The Margaret Pratt Foundation

Summer Newsletter 2006 PDF Print

Newsletter 2005/06

Click here to download the 2006 Margaret Pratt Foundation Financial Report  

Margaret’s Message
What a year it has been!!

As many of you know, 2006 has been particularly challenging for me. In January I became ill with chronic lung rejection and, as my health deteriorated, I was forced to spend many months in hospital. I was placed on a waiting list for a third double lung transplant and in August became the first person in Australia to receive such a transplant – a record I would rather not hold!!

I am enormously grateful to my family and friends who have supported me in so many ways during this difficult time. My husband Tony has been unstinting in his care and devotion and I thank him from the bottom of my heart.

My thanks go also to the wonderful surgical and medical teams at the Alfred Hospital who cared for me with such professionalism and dedication. As a result of their efforts I am well on the road to recovery and am even more determined that the Margaret Pratt Foundation will continue to raise funds for ongoing research to control, and eventually to prevent, chronic lung rejection.

Despite my enforced withdrawal from many activities this year, the Margaret Pratt Foundation has gone from strength to strength under the direction of Ann Cohn who so willingly took over the running of the Foundation. Her organisational skills and enthusiasm, combined with the generous support and commitment of our committee members and volunteers ensured that the fundraising efforts and the promotion of the Foundation’s work continued in my absence. Over $36,000 has been raised from functions during the year – a great result!!

Since I last wrote to you the MPF has donated an amazing $82,000 to the Alfred Hospital.

My personal thanks go to you all.

The Margaret Pratt Foundation is extremely grateful for the generous and on going support it received in 2006 from our major corporate supporters, W D Rose and Joseph Allison Funerals, Bakers Delight and
Leo’s Fine Food & Wine
. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! We look forward to continuing our wonderful relationship with you in 2007. 

Finally, to all who have attended events this year, to all who have donated so generously and to all who have volunteered their time and talent, my heartfelt thanks. To new friends, I welcome you and hope that you will continue to support the work of the Foundation in any way you can.

Our committees have exciting plans for the coming year and I encourage you to check for diary dates on our website - - which has been beautifully revamped by Lcubed – our newest corporate supporter. My thanks to Karen and Luke and the team at Lcubed for their help with this very important project.

Christmas is fast approaching and Sandra Bishop and I are about to deliver the annual WD Rose and Joseph Allison angels to patients in the Respiratory and Intensive Care wards at the Alfred. These angels are given as a small reminder that we are thinking of the patients at this time and wishing them a speedy recovery. I send you all a “virtual angel” as I am thinking of you all with gratitude and I wish you peace, good health and a happy and safe festive season.



DIARY DATE: Sunday 25th February 2007.
Coppin Grove Wines invite you to
in support of The Margaret Pratt Foundation
A day of fun, food, wine and frivolity. Places STRICTLY limited so reserve your place at this harvest festival with a difference.


Carols in the Vineyard

On the 4th of December 2005, 300 guests were treated to a wonderful evening of pre Christmas entertainment at Coppin Grove Wines.

The vineyard on the banks of the Yarra in Hawthorn provided the perfect setting with Melbourne’s always reliable weather (!!) producing a balmy, summer night. Delicious picnic boxes, prepared by hardworking volunteers under the direction of Marie Green, together with very special, very local wine from the Coppin Grove vines, contributed to the festive atmosphere.

The Melbourne Male Welsh Choir presented a wonderful program of traditional and modern Christmas Carols and led the guests in the singing of several well known and well loved carols.

Performances by the Dambai dancers, magic tricks by the Great Gizmo and songs from the folk group,

“Come Alive” rounded out the evening’s entertainment.  In addition, the silent auction and several stalls provided guests with opportunities to do some Christmas shopping in a very relaxed atmosphere.

The evening was great fun and a huge success, raising in excess of $25,000 for the Foundation.

Our thanks go to our many generous supporters who sponsored the entertainment or donated food, drinks and labour to ensure that our expenses were minimal.

One guest commented, “Only in multi-cultural Melbourne could a Welsh choir be led in by a Scottish piper and supported by dancers from the Sudan!!”

Open Garden

On 1st October 2006, as part of Australia’s Open Garden Scheme, 650 people visited Miegunyah, one of Melbourne’s premier stately gardens. Special features of this beautiful garden include magnificent mature trees, sweeping lawns, richly planted borders and a bountiful kitchen garden. 

The garden was at its spectacular best on the day and a team of 26 hardworking volunteers greeted visitors, sold raffle tickets and beautiful hand made gifts and jams, and served countless Devonshire Teas. Simon Taylor, the Head Gardener, was on hand to answer questions and spent several hours patiently identifying plants for keen gardeners. Visitors were especially interested in the history of the property and in the measures taken to manage the conservation and use of water in the garden.

Margaret’s unexpected appearance was a great thrill for us all as she had been so recently discharged from hospital. To see her laughing and chatting with visitors reminded us all why we are so committed to the work of the Foundation.

