(DNA code represented by the letters A, C, G & T)

The ‘DNA code’ can be represented by the letters A, C, G, and T. The letters can be combined in many ways (AGACCCGGGTTTAACCC….) and about 300 of these letters spell out the instructions for a gene, like eye colour for example.



 (Human eye)

Each person has over 20,000 genes as well as ‘junk’ DNA.  If you could type 60 words per minute, eight hours a day, it would take approximately 50 years to type out all the letters.

People have used a computer to print out the code in tiny font, however, and it fills 100 volumes–a whole bookcase worth of A,C,G and T to represent the DNA of just one person!





On Friday 29 May 2015, CMRI played host to the 54th Annual Meeting of Committees.

The hard work & dedication donated by each of our Committees year in & year out is truly invaluable to the consistent running of Children’s Medical Research Institute over the past .

Each year we take this opportunity to give our thanks to each & every member as well as give each Committee a sound board to share their amazing successes over the pa
st 12 months as well as up date us on the year to come. It is a great day enjoyed by Committee members, CMRI staff and Board members alike.

Whilst there are far to many amazing events & inspiring stories to document thoroughly, here are a few key highlights shared by each Committee from the year 2014…


Another full house at the 2015 AGM of Committees held at CMRI, Westmead.

2014 was a great year for the Committee who hosted a number of successful events including a BBQ, Card Day and Golf Day. As if this wasn’t enough to juggle, the Committee also continued to provide catering support for CMRI Discovery Days – what a team!

A phenomenal year was had, raised over $100k for CMRI.

Hosting several successful events over the course of the year, highlights included manning yet another successful Jeans for Genes stall through wind & rain as well as welcoming Dr. Tony Cesare to their AGM hosted in the beautiful Brazilian Embassy.

This year the Committee is looking forward to hosting another Annual Luncheon, which will be held Wednesday Nov 8th.


Speaking on behalf of the committees President, Belinda proudly spoke of the Committees many achievements over the past year including hosting a successful Mother’s Day High Tea, Melbourne Cup Lunch and Quilt Show.

Demonstrating the power of social media, Belinda also shared with us an intriguing story having been contacted by a gentleman all the way from Brazil! Unfortunately, with her medical knowledge not quite on par with her washing up skills, Belinda was not able to answer the query directly. However, not one to miss an opportunity, was able to share with him the great work conducted here at CMRI, spreading the word internationally!



Gerringong High Tea event.

Although one of our smaller Committees this doesn’t deter the Gosford Committee from aiming high & achieving BIG. Some of the wonderful events hosted by the Committee this year included a fashion show featuring none less than their own committee members (who needs Miranda Kerr, hey!).

Hills Committee

Another strong year for our Hills Committee, their stand out event for the year has to be their phenomenally successful Mother’s Day luncheon held in early May at the George Street Hilton Hotel, Sydney.


Dame Marie Bashir at this year’s Hills Committee Mother’s Day Luncheon at the Hilton, Sydney.

There were several highlights from this spectacular event which sold out 2 weeks ahead of the big day including & hosted 620;
– A captivating interview with special guest Dame Marie Bashir which even received a standing ovation
– An inspiring talk from CMRI scientist Dr. Hamish Campbell
– And the beautiful Merida City bicycle being sold at auction for a whopping $3,500.

Judith Hyam Memorial Trust

For a fund initially expected to last no longer than 12 months this was a special year for the Judith Hyam Memorial Trust as they celebrated their 25th year raising money & donating to CMRI!
With concerns over the development at the Parramatta Mall this in fact worked in the favour of the Committee who received a new marquee as well as new promotional banners enabling them to continue running their successful stall. As well as this, the Committee held several other popular fundraisers including coach trips, 2 fashion shows and a Christmas dinner.

Kangaroo Valley

The first Committee to be founded 57 years ago back in 1958,  4 members all aged between 75 – 82 are still going strong.

The main event being the Melbourne Cup luncheon which continues to be supported whole heartedly by the wonderful citizens of Kangaroo Valley.


Joan Bray speaking on behalf of the Kangaro Valley Committee

We were all sad to hear the news of the recent passing of the committee President. A huge Thank You is sent for all your hard work over the past year & thoughts & best wishes are sent to all.


Although we were all sad to hear of the closing of the Committee which has been in existence since 1963, we were all thrilled to hear the news that President & radio presenter George Stephenson would be taking the cause to the airwaves.

2015 sees the founding of a new programme ‘George & Friends’ that will be transmitted not only across Sydney but throughout the rest of Australia too with the plan is to air 3 programmes per year dedicated to CMRI.

The hope is that further down the line we can also get out & about and bring the radio station ‘to the people’. Watch this space!


Another successful year for the Maroota Committee, events included hosting 2 fashion parades, 2 bingo nights, a stall at the Maroota Muster as well as regular stalls in the Richmond & Windsor shopping centres.


Although members of the Committee were unable to attend we were thrilled to hear of yet another successful year in Mudgee with the High Tea being the stand out event of the year.

Held at the beautiful Putta Bucca house, owner Penelope kindly donated the venue for this wonderful occasion and the committee was able to raise an astonishing $12,000!

Proving such an enormous success & supported by community, Committee & husbands a like, the event has already been planned in to the social scheduled for this year, due to be held at the beautiful Pucca Bucca House again, on 13th September 2015.


A beautiful day at the Putta Bucca High Tea.

Northern Beaches
This year we heard from the wonderful Leonie, who spoke on behalf of the Committees President.

