$96,000 Raised in Wipeout Dementia May 2017

$96,000 Raised in Wipeout Dementia May 2017
$96,000 Raised in Wipeout Dementia May 2017

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

Sydney’s senior executives – including Warringah Federal Liberal MP Tony Abbott and NAB’s newly appointed Chief Customer Officer Mike Baird – joined forces in an effort to Wipeout Dementia at Queenscliff on Saturday, 27 May.

Spokesman for The Dementia Momentum and Wipeout Dementia Ambassador, Richard Grellman AM (Chairman of IPH Limited, AMP Foundation and former Chairman of the Association of Surfing Professionals (International) Limited), announced that the May 2017 event raised $96,000 for the initiative led by the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA). 

“I am extremely encouraged by the enhanced awareness and attention Wipeout Dementia is generating throughout the corporate community,” Richard Grellman said. “There is a critical need for partnerships between research and business in order for us to tackle the extraordinary challenge posed by dementia,” he said. 

CHeBA’s Co-Directors, Professor Perminder Sachdev and Professor Henry Brodaty, said that a new case of dementia is diagnosed somewhere in the world every 3 seconds.

“In Australia there are currently 244 people each day that are joining the population with dementia, which is set to increase to 650 new cases per day by 2025,” said Professor Sachdev.

“Recent estimates suggest that the cost of dementia globally is US$818 billion and that in Australia alone the estimated cost in 2017 is $14 billion,” he said.

This was the fifth Wipeout Dementia run by CHeBA which aims to increase awareness about risk reduction of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The four week event, sponsored by Morgans, Kennards Hire, Cunninghams and SkiJapan.com, is in honour of Richard’s wife Suellen who has advanced young onset Alzheimer’s disease and now requires full time high level care and attention aged just 66. 

The May 2017 event brought together 24 corporate surfers, many of them CEOs and Managing Directors, in a bid to change the future of dementia incidence. 

Current estimates predict the aged care workforce in Australia will need to triple by 2050 and 500 new nursing home beds for dementia-related care will be needed per month for the next 40 years.

“Without clear and scalable care pathways and infrastructure, we are ill-equipped to cope with the projected influx of patients,” Richard Grellman said.

In a major upset, Cunningham’s Cruisers took the May 2017 winning team title, previously held by Gillespie’s Grommets Forever in May 2016 and Grellman’s Evergreens in both the May and November 2015 rounds.

“This was my fourth Wipeout Dementia and every one of them has been a success, with the team dynamic one of the great outcomes of the campaign. In particular, all surfers made a phenomenal effort to provide CHeBA with much-deserved funding,” said John Cunningham, Managing Director of Cunninghams and captain of winning team Cunningham’s Cruisers.

Wipeout Dementia Ambassador and 1978 World Surfing Champion Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew AM congratulated the winning team and all participants for their enthusiasm and involvement. 

“The big winner was the raising of in excess of 95k. The knowledge that this will be injected into the research coffers of Professor Henry Brodaty and Professor Perminder Sachdev and their team is very reassuring. It was definitely sobering to hear the stats on the coming tsunami for this country, so to be involved in some way with a genuine Australia hero warms the heart,” said Rabbit.

A number of awards were announced on the day including the prestigious ‘Player’s Player’ which was awarded to team captain Rob Gillespie.

The custom Mark Richards 1982 replica twin fin ‘Gnarly Award’ for highest fundraiser was taken by Managing Director of Colliers International, Peter Chittenden, who raised over $15,000 in the event and who has also generated significant company support for the cause over the past couple of years.

Special thanks go to Simon Liddy and Mark Gross who were the other top fundraisers of this round of Wipeout Dementia; both raising over $10,000.  

Austin Ware won ‘Wave of the Day’, while Dylan Norman and Heath Sims also achieved high scores.

Former ‘Wave of the Day’ winner Andy Kennard of major sponsor Kennard’s Hire won ‘Best Wipeout’.

Ian Freestone received the final award of the campaign, the ‘Coach’s Award’ for his outstanding efforts during the four-week training.

CHeBA Co-Directors Professor Perminder Sachdev and Professor Henry Brodaty both attended the Surf Off. 

With dementia now the second leading cause of death in Australia and over 25% of the population set to be aged 65+ by 2050, CHeBA’s Co-Directors are stressing the need to target early to mid-life to reduce risk of dementia.  They are also advocating the potential of implementing internet-based interventions – such as CHeBA’s Maintain Your Brain study – to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

CHeBA Co-Director and specialist physician to Suellen, Professor Henry Brodaty, expressed his gratitude to Richard Grellman and said that beyond the alarming statistics and need for research there was a dire need for family support and translation of policy into practice. 

“Reducing the social impact of this disease has reached a critical point,” said Professor Brodaty. 

“There is an undeniable need for research, not only to understand the causes of the various types of dementia, but also to find effective interventions to cure and preferably prevent or delay its onset.”

To view images from this event, click here.

Morgans and Kennards Hire are the major sponsors for Wipeout Dementia May 2017. Cunninghams and SkiJapan.com are secondary sponsors.

Hurley and Queenscliff Surf Lifesaving Club provided in-kind support. 

To sponsor one of the Wipeout Dementia participants go to: https://cheba2.everydayhero.com/au/wipeout-dementia-5/members

For more information about the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), visit www.cheba.unsw.edu.au

Participants in the May 2017 Wipeout Dementia contest were:

Grellman’s Evergreens

1.            Tony Abbott
2.            Mike Baird
3.            Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew
4.            Tony Camphin
5.            Chris Clarke
6.            Ben Grellman
7.            Richard Grellman
8.            Andy Kennard
9.            Simon Smart

Gillespie’s Grommets Forever

1.            Peter Chittenden
2.            Rob Gillespie
3.            Mark Gross
4.            Simon Liddy
5.            Peter Murphy
6.            Geoff Nesbitt
7.            Clive Rodell
8.            Austin Ware
Cunningham’s Cruisers
1.            Michael Beggs
2.            Phil Butt
3.            John Cunningham
4.            Ian Freestone
5.            Graham Kittle
6.            Chris Meehan
7.            Dylan Norman
8.            Heath Sims


Heidi Douglass| h.douglass@unsw.edu.au| 0435 579 202 | (02) 9382 3398

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