The ‘VineFire’ Glows Again for SRI

GENERAL NEWS

The ‘VineFire’ Glows Again for SRI

Hungerford Hill once again dedicated their annual ‘VineFire’ event to SRI. On 12 November, 100 guests attended the sumptuous black-tie dinner and dance, held among the giant vats in the picturesque Hunter Valley winery. Many thanks again to James Kirby and the Hungerford Hill team for the $10,500 raised!

In Memory of Prof. Neil McConaghy

GENERAL NEWS

In Memory of Prof. Neil McConaghy

On Sunday 5th June, many distinguished scientists joined Neil’s family at the South Chapel in the Eastern Suburbs Crematorium to bid goodbye to a much loved colleague. Neil was the inspirational researcher and teacher who had mentored many in the key group of scientists who started SRI, and was one of the first Australian psychiatrists to champion the neuroscientific techniques which would come to dominate psychiatric research. As Founding Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee, Neil played a vital role in formulating the structures and procedures which became the foundation of SRI’s growth into the diverse and internationally recognised institute it is today.

Early Intervention Poster Goes National

GENERAL NEWS

Early Intervention Poster Goes National

At the SRI poster launch. L-R: Executive Director Debbie Willcox, SRI Patron Her Excellency Prof.Marie Bashir AC, and South Sydney PCYC Manager Samantha Sidwell. Right: Member for Heffron Kristina Keneally.

Australia’s first schizophrenia early intervention awareness poster received an auspicious official
launch at the South Sydney Police & Community Youth Club (PCYC) on 20 May, attended by SRI Patron and Governor of NSW Prof. Marie Bashir AC.

Speaking from her distinguished professional background in youth and community psychiatric
services, Prof. Bashir applauded the SRI initiative which will give young onset sufferers a better chance of receiving early intervention therapy.

At present it is common for young people to develop increasingly severe schizophrenia symptoms for up to 5 years after onset without being diagnosed and treated. During this delay, symptomatic thinking and behaviour become entrenched, often leading to denial and non-compliance when diagnosis and treatment are offered. The poster is designed to alert family members to the symptoms, and to provide a contact number from where expert advice can be gained.

Displayed in civic centres, social clubs, corporate workplaces and hotels, as well as hospitals and doctor’s waiting rooms, the poster provides full information on schizophrenia’s early symptoms, how the brain is affected, and what treatments are available.

Thousands of the posters are now being distributed to a wide variety of venues throughout
every State in Australia with the help of State Branches of the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia (MIFA). These posters carry the single contact number of 1800 985 944, which connects callers to the MIFA head office in their State. Hundreds of additional posters
have been distributed by SRI directly to all Area Health Services in NSW, and many requests for copies from organisations are being received every week.

Many thanks to PCYC manager Samatha Sidwell, Aboriginal Elder Sylvia Scott, Member for
Heffron Kristina Keneally (representing Minister for Health Morris Iemma), ‘Triple J’ radio presenter Maya Jupiter, and Rabbitoh’s Captain Brian Fletcher for making the launch occasion memorable.

The poster was funded by NSW Health.

Golfers Swing $32,000 for Schizophrenia Research

GENERAL NEWS

Golfers Swing $32,000 for Schizophrenia Research

SRI Chairman Peter Dempsey thanks all Golf Day participants.

Clyde Richards of Baulderstone Hornibrook, with the assistance of Tony Bleasdale, worked tirelessly to put together November’s Baulderstone Hornibrook SRI Charity Golf Day and Dinner
– which scored a whopping $32,000 for schizophrenia research.

Over 30 companies entered their best four golfers in the competition, after which more guests assembled at the Camden Lakeside Country Club for the charity dinner and auction.

Peter Dempsey’s team was overall winner – inspiring Deb Willcox and Lee Drury to start practicing their swings so they can give the gentlemen a run for their money at this year’s Golf
Day – scheduled for November.

Thanks to the Big Hearts on Sydney’s Building Sites

GENERAL NEWS

Thanks to the Big Hearts on Sydney Building Sites

The Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) and construction companies continued their tireless support for SRI this summer with a spectacular display of giant banners at construction sites across Sydney.

The CFMEU’s Andrew Ferguson, Brian Parker and Brian Fitzpatrick secured the banner locations, while Rebel Hanlan, Wayne Baxter, Dave Harwood and Daren Power hoisted them into position.

Construction companies and sites involved were St Hillers at Kings Cross, WestPoint at Scotts Church CBD, Bovis Lend Lease sites at Darling Park, Macarthur Shopping Complex and Penrith Plaza, Australand sites at Black Wattle Bay, Tempe, and Australia’s Wonderland, Moonfair at George Street Broadway, AbiGroup at Maroubra Junction, Gammcon at Botany Rd Redfern, Multiplex at Oxford Street, Baulderstone Hornibrook sites at WestPoint Blacktown and Oxford Street, and John Holland Group at North West.

Special thanks also go to Awesome Screen Printing at Peakhurst for printing the banners.

Coinciding with the banner campaign, workers at the Bovis Lend Lease Macarthur Shopping Complex site have started a car park donation campaign similar to the highly successful Jackson’s Landing project which raised over $100,000 last year.

Public response to the banner campaign has already delivered a surge of extra website hits and a number of new members to the SRI Society.