A Legacy of Hope

Gillian has always led a life filled with purpose and passion. From her early days as a school teacher to her 25-year stint in the publishing business, she has never shied away from taking on new challenges. But it was a deeply personal tragedy that truly defined her philanthropic journey and inspired her to leave a lasting legacy.

Gillian’s life changed when her older sister was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and passed away at the age of 37. The loss was devastating, but it also ignited a profound commitment in Gillian to support blood cancer research. Today, she has become a fervent advocate for research funding.

Gillian often thinks about how much the field of blood cancer research has advanced. Reading about the new treatments and improved patient outcomes gives her hope and leads her to believe that it is crucial to support this ongoing research.

In her pursuit to make a difference, Gillian enrolled in a Master’s program in Philanthropy at Swinburne University, a decision that broadened her understanding of giving and charity work. She later joined a philanthropic board and co-launched an initiative in 2014 where individuals collectively donate to support vulnerable women and children. The program has been a success, underscoring the impact of collective effort in philanthropy.

“Philanthropy is something that is very close to my heart. We can all give in different ways, and it is such an important part of our lives. The friendships and connections you make, and the deeper understanding of the issues, give back so much more than what you can give.”

Gillian’s dedication to philanthropy extends beyond her active involvement. She has made a significant decision to include a bequest to the Snowdome Foundation in her will. It is a decision driven by both her personal loss and a desire to see further advancements in treatments for blood cancers.

Gillian’s message to others is clear: if you believe in supporting a cause, take the necessary steps to include it in your will.  She advises that a lot of lawyers do not ask about bequests, so it is important to bring it up. Making a legal provision ensures that your wishes are honoured.

Her philanthropic spirit, shaped by both professional experience and personal tragedy, serves as an inspiration.

“Most people who donate to cancer charities do so because it has touched their lives in some way. I can’t give to every cause, but giving to something meaningful to you is what matters.”

Through her bequest, Gillian hopes to contribute to a future where blood cancer can be cured. Her journey is a testament to the enduring power of love and loss, and the remarkable impact one person can have in the cure for blood cancer.

“Supporting research is always ongoing. It has a long lead time, but if I can assist in that process, even in a small way, I’m happy to do it. It is my way of ensuring my sister’s memory lives on and helps others.”

Published May 2024.