07 Jun 2021
In-kind partner of The Dementia Momentum since 2015, KPMG Sydney, has committed to continued partnership to support the initiative led by UNSW Sydney’s Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA).
The Dementia Momentum celebrated its anniversary with KPMG Sydney hosting an exclusive lunch for major donors and corporate partners of the initiative at their Barangaroo offices on Wednesday, 2 June 2021. The event, which was the first to be held for The Dementia Momentum since the global pandemic began and sponsored by private markets finance and investment house Wingate, featured speeches by Dr Richard Grellman AM, Professor Henry Brodaty AO, Professor Perminder Sachdev AM and Mr Edward Caser, and confirmed KPMG’s ongoing support of The Dementia Momentum.
Guests included senior executives involved in the Wipeout Dementia corporate surf fundraiser, which raises money for The Dementia Momentum initiative.
Senior Partner at KPMG Eileen Hoggett, opened the anniversary event with a dire warning.
“Globally and in Australia, the population is ageing. Currently about 15% of the Australian population are over 65 years of age and this is projected to increase to 25% by the middle of the century. The dementias, which include Alzheimer’s disease, affect about 10% of people aged 65 or more, rising to over 20% of those aged 80 and above, and 50% of centenarians. The number of Australians with dementia exceeds 450,000 and is projected to pass 1 million by 2056. The numbers with cognitive decline or Mild Cognitive Impairment are greater, many of whom will progress to dementia.
It is the most feared condition in surveys of older people, costs Australia over $14 billion annually, and despite many decades of research, there is no cure and behind each of these statistics there are lives that are upended and relationships breached.
Eileen Hoggett, KPMG Senior Partner
|Dr Richard Grellman AM||Eileen Hoggett, KPMG Senior Partner|
Spokesman for the initiative Dr Richard Grellman AM – who spent 32 years working at KPMG and whose wife Suellen has very advanced young onset Alzheimer’s disease - said that over five years the initiative had seen enormous growth in corporate and community support to ramp up dementia research through a mega-database of international research led by CHeBA.
Dr Grellman addressed the global pandemic and reminded all guests that although it feels Australia may be getting on top of COVID-19 that the dementia curve remains unabated.
Dementia continues to affect 50 million people globally which is to triple by 2050. Our only hope is research to unlock the cause, treatment and thereby prevent or cure this disease.
Dr Richard Grellman AM
According to Co-Directors of CHeBA, there is an unprecedented number of studies around the world examining modifiable risk factors for the various types of dementia and designing strategies to delay the onset of dementia or prevent it entirely.
“We are harnessing this momentum and leading international consortium studies to create greater impact on dementia research,” said Professor Perminder Sachdev.
“We continue to assert that the future of dementia research is in being able to bring together scores of international studies for a common purpose,” he said.
This will enable CHeBA to assess consistencies as well as differences across countries to determine risk and preventative factors for dementia.
Guest speaker Edward Caser, boutique investment platform co-founder whose mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, called upon the corporate sector to further support The Dementia Momentum.
“From my experience in trying to find information, work out who is actively doing something about this disease, my feeling is the group at CHeBA truly are leaders in dementia research not just in Australia, but globally,” he said.
Mr Caser, who has recently launched a private markets firm in partnership with iPartners, removed his mother from aged care during the second wave of COVID-19 and lockdown period in Melbourne and cared for her at home.
"Although emotionally difficult, whatever frustration I was feeling had to be disregarded given how aware I was of the dire outcome if COVID entered mums facility," said Mr Caser.
|Mr Edward Caser||Professor Henry Brodaty AO|
Professor Henry Brodaty, who was Suellen’s specialist physician, touched on the importance of translating findings from research into actions and into policy highlighting CHeBA’s success in knowledge translation.
Research is fundamental to improving our quality of life. It may be through drug discovery, new diagnostic techniques or better care.
Professor Henry Brodaty
Ms Hoggett, who confirmed KPMG’s ongoing commitment of The Dementia Momentum at the closing of the event, paid special tribute to Montefiore, Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, Phil Cave and Judy Harris, the Sachdev Foundation, Peter and Yvonne Halas, Morgans Foundation and Colliers international for their significant contribution to dementia research. She also extended collective condolences to the family of John Holden, who passed away last week. The J Holden Family Foundation was the first major donor of The Dementia Momentum.
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