Recalling stories from the earlier days where much of the Committees money was raised through the sale of Christmas cards (approx. $100k) it is great to see these are still proving popular & working well for the Committee who also host a regular card stall.

Other brilliant events hosted this year have also included the new ‘Dinner for Friends’ event as well as the ever popular annual Golf Day.

Port Hacking

Celebrating their 50th year, Port Hacking were proud to report another busy year, having hosted numerous popular events including a Golf Day, Mother’s Day Fashion Parade as well as introducing something new to the mix with a successful ‘Art Day’.

Chrissie Jenkins, Jennifer Philps, Pam Heneghan President

The latest addition to the fundraising calendar, the ‘Port Hacking Art Show’.

Unfortunately members of the Quirindi Committee were unable to attend however, we do hope to see you next year & extend our thanks & wished to all.


The past year was a particularly busy one for the Racquet Committee who held no less than 4 brilliant events & also managed to fill 2 tables at the Hills Committee Mother’s Day luncheon at the Hilton!

Highlights of the year included:
Hosting a theatre night, where no opportunity was wasted & saw the interval being used to sip on champers & host an antique jewellery raffle.

Holding a Melbourne Cup luncheon attended by CMRI’s very own Dr. Tony Cesare.

February’s popular ‘Prawn on the Lawn’ event!

And a successful silent auction.


Dr. Tony Cesare addressing the attendees of the 2014 Melbourne Cup Luncheon.

Since 1959 the Committee has grown from just 4 members up to 15 each with unique skills & something valuable to bring to the table.

Showing their dedication & commitment, through wind & rain great fun was still had at the annual Golf Day, even with all golfers being inside by 9am!

Other highlights included a High Tea event, Christmas in July as well as the ever popular Quiz night.


Unfortunately no members of the Taree Committee were able to attend however, we do hope to see you next year & extend our thanks & wished to all.

Special mentions were made to Ruth Hipsley, one of the Committees founding members (1961) as well as to Jan Madigan who has been Committee President for 35years!

This year also saw the introduction of 2 new Committee members Avril & Mary.

The highlight of the Committees Calend
ar this year was their annual Tennis Day, held in March & raising over $10k!


2014 Annual Vaucluse / Rose Bay Tennis Day.

Wagga Wagga
It has been a fantastic past 12 months for the Wagga Wagga committee who have been successful in recruiting several new members.

Highlights of the year included the annual Fair as well as the ever successful ‘Day out in the Garden’ which snowballed from a couple of people up to 87 ladies & a few gents enjoy wonderful weather, fantastic home-made baking & the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful private gardens in the area.


Wagga Wagga Committee members proudly presenting CMRI Director Roger Reddell with a cheque from one of their most recent fundraisers.

For more information on how you can get involved with a Committee or set up your own Committee, click here.

Today we were extremely proud to officially open our unique, world first Australian Cancer Research Foundation Telomere Analysis Centre (ATAC).


(Minister for Medical Research The Hon. Pru Goward MP who officially announced the new centre open)

Coincidently tying in with our latest published research which demonstrates why studying telomeres may lead to treatments for some of the most aggressive cancers.

For those who do not know, telomeres are structures that cap the ends of chromosomes (which are bundles of DNA). In normal cells, telomeres shorten gradually as part of normal ageing, but cancer cells develop methods to stop their telomeres shortening so they can keep multiplying relentlessly. One of these methods, called ALT, is often used by bone cancers, brain cancers and other aggressive types of cancer that are currently difficult to treat.

Our researchers previously discovered that normal cells have a “lock” mechanism which prevents ALT getting out of control, but the nature of this lock has remained a mystery. A few years ago, several research teams reported that ALT cancers often have damage in a specific gene called ATRX, leading to speculation that ATRX might be the elusive ALT controller.


(ATAC Facility Manager Scott Page giving The Hon. Pru Goward MP a tour of the new centre)

Now, research conducted here at Children’s Medical Research Institute by Dr Christine Napier with vital contributions from colleagues at the University of Minnesota, have just been published, showing that ATRX is indeed the missing ALT lock.

CMRI Director, Professor Roger Reddel, who was involved in the research, said “We think that losing this lock makes cancer cells vulnerable to treatments that normal cells are protected against. So we may have found an Achilles heel for ALT cancers.

According to Professor Reddel, “This is far from the end of the story, because a very exciting aspect of Dr Napier’s research is her discovery that there is a second ALT lock. Apparently, normal cells are so strongly protected against ALT getting out of control, that they use at least two locks, both of which have to be broken.


(CMRI Director Prof. Roger Reddel addressing the attendees of this mornings official launch)

We were able to conduct this work prior to the availability of the new ATAC facility, which includes cutting-edge equipment consisting of state-of-the-art microscopes and computer analysis stations and which. Having access to the new ATAC facility will propel telomere-related cancer research to a new level.

Dr Napier said “Now that ATAC is opening, we can greatly accelerate the next phase of this work, which I expect will lead to significant advances in treatment of some very aggressive cancers.

The organisation which made ATAC possible is the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) donated $2 million towards the development of the facility alongside The Ian Potter Foundation who also contributed $100,000.

The ACRF’s Medical Research Advisory Committee – led by Professor Ian Frazer AC – assessed this research initiative as both nationally ground-breaking and internationally competitive. The ACRF and our supporters are very proud to fund this life-saving work at CMRI.” said ACRF Chief Executive, Professor Ian Brown.

ATAC forms part of a multi-million dollar redevelopment of CMRI and the Westmead precinct to create a world-leading centre for health and medical research.

Donations towards the redevelopment of CMRI can be made by visiting the website:

%d bloggers like this: