On Friday, 23 February Bushrangers Bar & Brasserie, owned by Bruce and Vicki Woods, will once again hold its Let’s Do Lunch event to raise money for the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI).
As a member of HMRI’s Foundation, a group of local professionals who assist with fundraising for the organisation, Ms Woods said she is extremely passionate about the cause.
“We [Bushrangers Bar & Brasserie] started the Let’s do Lunch series in 2016 for two reasons. One was to raise awareness and the other to raise money,” she said.
“We have held six events in the series so far, all attended by high-profile guest speakers. The money raised then goes to the guest speaker’s area of research at HMRI.”
In the past, guest speakers have included local pioneer breast cancer researcher John Forbes, Mark Hughes - sportsman and founder of the Mark Hughes Foundation for brain cancer, and ABC radio broadcaster Craig Hamilton who has been outspoken in his fight against depression.
While the event has so far been dominated by male presenters, it is no coincidence that in 2018 the event is set to feature a female MC and female guest speaker.
“This year our Let’s Do Lunch event will be raising money for a new Women in Research Scholarship created by HMRI that will support women within the scientific research community,” Ms Woods said.
“We are very supportive of this and as a business we have already given seed money to the model. This event is an additional way to help raise more funding.”
This year’s guest speaker is Associate Professor Nikola Bowden, a molecular biologist currently leading the way in cancer research at HMRI. NBN News’ Natasha Beyersdorf will host the event.
“I've been a long-time supporter of HMRI, both professionally and privately, and I'm always inspired by the originality and quality of research happening right here in the Hunter," Ms Beyersdorf said.
" The Women in Research Fellowship is particularly important, giving women a platform to forge successful careers and make a difference in medical research.