The Bayside City Council is recognising Liz Dawes as the local Australia Day Citizen of the Year.
Liz has worked tirelessly as the Executive Director of the Robert Connor Dawes (RCD) Fund, which is the charity partner of the South Metro Junior Football League. Liz created the RCD Fund after her 18 year old son, Connor’s life was tragically cut short by a brain tumour.
Connor was diagnosed with ependymoma in 2011, but sadly after a 16 month battle with the disease, passed away on April 20, 2013. Shortly after Connor’s passing, Liz founded the RCD fund in June 2013 in memory of her son and aiming to spread awareness and funds for brain tumours and diseases.
Brain cancer is the biggest killer in childhood in all of childhood cancers with only 50 percent of clinical treatments helping sufferers and leaves 90 percent with lifelong physical and mental impairments.
Liz was honoured on Australia Day by Bayside Council Mayor and former board member of the SMJFL, Cr Felicity Frederico, who said the awards provide Council with an opportunity to recognise individuals who make an outstanding contribution to the Bayside community.
“Australia Day gives us time as a nation to reflect on what it is to be Australian and to celebrate the many and varied contributions that individual citizens make to our communities each year,” Cr Frederico said.
“Through the Australia Day Citizen of the Year Awards, Council is able to celebrate the achievements of Bayside residents who have made outstanding contributions to the life of our community.”
Liz was honoured as part of the Council’s Australia Day celebrations, which were held in Kamesburgh Gardens.
Since starting the fund in, Liz has worked to galvanise the Bayside community around the issue of paediatric brain conditions. In September 2013 the first Connor’s Run was held with 2000 participants raising over $200,000. The inaugural Connor’s Run received the 2014 Australia Day Award for Bayside Community Event of the Year.
Building on the success of this event the 2014 Connors Run included 2500 participants and raised over $300,000.
Monies raised on behalf of the Fund contribute towards research and treatment in brain research and patient care.
To date the Fund has provided support for the creation of a PhD pediatric brain tumour research scholarship at the Brain Cancer Discovery Collaborative as well as funding support for treatment programs at the Monash Medical Centre and the Sydney’s Children’s Cancer Institute.
The Fund maintains an active involvement with Schools across Bayside encouraging students to engage with issues around brain health.
The SMJFL was delighted to introduce the RCD Fund as it’s charity partner for season 2014 and beyond.
General Manager of the SMJFL, Jake McCauley said “the SMJFL is delighted to again be partnering with the RCD Fund in 2015. The RCD Fund is a well-known local charity who are based in Bayside and raise much needed awareness and funds for a worthy cause. We congratulate Liz on her well deserved award and look forward to the entire SMJFL community getting behind the RCD Fund again this year.”
Liz Dawes mentioned how great it is to have support from the whole community, including the SMJFL. “Having the South Metro Junior Football League supporting our efforts is just wonderful for our new charity. Our greatest supporters have been young people and its uplifting to see this continue with the addition of the SMJFL. Brain cancer is the number one cancer killer of children and young adults in Australia. Strong partnerships such as this will help us make this message known and help raise funds in the process,” she said.
You can make a donation to the RCD Fund by visiting their website.