number of studies looking across the spectrum of genetics vs lifestyle in relation to brain health.

I’m extremely proud of the team supporting this area of medical research, especially so close to World Alzheimer’s Day.

“Like many people, as you move on in life, you want to be more philanthropic and in my professional life I have a very strong sense of wanting to give back.”

With the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias cumulatively affecting more than three million Australians by 2050, an increased investment in research is the only hope we have for the development of medical interventions to delay, halt or reverse the diseases that lead to dementia.

Giving back does not have to be through monetary but it’s important to recognise how far donations go to aid in the research of dementia.

Generating awareness is also important as you never know whose radar you might put something on, that will prompt them to donate or take hold of the baton and start raising awareness or fundraising within their own community.

"The multiplier effect only works if you keep talking about it and keep paying it forward.”




Integrated Portfolio Solutions has a vision of being the most trusted investment partner by always delivering solutions that allow wealth professionals to simplify their business. They endeavour to do that through technology, great people and better processes.