HEIDI DOUGLASS | email@example.com
For the full image gallery, see Wipeout Dementia November 2018 Surf Off.
With people aged 65 and over set to comprise over 20% of the population within the next decade and dementia now the single greatest cause of disability in this demographic, senior executives across Sydney’s property industry joined forces at Bondi Beach on Friday, 23 November to Wipeout Dementia - raising $150,000 for key dementia research at the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), UNSW Sydney.
Surfers in the 23 November Wipeout Dementia event hail from many organisations across the property industry including Colliers International, Aoyuan International, Lendlease, The GPT Group, Ray White Commercial, State Property, m3property, Sense Projects, AMP Australia and Shape Australia. Four teams of surfers have been brought to the Wipeout Dementia cause by Avenor Director Peter Clemesha, Director of Bates Smart Philip Vivian, Craig Rodgers of Charter Hall and Steve Watson, Managing Director of Steve Watson & Partners.
The surfing event, which supports The Dementia Momentum initiative at CHeBA, also aims to highlight the global social and economic impact of dementia.
“Dementia is now estimated to cost Australia more than $15 billion annually,” says Wipeout Dementia Ambassador and Spokesman for The Dementia Momentum, Richard Grellman AM.
“By 2056 the total cost of dementia is predicted to increase to more than $36.8 billion in today’s dollars,” he said. “Clearly we need a colossal increase in funding to support key research to alter the course of dementia forecasts.”
With the expansion of aged care development across the globe to accommodate our ageing population, there is also an ever-increasing demand for specialist dementia facilities and care.
“Currently more than 52% of permanent residents in Australian aged care facilities have dementia,” says CHeBA’s Co-Director Professor Henry Brodaty AO.
“The projections clearly indicate this is only going to increase,” he said.
A number of the surfers who participated in the event have family members with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, known only too well by Richard Grellman AM whose wife Suellen has advanced young onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Director of AWM Commercial Furniture & Joinery and second time surfer in Wipeout Dementia, Anthony Scotts, has witnessed first-hand the devastating impact that dementia has on the individual and extended family - with both his father being diagnosed some 20 years ago and passing away earlier this year and, more recently, another family member being diagnosed aged just 62. One of 8 children, Mr Scotts and his siblings are hopeful for better support of people with young onset Alzheimer's disease.
“My sibling became very socially withdrawn and struggled with short-term memory,” said Mr Scotts.
“The rest of our family have been discouraged by the level of support available for young onset Alzheimer’s disease,” he said.
“It’s certainly the reason I got on board Wipeout Dementia and an important cause I want to support,” said Mr Scotts.
In 2017, Director and Founder of AN+A, Patrick Nicholas, lost his father - Graeme Nicholas - to vascular dementia.
“My dad, Graeme, loved Bondi Beach and the surf and led a very active life. When he was first diagnosed with vascular dementia we were lucky in that we managed to get him moved from the Central Coast to Surry Hills near the office and had some great contact as a family over his last few years. As hard as it was to experience his changing condition to an eventual complete decline, we were extremely impressed with the care and medical attention dad received,” said Mr Nicholas.
“In saying that, this event and fundraiser is all about research and awareness and I wonder what we would have done differently 10 years ago with our father knowing what I’ve now learned,” he said.
Another first-time participant, Rodney Jamieson, of FDC Construction & Fitout bore witness to his loving Nan experiencing ‘sundowners’ dementia in the late stages of her life.
“Two years after my Grandfather had passed my Nan started having visions of him daily at 5pm with another woman,” says Mr Jamieson.
“After 67 years of a beautiful marriage together her ‘sundowning’ was extraordinarily traumatic for her and for all of us,” he said. “It broke my heart to watch my Nan decline with dementia and for such a cruel end to her life.”
Fellow first-time participant, Craig Shelsher, Director at Custance Associates shares a similar story of his father’s brother, whose cognitive decline has advanced rapidly following his diagnosis three years ago aged just 71.
“My father and his brother forged a very successful construction business together,” he said.
“My Uncle is now at a point where he does not recognise family members,” says Mr Shelsher.
Personal stories such as these inspire CHeBA’s academics to continue to expand their research across the full spectrum of the disease beyond drug treatments, to include early diagnosis and prevention strategies in mid-life to reduce modifiable risk factors associated with dementia.
Professor Brodaty, who leads Maintain Your Brain; the world’s largest internet-based intervention study at CHeBA, says there is a critical need to target early to mid-life to reduce risk of dementia.
“We are certainly advocating the potential of these interventions to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias,” he said.
Today’s Wipeout Dementia event is the eighth run by CHeBA and seeks to promote awareness about the modifiable risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias while driving research funds to harness global research to prevent dementia.
