Fred Binns practised as an orthopaedic surgeon in Hobart for 30 years. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease not long after he retired in 2003 and died of complications of Parkinson’s in 2013 at the age of 74.
In mid 2014 it was decided to establish a Foundation in his name to raise money to establish a fund to provide donations to organisations involved in all aspects of the disease – research, community support and services to Parkinson’s sufferers. Fred’s widow Di Binns brought together a group of people with specific expertise in Parkinson’s disease, corporate governance, fundraising and investment management as an advisory board which worked for the latter part of 2014.
The Advisory Board is:
- Mrs Di Binns,
- Mr Ian Griffiths,
- Dr Cliff Kelland,
- Mr Simon Kelland,
- Mr Carl Rooke, and
- Mr Keith Stacey.
Any organisation involved in Parkinson’s disease research or services can apply to the Foundation for funding. In the short term, it is expected that applications for funding will be received from:
- Parkinson’s Tasmania,
- The Menzies Institute for Clinical Research
- The Department of Medicine at the University of Tasmania
- The Parkinson’s Unit
Some examples of the types of projects likely to be funded are:
- Research undertaken into Parkinson’s disease in Tasmania.
- Projects undertaken by Parkinson’s Tasmania involving care of patients and their families and carers.
- Projects undertaken by Parkinson’s Tasmania for education of the public and for education of professionals involved in patient care.
The various organisations listed as likely recipients of funds from the Foundation have particular expertise in their own areas but the raising of funds is only part of what they do.
Similarly those whose families have been touched by Parkinson’s disease and who would like to donate to Parkinson’s research and services have no simple, readily accessible conduit for donating funds specifically for the full range of Parkinson’s research and services.
The Fred Binns Parkinson’s Foundation fulfils two important functions:
1. As a dedicated and committed fundraiser for the cause of further understanding and supporting advances in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease; and
2. As an “expert” assessor of grant applications to ensure that funds are disbursed in a manner likely to provide beneficial outcomes.
Why Tasmania as a base for the Foundation?
There is a high level of Parkinson’s disease research activity already happening in Tasmania, particularly through the Menzies Centre for Medical Research and the University of Tasmania.
One of the consequences of Tasmania having a static population (compared to the rest of Australia) is that population based medical research is easier to conduct and hypotheses can be more accurately tested than in many other areas of the country. Being a regional centre, research is also less expensive than in major capital cities.
That doesn’t mean that the Foundation has a narrow Tasmanian focus though – it will consider applications for funding strictly on merit from any eligible organisation in Australia.
Similarly it will actively seek donations Australia wide because the benefits from the Foundations will flow to all Parkinson’s sufferers in Australia.
The Foundation is a Deductible Gift Recipient, registered with the ACNC and Australian Tax Office as a Public Ancillary Fund and is only involved in raising, managing and disbursing money to other DGRs involved in medical research and service provision. The Foundation does not undertake research or provide services.