Grants and Funding

Since 1994, Calvary Mater Newcastle has been supporting its researchers through inhouse competitive grants schemes. These grants would not be possible without generous donations from family and friends of patients, local support from the Coalfields Cancer Support Group, and ongoing bequests established in the memory of Margaret Mitchell, Jane Reid Harle and James Lawrie.

Funding through our grants scheme is awarded through an annual grants round and is available for research equipment and projects being undertaken by Calvary Mater Newcastle staff. Applications and administrations are coordinated through our Research Development and Engagement Committee.

Margaret Mitchell

The Coalfields Cancer Support Group was established in 1999, when a number of Cessnock residents with cancer realised the need for a local cancer support group. An advertisement was placed in the local paper and the membership that subsequently formed evolved into a fundraising group to support cancer research at Calvary Mater Newcastle. After an extraordinary 22 years of fundraising for oncology researchers at the Mater, the Coalfields Cancer Support Group decided to call time on their fundraising in early 2021. Over this time the group raised $667,000 for the hospital which funds the above grant.

This fund was established in 2007, following a bequest to the hospital from the estate of James Lawrie. James was born in December 1927, he remained a bachelor and became a very successful manager of the family property, “Kinross”. He was a diminutive man, weighed approximately 35kg and although he had indifferent health he was very active and hard working. Jim was a member of the Royal Agricultural Society and attended the Sydney Show regularly. His main enjoyment was derived from lawn bowls. Jim was a member of Gresford Bowling Club, where he held various executive positions. James was also a religious man and supported his church with a provision of a legacy in his Will, as well as making considerable donations to other causes including medical research. This fund was established in his memory and is used to support oncology research into head and neck cancer.

This fund was established in 2005 following a bequest to the hospital from the estate of Jane Reid Harle, a patient in our Department of Haematology. ‘Jean’ (Jane) was born in Cessnock in 1916 and spent most of her life working as a domestic for the Teralba Pit Mine Manager in his house at the top of Rogers Street. She eventually married a science professor at Newcastle University and moved into a house surrounded by 12 acres of land, which Jean and the Professor gradually sold off to people coming to Teralba. Throughout her life, Jean was active in and extremely generous to charities. She continued to play tennis until she was almost 70, then took up lawn bowls. She gave up her driver’s license at age 85. Jean passed away in October 2003 and this fund was established in her name to support haematology/oncology research.

Margaret Mitchell was a Novocastrian who worked for the Newcastle Herald and had a flair for investing. Margaret died of cancer in May 1993, aged 70, and among her many bequests was a generous and substantial contribution to the Mater’s Oncology Unit. The Margaret Mitchell Grant Fund was established in 1994 in her honour, and enables small donations to the hospital to be pooled and used to support oncology research.

This fund was established in 2013 to provide support for research at Calvary Mater Newcastle that is not specifically related to oncology, but still important for improving the treatment and care of our patients. Projects funded under this scheme include research designed to benefit the wider community, such as examining how best to implement research findings into clinical practice, or changing models of case to meet best practice.

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