Our thanks to Vivien and Philip Brass whose generosity in opening their garden resulted in more than $5000 being raised for the Foundation.



The Plaza Ballroom was the fabulous venue for our major fundraising event of 2006. WD Rose and Joseph Allison’s Sandra Bishop and her team surpassed even their high standards in the effort they put in to ensuring the success of this wonderful event.

Guests were treated to delicious food and wine in a wonderfully romantic setting. The four parades of glamorous hats showcased by our milliners Shai Tabassi, Sandra Buchanan, Richard Nylon and the MPF Committee’s own JD Mannington were breathtaking.

The phantom racing program was hilarious and the bookmakers suitably suspect!! Tony Rickard’s call of the “Phantom Turnbull Stakes” was an exciting prelude to the Spring Racing Carnival although some of us are still wondering about that fall at the finish Tony!!

Both the silent auction and the major auction gave our ever generous supporters the opportunity to make sure that their credit cards and cheque books were fully functional for the Spring Racing Carnival and at the same time gave our volunteers an exhausting workout.

The “Lucky Alfred Bears”, offering the chance to win a beautiful ring, were hugely popular

and sold very quickly - a cuddly toy has wide appeal - but then so do diamonds and rubies!!

We are thrilled to announce - hot off the press - that the event raised over $31,000 for the Foundation.

Thank you, thank you, thank you is all we can say to our friends at WD Rose and Joseph Allison Funerals - you certainly do “Know What To Do”.

News from the Alfred

In June 2006 the Alfred Hospital established Australia’s first Paediatric Lung Transplant Program to care for children with cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis and other severe lung disorders. The program will be delivered in partnership with the Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Medical Centre.

Congratulations to Associate Professor
Tom Kotsimbos, whom the MPF has supported in the past, on his recent receipt of a prestigious RHMRC 3 year project grant to further his research into the causes of chronic rejection in lung transplant recipients.

The Alfred’s Heart/Lung Transplant unit has successfully performed its 1000th lung transplant in the past year. None of these transplants would have been possible without organ donation.

Research Projects Funded in 2006

The Margaret Pratt Foundation donated $52,000.00 to the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne supporting the following:

The Foundation continued to support the work of Dr Ling Zheng, Laboratory Manager of the lung transplant research unit. Dr Zheng’s investigations into airway inflammation and airway obstruction have advanced understanding of this most difficult and devastating problem.

It is hoped that Dr Zheng’s research will lead to the development of early detection of deteriorating lung function, thereby facilitating the implementation of useful therapeutic interventions to prevent rejection of transplanted lungs.

Associated Professor Tom Kotsimbos has been supported by the MPF to continue his investigations into the interrelationships between lung transplant outcome, immune responses and virus activation and the implications of these interrelationships in chronic lung rejection.

The work of the Cardiac Surgical Research Unit which the MPF has continued to support, aims to improve the preservation of donor lungs and ensure that they are given to the recipient in the best possible condition.


Research Projects accepted for 2007

    1. $25,000 to Nicole Mifsud who has completed her PhD and is doing a Post Doc in the Alfred Research laboratories. She will be assisting A. Prof Tom Kotsimbos with his project looking at the relationship between viral infections and the immune response in lung transplant recipients.
    1. $25,000 as part funding of a research assistant to support Dr Ling Zheng and Nicole Mifsud’s activities. Ling has now received a Pharmaceutical award to proceed with her research freeing the MPF to fund other researchers.
    1. $5,000 for a dynamap which monitors blood pressure, pulse and O2 saturation during 6 minute walk tests which are a key end point in pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary fibrosis studies.


Progressive Committee Report

The MPF Progressive Committee is made up of a group of young people who aim to assist the Foundation by acting as volunteers at fundraising activities as well as conducting our own fund raising events.

This year we assisted at the Carols in the Vineyard by working on stalls and serving drinks and food as well as adding our fabulous voices to those of the choir!!

The Hats and Horses Charity night at the plaza Ballroom saw two tables of youthful attendees lose quite a bit of MPF play money on the horses and them some real $’s vying for the gorgeous ruby and diamond ring donated by our friend Sarah from Studio Ingot.

Our annual Trivia Night, held this year at Billy Bell’s hotel in South Melbourne, was a great success. We raised over $1400 for the Foundation with the help of Marty from Star Trivia. The winning table left happy with wine donated by

Special thanks to our core group of volunteers Kate Tuckey, Chris Pratt, Owen and Pernille Cavanough and Pauline Naug.

The Margaret Pratt Foundation Heart Lung Transplant Trust

The Margaret Pratt Foundation Heart Lung Transplant Trust is a registered charity whose mission is to encourage, develop and maintain Australia’s world class expertise in the field of organ transplantation by supporting research which addresses problems faced by children and adults after lung transplantation. The aim of the research must be to improve outcomes for heart and lung transplant recipients.

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