Tell us a bit about yourself Richard
Well I’m an ex-Sydneysider and I made the move to Adelaide back in 1998. It’s a decision I don’t regret at all. I love the peace and quiet that you find down here. Every time I visit Sydney it just seems to get busier and busier. I’m retired now but I spent most of my working life as a qualified electrician. These days I enjoy relaxing, spend time with friends and family and focus on my garden. I really enjoy the freedom of seeing how each new day will unfold.
30 years supporting Centenary is quite an achievement. How do you feel?
It’s amazing how quickly the time passes! I had no idea until someone at Centenary contacted me and gave me the news. I guess you could say that I felt a quiet sense of achievement. I don’t get overly excited about these sorts of things but I’m glad to have played a small part in helping your researchers do their important work.
Do you donate to other organisations?
Actually I don’t although my wife gives fairly generously to a number of different places. Centenary has always been my sole charitable focus. I’ve always felt comfortable about that choice. Medical research is an extremely worthy cause and that’s been enough for me. One of the things I like is that medical research has the potential to benefit all of us. A single new discovery can change countless lives. It’s fantastic bang for buck.
Why is giving important to you?
I do think you should give more than you take in life so donating is a part of this philosophy. I’ve also been fortunate to be in an okay position for most of my life. Some people haven’t been that lucky. Giving to others so that they can do more good in this world just makes sense to me. I don’t donate large amounts of money, but I give what I can afford and I don’t lose any sleep over it.
What motivated you to support us in the first place?
Thankfully, I’ve had had no family tragedies or negative health experiences to motivate me. Supporting medical research just appealed. In terms of how I first became aware of Centenary, I was sent a mailout and reading it struck a chord. Although Centenary does a lot of interesting work in a lot of different areas, it was your cancer research that first attracted me. It’s a terrible disease and needs to be overcome. I’m also obviously very happy to support all your other research areas too. There are so many diseases that need to be better understood.
You’ve continued to support us over an extremely long period of time – which we really appreciate! Why is that?
In terms of ongoing giving, I’ve always liked the fact that Centenary appears to be a nimble and agile organisation where donations from individuals can really make a difference. I’d much rather support a ‘quiet achiever’ as opposed to a high-profile organisation that spends a lot of money on marketing itself. I can see from your updates that you’re making a real difference with all of the new discoveries that you make.
What do you enjoy most about your involvement with Centenary?
Firstly, I have to say that I love the calendars that you send me every year. The colourful microscopic images that you feature are amazing. It’s like an entirely different world down there in the cells of your body. I’ve also been impressed that all my contact with Centenary staff, via phone or mail, has been personable and friendly, and that they’ve always thanked me for my time. It’s nice to be appreciated although that’s secondary to supporting a cause I believe in.
Any final thoughts?
I’m just an ordinary man supporting extraordinary, talented people doing wonderful things that help others, no matter who they are, where they come from or what they do. I give my money freely and believe that it is being spent on worthwhile activity. I hope to be a Centenary supporter for a long time to come.