Industry backing for Wipeout Dementia raises $2.5 million for research

Industry backing for Wipeout Dementia raises $2.5 million for research
Industry backing for Wipeout Dementia raises $2.5 million for research

No amount of wild weather could stop Olympic Bronze Medalist Owen Wright and 1999 World Surfing Champion Mark Occhilupo from joining Sydney’s property industry executives on Friday 5 April, to surf in support of critical research into Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias led by the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), UNSW Sydney.

The 2024 event continued the initiative’s track record of success raising $265,000, taking the total funds raised from this annual event to over $2.5 million for The Dementia Momentum. 

Representatives from more than 30 organisations across the property industry got on board this year’s wet weather event, including Buildcorp, Avenor, AWM, Shape, Sense Projects, Winten Property Group, Colliers, Bates Smart and Charter Hall.

WipeoutDementia 2024

Ambassador and Olympic Bronze Medalist Owen Wright, creator of Wipeout Dementia Heidi Douglass, Ambassador and 1999 World Surfing Champion Mark "Occy" Occhilupo, long-time Ambassador, MC of the awards ceremony and 1978 World Surfing Champion Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew AM with Wipeout Dementia judge Steve Harrison of Global Surf Tag

The number of people living with a dementia diagnosis has risen dramatically since the first Wipeout Dementia, from 44 million to approximately 57 million – a number which will continue to escalate without a medical breakthrough. With more than a quarter of the population set to be aged 65+ by the middle of the century, CHeBA’s Co-Directors Professors Henry Brodaty and Perminder Sachdev stressed the need to target early to mid-life to reduce risk of dementia. They are also advocating the potential of intervention studies to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. 

Reducing the social impact of this disease has reached a critical point.
Professor Henry Brodaty AO

1999 World Surfing Champion Mark Occhilupo and WSL Title Winner and Olympic Bronze Medalist Owen Wright joined long time Ambassador and 1978 World Surfing Champion Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew, who delivered a heartfelt speech on the day in support of all the people living with a dementia diagnosis and encouraging greater support for research. 

Wipeout Dementia Ambassadors Owen Wright and Mark Occhilupo check out the surf conditions   

Despite the prevalence, research funding for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias remains disproportionately underfunded. Funding support from Wipeout Dementia is allowing CHeBA to ramp up its research focus on the development of biomarkers, so that treatments can be developed to stop progression to dementia.
Professor Perminder Sachdev AM

A number of awards were announced on the day including the prestigious ‘Gnarly Award’, a Mark Richards surfboard, which was awarded to highest fundraiser Michael Gordon for the third year running, General Manager of Buildcorp Interiors. 

Ambassadors Owen Wright, Wayne Bartholomew AM and Mark Occhilupo with highest individual fundraiser Mike Gordon of Buildcorp and sponsor of the award George Sharpe of Haigs

In an extraordinary display of enduring dedication to the cause, Gordon personally raised over $36,000 and led his Buildcorp sponsored team to highest fundraising glory for the third time – with over $71,000 raised and taking home a money-can’t buy experience at URBNSURF.

A competition DHD surfboard signed by Ambassadors Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew, Owen Wright and Mark Occhilupo went to Mick Café of Buildcorp, Mark Gross of Morgans, Avenor Director Peter Clemesha and David Kemp of Buildcorp Interiors, who were the other top fundraisers in this round (all raising over $10,000).  
The 2024 Surf Off championship team was captained by Avenor Director Peter Clemesha, the original driver behind the property industry events. Watto’s Wavehunters captained by Steve Watson won the Battle Royale, which saw all surfers hit the water at once to compete for waves. 

The 2024 Wipeout Dementia was sponsored by Morgans, AWM, Avenor, Buildcorp, SHAPE, Sense Projects, Winten Property Group, NetNada, Haigs and SBC Plumbing. 

Cliff-Carvers Cliff Carvers captained by Craig Rodgers
AWM Bob & Jill's Line Up captained by Anthony Scotts 
OwenSurf Owen Wright
OccySurf Mark Occhilupo
Captains Captains of the Wipeout Dementia teams, Peter Clemesha, Craig Rodgers, Philip Vivian, Anthony Scotts, Mike Gordon, Steve Watson and Darren Beasley with Ambassadors Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew, Mark 'Occy' Occhilupo and Owen Wright


Photography by Sprout Daily.

