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Monday, 23 October 2017
Page: 11606


Mr TIM WILSON (Goldstein) (10:33): It is just such an incredible privilege to represent the people of Goldstein in this place. I know you, Deputy Speaker Buchholz, share that about your community as much as I do. But what makes me most proud is the days you can stand up in the parliament and be able to talk about the incredible community activities that bind the social fabric of our community, and no more than an event that was held last month: the fifth annual Connor's Run, a charity event organised by the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation, in the wonderful electorate of Goldstein. Before I raise any concern, I will say that I, although you wouldn't know it by looking at me, completed Connor's Run this year—all 18 kilometres, the full length, from Hampton Life Saving Club to The Boatsheds, along the Yarra. It's a wonderful day to celebrate the life of Robert Connor Dawes and to celebrate the legacy of the work of focusing on how to deal with the challenges of and support for people with paediatric brain cancer.

The foundation was established by the parents of Robert Connor Dawes after Connor's battle with terminal brain cancer. Liz and Scott Dawes were determined to channel Connor's positive fighting spirit into an event to help raise money to combat childhood brain cancers. Since 2013, Connor's Run has raised over $1.7 million, which supported 63 cancer-fighting projects. In this year alone, Connor's Run has raised over $788,000. This money will be spent on supporting a range of causes, including the Aim Brain Project, which is bringing world-class personalised cancer treatment to Australia and which was supported in this year's federal budget under the Turnbull Liberal-National government. The project will support world-leading technology to help doctors better understand and classify individual tumours. With a clearer understanding of each tumour, specialists can then create better personalised treatments not just based on the placement of a tumour but on the actual molecular build. Other projects being supported in 2017 include the CERN Fellowship, Zero Childhood Cancer program and Brain Cancer Biobanking Australia.

Connor's personal mantra during his ordeal was: 'I will be awesome.' This determination to overcome and be awesome is reflected in the idea of the fun run each year. Of course, it isn't just an 18.8 kilometre run. There is also a 9.6 kilometre run for those who aren't up to the arduous task, as I was, from St Kilda into the city.

I want to congratulate not just Liz and Scott Dawes for their incredible work but also the hundreds of volunteers who supported runners along the track, the organisation and the sponsors who contributed to Connor's Run this year and, most importantly, the thousands of constituents and those beyond the Goldstein electorate who took part. Every one of you has made an incredible contribution that makes us immensely proud.