The Margaret Pratt Foundation

2011 News and Events PDF Print

The Foundation is donating $107,500 in 2011
The Margaret Pratt Foundation is pleased to announce that it will be donating $107,500 to The Alfred Foundation as part of its continuing commitment to lung transplant research which will provide:  

1) Continued support for A/Prof Bronwyn Levvey as lung transplant clinical research coordinator. The request is for 0.5 EFT which is $45,000 per year.

Bronwyn continues to play a major role as coordinator of the chronic rejection research efforts, focusing clinical, database and organizational skills to a very complex field. Her extensive background in the lung transplant field enables The Alfred to uniquely tackle large projects others cannot.

She will continue to collect short term and long term data on Donation-after-Cardiac Death (DCD) transplant outcomes. The team are currently writing up their initial experience with DCD transplants, noting less chronic rejection than associated with traditional Donation-after-Brain-Death (DBD) lung transplants. The aim for 2011 is to expand the data spreadsheet and, with the assistance of A/Prof Tom Kotsimbos' team and collaborators in the Alfred Department of Anaesthetics, attempting to explain the mechanisms behind these differences. The latter is a new project aiming to understand the hormonal and inflammatory effects of DCD and DBD. Part of this project will actually attempt to protect the transplanted lung from the adverse effects of brain death, so they work better in the short and long term,

Bronwyn will also be coordinating and collating results of changes in the hospital's immunosuppression protocol. In modifying the immune suppression protocol to focus on tacrolimus, instead of cyclosporine, the team are hoping for a lower rate and extent of acute and chronic rejection.

Bronwyn will continue to maintain databases that underpin the more basic research of Tom Kotsimbos' group, as well as the applied clinical research of Glen Westall.

2) Continued support for Aislin Meehan, a PhD Scholar.

Aislin is commencing the second year of her PhD and her work is already outputting interesting results on the effects of different immune suppressing drugs on subtypes of inflammatory cells (='NK cells') within the lung - cells that are linked to the development of chronic lung rejection. Aislin has now achieved NHMRC Monash University scholarship support, but The Alfred are seeking a further $7,500 as further research support from The Margaret Pratt Foundation to continue this work.

3) Continued support for Tara Bull, a PhD Scholar.

Tara is continuing her work in the role of Clara cells (a repair cell) to see if reduced Clara cell function is a risk factor for chronic lung rejection. Tara has already expanded into a large cohort looking at a protein produced by Clara cells called Clara cell secretory protein, and has demonstrated genetic abnormalities associated with poorer lung transplant outcomes. The Alfred out seeking a further full scholarship of $25,000 for Tara to finish her work in the final year of her PhD.

4) New support for Dr Nicole Mifsud PhD, as a laboratory investigator.

Nicole is taking on a new project as mentioned above in 1) overlapping with Bronwyn's role. Blood samples taken around the time of the actual transplant operation will be analyzed from lung donors and recipients (of DBD and DCD transplants), looking at patterns of inflammation, hormone and cytokine release. The team believe early signals will predict short term function of the lungs, and indeed set up the lungs immunological environment in such a way as to explain long term function and dysfunction (=chronic rejection). The Alfred are seeking $30,000 as 0.4 EFT to establish this project in 2011. They hope to establish pilot data to move forward to a larger grant to continue this project over a number of years.


Red Heart Tree Project
Workshops - Sat 26 Nov, Thu 1 Dec, Sun 4 Dec & Thu 8 Dec

  'Bombing' of tree - Sat 17 Dec

  Our new sponsors Opendrawer created a terrific fundraiser leading up to Christmas, helping to raise funds by encouraging everyone to create red or pink handmade hearts! The hearts were then 'bombed' onto their Christmas tree in a wonderful display of colour and creativity.

Participants either attended one of the $15 workshops, or made their heart at home, donating the workshop fee instead. 

Click here for more information



Skip for Rejection

Geelong to Melbourne 80kms

Sunday 13 November 2011

Chris Pratt, a nephew of Founders Margaret & Tony Pratt, decided to raise funds for The Foundation by skipping 80kms from Geelong to Melbourne (via back roads). 

  Chris allowed 12 hours to complete the challenge, and set off from the Geelong Pier around 5:30pm. His efforts were enormous given he was skipping roughly the distance of two marathons back-to-back! Along the way he had motivation from his trainer, who was also skipping, and support vehicles complete with flashing lights.

In the meantime his supporters started to gather at the Woolshed Pub in Docklands from 4pm to await his triumphant arrival. A little later, but understandably given the challenges, around 100 supporters cheered as he crossed the finishing line (much to the relief of his mother and committee member Judy Pratt). An amazing effort!

You can continue to support the 'Skip for Rejection' campaign Chris has founded by purchasing or selling wrist bands @ $5 or T shirts @ $50, with all proceeds going to The Foundation. Email Wendy on This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for details.

Chris will no doubt be resting up over the coming months, however plans to hold a skipping event in some form annually ... so stay tuned!

Check out event details and his progress on the Skip for Rejection website.





