TASCS AUSTRALIA’S 40TH ANNIVERSARY CHARITY GALA
November 12, 2016
On Saturday 5th November, the Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Society of Australia, also known as “TASC Society of Australia” and “TASCS Australia”, marked 40 years of service to the Australian public at the Centre Ivanhoe.
The night kicked off with MC George Donikian providing a brief synopsis of the night and the work of the Society, in serving as a support and education network for the public and specifically people affected by chronic genetic blood conditions like thalassaemia. George went on to briefly speak about how the Society has continued to support medical research into better treatment methods and lobbying for better resources medical practitioners.
After George Donikian’s brief introduction, the anniversary celebrations begun with a vibrant performance by Kofi Kunkpe’s West African Drumming and Dance troupe. This was followed by a modern take on traditional forms of Greek dancing by performers of the Manassis School of Dance.
The night continued with the serving of entrees and then various speeches and testimonies given by people affected by thalassaemia or sickle cell anaemia, together with the doctors who treat them. Of particular interest, Dr Anthea Greeneway and Dr Zane Kaplan spoke at lengths about the issues facing patients and the difficulties of their lifelong treatment with regular blood transfusions and other therapies.
From there the night proceeded with further words from George Donikian bringing attention to the various raffle and auction prizes, along with the teddy bear gifts for thalassaemic and sickle cell children.
Mains were then served, before Dr Malios spoke about the struggles in establishing the Society together with other medical practitioners who sought to educate the public and government authorities about thalassaemia, and the need to invest in better treatment facilities, support services and medical research. This was followed by Mr Sotirios Katakouzinos’ presidential address as to the work the Society has done and continues to do, as well as how the Society had helped him as a person affected by thalassaemia, recalling to memory various recreational activities and the advocacy work which they had done to ensure a better quality of life for him and fellow sufferers.
The night continued with the first round of performance by Jazz’e Band who entertained the crowd with their repertoire of music styles. As desserts were being served, comedian Rosie offered some humourous insights into thalassaemia, before the night proceeded to the raffles, raffle draws and auctions. Amongst the many items available for auction, were the fine porcelain works of John Stroomer. Present amongst the crowd were the Honourable Ms Maria Vamvakinou, Federal member for Calwell and the Honourable Bruce Atkinson of Victoria’s Eastern Metropolitan, Mr George Lekakis of Fronditha Aged Care, Louise McClaren of ApoPharma, along with delegates from Bendigo and Delphi Banks, HACCI, Monash Therapy Unit, the Haemoglobinopathy Registry, Neos Kosmos newspaper, Dunya newspaper and Just Energy. The night continued till its conclusion with Jazz’e Band’s performance of jazz classics.
The Society would like to thank all those who attended and all those who have supported its work over the last forty years.