A Tribute to Gregory

GENERAL NEWS

A Tribute to Gregory

Marilyn and Gregory Lema.

Gregory Lema managed his schizophrenia very well for 20 years with the help of the typical antipsychotic medication Orap holding his job with the Tax Dept., helping to pay off a mortgage, being a good father to his family and husband to his wife Marilyn.

Then the Australian manufacturer of Orap stopped production in 2006, so Gregory’s psychiatrist switched him to one of the newer antipsychotics.

The change affected Gregory badly, so he was switched to another widely used antipsychotic drug. Shortly after, Gregory attempted suicide. He recovered and promised Marilyn he would never do that again. But one day in August 2007, Marilyn came home from work to find Gregory dead.

Marilyn decided to dedicate Gregory’s funeral to schizophrenia research, and asked all attendees to donate to the Institute instead of giving flowers. The Institute provided ‘In Memory of Gregory’ donation forms to enable his many friends to help find a way to prevent such tragedies happening to others.

Marilyn writes, “Greg was a very intelligent and spiritual person, a wonderful husband and father, with so many caring friends. He is now at peace – no more head stuff to deal with – for that I am happy for him.” The Institute sends condolences and thanks to Gregory’s family and friends.

An Inspiring Combo of Cocktails and Consciousness

GENERAL NEWS

An Inspiring Combo of Cocktails and Consciousness
Where else could you go to enjoy an evening of ancient brain science and a disappearing red dot?

Prof. Vaughan Carr welcomes guests to Cocktails and Consciousness.

Held at The Garvan Institute on 19 September, the Institute’s annual Cocktails & Consciousness event once again delivered a unique combination of conviviality and cutting-edge science, providing all guests with fresh insight into the workings of the human brain and how they can go wrong.

As Master of Ceremonies, Lex Marinos OAM conducted the audience of 170 Schizophrenia Research Society members and other supporters through a light hearted illustrated history of brain science – from BCE 7,000 to the modern era.

Red and green 3-D glasses were then distributed to the audience, and a short movie clip was shown featuring a big red dot which seemed to disappear – without actually leaving the screen. Prof. Cyndi Shannon Weickert then explained how the audience’s optical centres had been induced to produce the illusion demonstrating how the brain can transmit false information to consciousness.

(L) Lex Marinos runs through the 7,000 year-long history of brain science in 10 minutes. (R) Guests experience what it’s like to be misinformed by their own brains.

Dr Carmel Loughland then took the stage to provide an update on the success of the Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank campaign, and Richard Schweizer spoke of his personal experience with schizophrenia.

The event also provided the opportunity to thank and bid farewell to Lee Drury, whose efforts as Corporate and Community Partnerships Manager have proved so valuable to the Institute.

Many thanks to all speakers, and to the event’s Principal Sponsor Ramsay Health Care. Also thanks to Hungerford Hill for the wines, Bright Print for the invitation card, and Turning Point for the audio/visual. All combined to make the evening a great success.

Images by Matthew Duchesne of Milk & Honey Photography

Spark of Genius 07 Does it Again!

GENERAL NEWS

‘Spark of Genius’ Does it Again!

Following the successes of previous years, Spark of Genius 2007 attracted 500 guests, 50 volunteers and 40 Australian ‘Genii’ to Sydney Town Hall on 18 May to help raise $200,000 for research.

Led by James O’Loghlin, with Mikey Robins and Peter FitzSimons, the entertainment kept coming
– with a breathtaking performance by Jane Rutter and ‘Aerialize’, and later The Latin Kings.

Amongst the fun were truly moving moments as Heloise Pratt and ambassador, Angela G, spoke,
and scientific insights provided by Profs. Cyndi Shannon Weickert and Vaughan Carr.

And a great night was had by all! ‘Genii’, Partners, Supporters and Volunteers who made
it happen at the Town Hall for ‘Spark of Genius’ 2007 – and for schizophrenia research.

Our thanks go to our ‘Genii'; our principal sponsor Macquarie Bank; our partners InterContinental Sydney, GE Lighting, RedBalloon Days, ICMI, City of Sydney for the
Town Hall, and to all our other sponsors and volunteers.

Photo’s from the event can be viewed on-line. Please click here.

Images by Matthew Duchesne of Milk & HoneyPhotography (02) 9555 7966.