'High Seas & Stakes' on M.V. Mandalay

Saturday 22 October 2011

The 'High Seas & Stakes' event weathered stormy forecasts on the night, however all out guests seemed to have a great time from all accounts. No one fell overboard either which was a bonus. The 'High Roller Poker Tournament' was a great success with some keen poker faces battling for supremacy!

Many thanks to the organisers, Ann & Wendy, as well as committee members and partners who donated their time during the evening. In addition, Keith and the great staff onboard M.V. Mandalay. Over $8,000 was raised which was terrific. The Margaret Pratt Foundation would like to also recognise the following generous sponsors:
  • Murray Downs Golf Resort
  • Mantra Erskine Beach Resort
  • Mystic Valley Resort
  • Jo Murphy personalised shopping experience
  • The Ark Clothing Company
  • Marion and Michael Webster
  • Cindy and Marcus Watson
  • Wendy and Gordon Jenkins
  • Online Cellars
  • Coppin Grove Wines
  • Turner and Lane Home Wares, Gifts and Hampers




The Hottie Challenge Gala @ The OpenDrawer

Friday 1 July 2011

  The Opendrawer - Art Gallery

1158 Toorak Road Hartwell Village Camberwell 

The Foundation was excited that The Opendrawer's talented owners, Prue Barridge & Robyn Steel-Stickland, generously selected The Margaret Pratt Foundation as their chosen charity.
The Opendrawer team commenced their support by holding a unique Hottie Challenge with 100% of entry fees and sales going to the Foundation. 
The exhibition ran from 1 - 24 July and was officially opened with a Gala on Friday 1 July @ 6pm. There was a terrific turnout on the night with around 130 imaginative hotties to view & purchase. Over half of the hotties were sold, in addition to funds raised through a gold coin voting process.  




The Ark @ The Beachcomber

Thursday 19 May 2011

A very successful lunch was held at The Beacomber restaurant in St Kilda, with guests enjoying a lovely 3 course meal and drinks in a relaxed setting. Alfred researchers Nicole, Tara and Aislin provided an informative overview of their current projects which was very interesting to learn about.

The Ark team then showcased their famous 'Workshop Your Shape' which was full of wonderful tips & tricks to make us all look fantastic. In conjunction with the raffle, we raised over $4,100 which was a great effort. This was a tribute to the hard work of committee members, especially Ann, Barb & Edwina.

Many thanks to The Beachcomber, The Ark, The Alfred researchers & The Alfred Foundation for their support.



Collingwood Childrens Farm

Sunday 20 March 2011

With a perfect sunny day to greet everyone, we were off to a great start. Adults and children alike had a fabulous time exploring the farm on organised tours around this terrific inner city working farm. The children had a chance to milk a cow, feed the pigs and goats, and to cuddle a guinea pig. 

Farmer Andrew took us on tractor rides, and each child received a farm themed showbag which included a wonderful activity book put together by committee members Kerrie & Sandra, coloured pencils, stickers, toy farm animals donated by W.D Rose & Joseph Allison Funerals, as well as donated cheese from Devondale. One lucky family won the raffle, consisting of Shayz Flat Shiraz donated by Chris Pratt, and a beautifully knitted Babar elephant made by Margaret Silverton.

Organisers Wendy & Gordon would also like to thank the Collingwood Childrens Farm for their support on the day, particularly Alex Walker and the 3 terrific tour guides who did a fantastic job keeping the kids entertained. $790 was raised on the day from ticket sales & the raffle. 


Tractor Ride



  Trivia Night

Saturday 26 February 2011

A great time was had by over hundred people who turned out for our entertaining Trivia Night. Each of the 10 tables picked a theme and soon the French teams were mingling with the Purple People Eaters, Geelong Football Fans, Alfred Sweethearts and the Madhatters, while the Hawaiian Five O team took home the prize for best theme. Not surprisingly the Quiz Kids took home the main prize, followed by the 'Men in Black' who were delighted to beat their wives all dressed in white. The competitive edge came to the front in the paper aeroplane competition, and one lucky person took home over 5,000 jellybeans by guessing the closest number! Over $3,500 was raised going towards a Resmed VPAP IV St machine for the Alfred Hospital.

Special thanks to our Trivia Master George Voyager and his wife Jenny, and their great assistant Martin. We are also very appreciate of the Hampton Uniting Church for lending us their hall, and the terrific efforts of Ian to help us get it looking so great. A total of $3,500 was raised.  



Bunnings Warehouse Sausage Sizzle

Saturday 8 January 2011

Committee members and supporters manned the BBQ at Bunnings Warehouse in Burwood Road, Hawthorn to raise more vital funds. Working in shifts, the teams ably supported Gordon Jenkins, who took on the task of organising the event and then cooking all day. Everyone seemed to enjoy the tasty sausages, with many coming back for seconds! $1,300 was raised in total. 
We would like to particularly thanks our corporate supporters for the day:
  • Bakers Delight (bread)
  • Peter G Bouchier Butchers of Distinction (sausages)
  • Bunnings Warehouse (BBQ stand & support) 


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