SpinalCure and Network Nine Celebrate the 89th Annual Academy Awards together

On February 27 SpinalCure joined together with Network Nine and new lifestyle brand 9Honey to celebrate the 89th annual Academy Awards and raise funds for spinal cord injury research.

Sydney’s premier lunch event for the Oscars© was held at Luke Mangan’s glass brasserie at Sydney’s Hilton Hotel and saw a slew of Nine’s most famous faces out to mingle, enjoy the free-flowing Moet, and watch the live-stream of the main event over a fabulous, gourmet three-course meal.

The event was hosted by Nine personalities David Campbell and Georgie Gardner and saw the likes of Erin Molan, Miranda Tapsell, Shelley Craft, actor Ben Mingay of twice-nominated Hacksaw Ridge fame, the legendary Sam Neil and even singer Seal walk the red carpet to attend.

Special guest Kerri-Anne Kennerley also joined the festivities, lending her support to a cause that has sadly become near and dear to herself and her husband John in the last year.

Importantly, the event also brought together some of SpinalCure’s most ardent and long-standing supporters and cherished community members to not only enjoy the glitter and glam and celebrate the awards, but to also celebrate the significant progress in recent years and exciting times ahead with the introduction of new research collaboration Project Edge.

This fantastic event is made possible by the generous support of many individuals and organisations and we must send out a big thank you to our partners at Network Nine for their incredible work in orchestrating such a dazzling affair, as well as all of those who attended, bought raffle tickets and made donations on the day.

Many thanks to also go to Luke Mangan and the team at glass brasserie who never miss a detail and always provide the most outstanding service, cuisine and beverage accompaniments (even when we oversell the venue by 30+ tickets!)

Our sincere gratitude also to the many donors and sponsors of the event who provide the opportunity for SpinalCure to do some extra fundraising on the day through our raffle prize draw, and to send our guests home with a beautiful thank you in the form of goody bags stuffed with great products and vouchers.

In particular we would like to thank our friends at Popink for their very generous contributions and for putting the call out to their networks on our behalf. Thank you in turn to Hedgren Australia for donating 200+ fabulous Hedgren shoulder bags and a fantastic luggage set, also to Samsonite, Brother, VGM Imports, Maui Jim Sunglasses, United Book Distributors, The Cache Group of Companies, Synnex Australia, and Choice Magazines for answering that call and supporting us in our endeavor to raise much needed funds for spinal cord injury research.

Thank you also to Cam and Sam Bloom, Sydney Seaplanes, Gai Waterhouse Racing, Jono Hennessy Group (via Melanie Kell) for their generous donations.

And to Blackmore’s for their outstanding contribution, as well as to Glamazon, Healthspace, Dendy Cinemas, Virgin Group, Nine Live, Warner Bros, Manrags, OPI, Star and PR Events, Xtend Barre, Paul Mitchell, Sweaty Betty PR, Secret Bottle, Maritime Museum and San Pellegrino for rounding out the amazing goody bags.

Thank you finally to the key sponsors – Vic’s Premium Quality Meat, James Boag’s Premium Lager, Moet & Chandon Champagne, The Luke Mangan Group, Little Creatures Pale Ale, Joto – The fresh fish people, Hilton – Sydney, Vittoria Coffee, and L.J. Parthenos & Son.

The day was a wonderful success with much fun, laughter and champers enjoyed by all. We can’t wait to do it all again next year to keep raising the profile, funds and awareness needed to get us to the cure!

See full event gallery

Australian Turf Club and SpinalCure

SpinalCure selected as 2017 Australian Turf Club Charity Partner of the Year


We are very pleased to announce that SpinalCure Australia has been chosen as this year’s Australian Turf Club Charity Partner of the Year.

Founded from the merger of the Australian Jockey’s Club and Sydney Turf Club in 2011, the Australian Turf Club (ATC) owns and operates premium Thoroughbred Racing, events and hospitality venues across Sydney.

“The Australian Turf Club prides itself on being one of the world’s most desirable destinations for thoroughbred racing, events and hospitality.”

The club places significant and genuine emphasis on community engagement, with a key area of focus on partnering with charities to provide opportunities for fundraising.

Given the unfortunate but very real connection between spinal cord injury and horse-racing and the high-level of support SpinalCure receives from some of the industry’s most notable riders and representatives, the synergistic partnership is fantastic step in the right direction for helping those injured while participating in one of our nation’s most cherished sporting traditions.

SpinalCure CEO Duncan Wallace commented “We are honoured and delighted to have been chosen as the ATC charity partner for this year. The awareness and support this will help generate will take us closer to the day when a spinal cord injury is no longer a life sentence. 

 It can be a long way from the saddle to the ground and sadly spinal cord injuries do occur. However, promising interventions that help restore feeling and function, such as the neurostimulation treatment that we are introducing to Australia via Project Edge, are under development and with the support of the ATC we will see them become available even sooner.

To help support us in our newly founded partnership, be sure to purchase your Longines Golden Slipper pins at the Rosehill Gardens racing events Mar 11 and 18 and stay tuned for more news and events to come throughout the year.