To make a donation:

In-kind event bag sponsors were Caddie Snacks and Tracks Magazine.

In-kind event awards were donated by: Bunnings Warehouse, Destination Towels, Garfish Restaurant, Samsonite, Tesalate Towels and Three Blue Ducks.

Awards ceremony held at Glory Days


•    Anthony Scotts (CAPTAIN): Director, AWM Commercial Furniture
•    Colin Scotts, Director, Cellar Value Solutions
•    Jake Scotts, Student
•    Richard Scotts: Executive Producer, RJ Media 
•    Afonso Firmo, Co-Founder & Director, NetNada
•    Scott Dalton, Managing Director, Complete Strata Management
•    BJ Edwards, Sales Executive, LJ Hooker Palm Beach
•    Jackson Skirka, Lawyer, BlackGold Legal

•    Peter Clemesha (CAPTAIN): Director, Avenor
•    Owen Wright, 2020 Olympic Surfing Bronze Medallist
•    Shane Campbell, Analyst, Development Sites, Residential, Colliers
•    Ben Cradock, Director, SBC Plumbing
•    Ben Moss, Head of Capital & Transactions, Avenor
•    Lachie Paramor, Director, Leftfield
•    James Paver, Director, Avenor
•    Blake Schulze, National Director, Residential, Colliers

•    Craig Rodgers (CAPTAIN): Executive Consultant, TSA Management
•    Scott Anderson: Managing Director, Developed
•    Brett Eichhorn: Director, Sense Projects
•    David Moffat, Managing Director, Cornerstone NSW
•    Reece Moffat, Construction Manager, Fugen
•    Brett Newman, CEO, NSW Land Registry Services
•    Phillip Wicks, General Manager NSW, Shape Australia
•    Andrew Wilson, Director, Mantra

•    Darren Beasley (CAPTAIN): Project Director, Novm
•    Edward Bone, Business Development Manager
•    Russell Brown, Project Manager, ADCO Construct
•    George Sharpe, Builder Broker, Haigs
•    Matt Moulsdale, Director, Corporate Constructions
•    Blake O’Sullivan, Project Manager, Prime Projects
•    Brett Parker, Senior Project Manager, ADCO Construct
•    Gonzalo Ventura, Associate, SBA Architects

•    Michael Gordon (CAPTAIN): General Manager, Buildcorp Interiors
•    Nick Butler, Director, BK Fire
•    Mick Cafe, Senior Project Manager, Buildcorp
•    Brendan Dunkin, Construction Manager, Buildcorp
•    David Kemp, Senior Site Manager, Buildcorp Interiors
•    Chris McDowell, Underwriting Manager, Accident and Health Australasia, HDI Global
•    Will Pascoe, Wholesale & Logistics, On Board Industries
•    James Whitehead, General Manager, Ziff Davis

•    Philip Vivian (CAPTAIN): Director, Bates Smart
•    Hugh Irving, Development Executive – Office, Charter Hall
•    Guy Lake, Director, Bates Smart
•    Stewart Nettleton, Director, Newquest Property
•    Mark Occhilupo, 1999 World Surfing Champion
•    Karl Riedel, Group Chief Financial Officer, TBH
•    Will Rothwell, Director, Winten Property Group

•    Steve Watson (CAPTAIN): Managing Director, Steve Watson & Partners
•    Stuart Brown: Director, Workrooms 
•    Glenn Cowdrey, Business Development Manager, Hindmarsh
•    David Desson: Director, Aspire PDM
•    Martin Taylor, Director, Creatures of Habitat Studio
•    Mark Gross, Head of Sydney Corporate Advisory, Morgans
•    Ben Gross, Student
•    Clare Coleman, Asset & Development Manager, Wentworth Capital

Communications Contact

Communications contact: Heidi Douglass, Communications and Projects OffierHeidi Douglass
Team Lead – Innovations & Communications
T 0435 579 202