An edited extract of Ron Parker's speech at the 2016 Celebration of Giving:
"We all give for different reasons. My passion is for Cancer Research. Not only did my wife [Janice] die from gastric cancer, but her younger sister has also suffered from cancer.
In early 2014, I was honoured to join the board of the John Curtin Medical Research Foundation. It was only a few months later that Janice was diagnosed with gastric cancer, a diagnosis that devastated our perfect life together.
But in the face of our overwhelming despair and a very grim prognosis, we both knew there was something that we could do within our hopelessness, and that was to invest financially in research that might one day unlock the secrets of this insidious disease and others.
Because investing in research is about putting our money where our hope is. It is about affirming our faith in science and in the men and women who devote their lives to pursuing the breakthroughs that will one day set others free.
For us, donating to ANU is like a variation on 'Shop Local'. This is arguably the best research university in the country and one of the best research universities in the world. It is ours, and the research done here will benefit not only Canberrans, but everyone else as well. We have the skills and the researchers right here, and as locals we especially need to back them and invest in them."