We are also looking for volunteers Mar 11 and 18 to help sell pins at Rosehill Gardens. 100% of proceeds from the sale of each $5 pin go to SpinalCure to support research for a cure.

Please contact Kathryn Borkovic by emailing [email protected] if you would like to help out.

Learn more about ATC   Donate to SpinalCure

The Spine Tingling Ride

Spine Tingling RideFrom Canberra to Humpty Doo by bike – a Spine Tingling Ride to help others

In March of this year, Andrew Kerec will take on the punishing, self-titled and self-designed ‘Spine Tingling Ride’ – a 5,450 km solo journey across Australia by mountain bike to raise funds and awareness for Project Edge and other life-changing not-for-profits and initiatives including Hartley Life Care and Livable Housing Australia.

The ride connects two places near and dear to the hearts of the Kerec family.


Second annual Lloyd’s Australia Golf Day an inspiring success

With a capacity crowd playing in the 2016 tournament, a great day was enjoyed by all with a putting competition to kick off the event, and another narrow miss on the $20,000 hole-in-one prize generously contributed by sponsor Beazley.

A morning on the greens at Avondale was wrapped up with a fabulous lunch in the club-house followed by prize presentations (with the team from Guy Carpenter victorious on the day), an auction and raffle prize draw.

The winning team from Guy Carpenter

Proceeds from the event have generously been donated to SpinalCure to fund vital medical research into curing paralysis. Having launched Project Edge this year, much of this funding will be directed to helping establish this cutting-edge research initiative at the Centre for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine at UTS.

SpinalCure is honoured to be the standing beneficiary of the event and is very grateful to our partners at Lloyd’s, along with major sponsors XL Catlin, SURA, Steadfast Underwriting Agencies, Beazley, JLT Re and Argenta.

We would also like to thank the many generous prize donors including Blackmores, Marcus and Caroline Blackmore, Pacific Boating & NM Insurance, Gai Waterhouse Racing, The Charity Challenge, Chris & Tina Mackinnon, North Lodge Cottages, Channel 10’s Sandra Sully, Gilchrist Connell, JB Hi-Fi, Suzie White, Beazley, SURA, and Glamazon. As well as many thanks to Matt Laverty, Smokey Dawson and their team for putting on such a fantastic day.

Finally, a big Thank you to Avondale Golf Club for hosting the event and for their generous and spontaneous donation of two rounds of golf on their award-winning course!

SpinalCure CEO Duncan Wallace accepting a sizeable cheque from Lloyd’s Australia Regional Manager Chris MacKinnon

In all, an incredible $30,453 was raised at the event with 100% of those proceeds donated to support spinal cord injury research.

Do you have a great idea for a corporate fundraiser in support of SpinalCure or Project Edge? We would love to support you in this.

Get in touch today to discuss how your organisation can make an impact – contact Kate Retallack, EO Marketing and Partnerships by emailing [email protected] or by calling 0478 045 406. 

Queensland researchers are launching a world-first clinical trial aimed at improving recovery from spinal cord injuries.

In the study, led by The University of Queensland and The Princess Alexandra (PA) Hospital, a new anti-inflammatory drug will be given to participants within hours of spinal trauma in an effort to minimise tissue damage.

Dr Marc Ruitenberg from the UQ School of Biomedical Sciences said when the spinal cord is injured, it becomes inflamed and this causes a lot of additional damage.

Dr Mark Ruitenberg
Dr Mark Ruitenberg PhD

“Up until now, doctors had no real treatment options to deal with this problem,” Dr Ruitenberg said.

“What we discovered in our animal studies is intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) therapy can reduce this harmful inflammation and, excitingly, significantly improve the recovery from serious spinal cord injuries.”

Spinal surgeon Dr Kate Campbell, who is heading up the trial with Dr Ruitenberg, said one of the great benefits of IVIg is that it is quite safe and already used in the hospital for other conditions.

“As a result, we have been able to quickly progress this treatment from the lab to the clinic,” she said.

The trial will run for three years and will aim to recruit 20 participants through the PA Hospital, which is Queensland’s primary centre for spinal injury care.

Queensland Health estimates that 90 people sustain spinal cord injuries in the state each year.

“Sadly, the summer holidays can be a busy time for spinal wards,” Dr Campbell said.

“It’s a time when people are travelling, heading to the beach and spending time outdoors, and unfortunately it’s a time when accidents occur.

“We hope this research will help the recovery of those who suffer these serious injuries.

“It can happen to anyone and we therefore urge people to be careful.”

Dr Ruitenberg’s pre-clinical work received funding support from the Wings for Life Foundation and SpinalCure Australia, while CSL Behring has provided IVIg and funding for the clinical trial.

Dr Andrea Douglas, Vice President R&D Strategy and External Affairs at CSL, said the use of intravenous immunoglobulin in this setting is a novel application for one of CSL’s flagship therapies.

“Spinal injuries are devastating, and with few options available to effectively treat the inflammation that occurs, we are very pleased that Dr Ruitenberg’s team are getting closer to finding a solution.”

Media: Dr Marc Ruitenberg, [email protected], 07 3346 7602; Kim Lyell, [email protected], 07 33465214, 0427 530647.