A family inspired by research

A family inspired by research

Illuminate newsletter index page, December 2019
December 2019

Mandy Cranwell (second from left) working at the Institute in the 1970s
Louise's late Mum, Mandy (pictured third from left)
worked at the Institute in the 1970s and 80s.

When Louise was a little girl, her mum Mandy would share stories about her work at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

“She would say that it felt like working in a big family,” says Louise.

“I was always excited to hear mum talk about the work researchers undertook to help people with serious illnesses.”

Childhood highlight

One of Louise’s childhood highlights was school holidays when she was allowed to go to work with her mum.

“The first time I came to the Institute I was in primary school. I remember coming to the building and seeing all the people in the labs dressed in white. It was so exciting seeing them stare down microscopes and all the fancy equipment,” Louise remembers.

“I felt so privileged to see first-hand the work of the researchers, but the best part was when I got to share it with my friends. I remember saying yes, this is the cool place where my mum works.”

Personal connection

Man and woman smiling at camera
Louise (right) and Leo Palazzo, who
hosted the event at Killara Estate Winery.

Louise spent the following 15 years visiting the Institute during school holidays.

“My aunt worked at the Institute for many years and so did my uncle; it’s where they first met. My grandfather, on my father’s side, worked for the Institute and that’s how my mother met my father. Our family have so many connections to the Institute, directly and indirectly, professionally and personally,” says Louise.

“I spent most of my childhood being inspired by the hard work of my mum and her peers. In fact, conversations at the dinner table and family gatherings were often about the groundbreaking research at the Institute.

In a way, that experience helped me grow into the adult I am now and that’s why I want to support research just as my mum and my family did.”

A generous gift

Louise decided to support the Institute by raising funds on her 40th birthday, at an event supported and hosted by Leo Palazzo at the Killara Estate Winery.

Woman and man smiling at camera
Louise's friend Libby (left) and
colleague Kevin, who helped Louise
to plan and run the fundraiser.

At the celebration, her aunt and uncle shared memories of their time at the Institute and related stories of how some of the discoveries made at the Institute have assisted family members in times of chronic illness.

The generosity of her family and friends exceeded Louise’s expectations. They raised more than $4000 to support life-changing research at the Institute.

“It was a very special day because, in a way, my family and friends were honouring the work of my late mum, as part of the Institute family. It means a lot to me,” Louise says.

Thank you to Louise, her family and friends for their generous support of the Institute.

More information

If you would like to support the Institute, contact 03 9345 2403 or fundraising@wehi.edu.au

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