1978 World Surfing Champion, Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew AM, who has competed in all eight Wipeout Dementia events in his Ambassador role for the cause, congratulated the property industry on coming together for this cause and thanked Professor Henry Brodaty for his life’s dedication to discovering answers to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Reigning champions ‘Cliff’s Carvers’ were determined to hold onto the trophy and did so with a clear win on the scoreboard for the November 2018 team title. Captain Craig Rodgers of Charter Hall said it was a privilege to be involved as a surfer and he urged more of the property industry to get on board and thanked his team for their efforts.
A Gerry Lopez ‘Gnarly Award’ for highest fundraiser was taken by Steve Watson, Captain of Watto’s Wavehunters and Managing Director of Steve Watson & Partners who raised over $14,000 for CHeBA. Special thanks go to runner up Patrick Nicholas with over $13,000 raised and Joel Ducey and Rodney Jamieson who both raised over $10,000. All three runners up took home a competition DHD board for their extraordinary efforts.
Watto’s Wavehunters stole the glory of highest fundraising team raising more than $55,000 for the cause and receive an opportunity to celebrate together thanks to in-kind supporter The Bucket List.
A number of other awards were announced on the day including the prestigious peer-vote ‘Player’s Player’ who received a stunning Anthony Glick Bondi Beach towel and Blanca dining voucher. This award went to Steve Watson whose father has just recently been confined to a nursing home with dementia.
“Watching the decline of a vibrant and intelligent man who taught me to embrace life as a grand adventure has been difficult over the last few years,” said Mr Watson.
“The decision to move him to full time care was inevitable but still feels terrible. Raising money for Dementia research is something tangible I can do to help others facing this in the future,” he said.
Most Valuable Player awards this year, voted by the teams Captains, went to Stephen Newey of Cliff’s Carvers, Darren Beasley of Phil’s Goats, Ali Clemesha of Clemo’s Diehards and Patrick Nicholas of Watto’s Wavehunters.
Campaign MVP awards went to Darren Beasley and George Sharpe who were nominated by Heidi Douglass, creator of Wipeout Dementia and coordinator of the event due to their extraordinary personal efforts to increase corporate sponsorship, raise funds, attendance at all events and referral of new property industry surfers, respectively taking home a Hurley Wetsuit and Scentre Group voucher alongside Hurley merchandise.
Two Wipeout Awards were taken home this year: first was an attempt at a barrel roll on the shorey that ended up being drydocked from third time participant Peter Kleijn and the other was a total commitment to a wave that saw team captain Philip Vivian receive a headbutt from his board.
This year’s top scoring Wave of the Day award went to Matthew Faddy who, after producing multiple back hand snaps got to take home a pack of Hurley and DHD merchandise. Second and third highest wave scorers in this round who took home DHD leg ropes, hoodie towels and caps were Anthony Scotts and Scott Anderson.
Richard Grellman confirmed that the property industry executives had well surpassed their target raising over $150,000 to advance the large-scale, “big data” research being conducted at CHeBA.
Hurley and The Bucket List and Scentre Group have provided significant in-kind support.
Judging was conducted by Global Surf Tag.
Photography by Sprout Daily.
Event bag in-kind support provided by Bounce Australia; Fine Fettle Foods; FDC Construction & Fitout; Harvest Box; Loving Earth; Monster Health Food Co; Slim Secrets; The Happy Snack Company; Think Products and WSL.
To sponsor one of the Wipeout Dementia participants go to:
For more information about the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), visit www.cheba.unsw.edu.au
Participants in the November 2018 Wipeout Dementia contest were:
CLEMO’S DIEHARD SURFERS – captain Peter Clemesha of Avenor
Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew – 1978 World Surfing Champion
Peter Clemesha – Director, Avenor
Ali Clemesha – Account Manager, NewsCorp
Joel Ducey – Director, m3property
Matthew Faddy – Head of Office & Logistics, The GPT Group
Badier Kubis – Head of Projects, Tango Projects
Jeff Moxham – Managing Director, Ray White Commercial
David Scardoni – Director, Stamford Capital Australia
George Sharpe – Builder Broker, Haigs Builder Brokers
PHIL’S GOATS – captain Philip Vivian of Bates Smart
Darren Beasley – Deputy General Manager, Aoyuan Property Group
Mark Gross – Director, Morgans Financial
Peter Kleijn – Design Manager, Winten Property Group
Brett Newman – CEO, State Property
Karl Riedel – Finance Lead for Asia Pacific Buildings & Infrastructure, Jacobs/SKM
Adam Russell – Principal Architect, Roberts Day
Martin Taylor – NSW Architect, Creatures of Habitat
Chris Tootell – Senior Project Manager, Tango Projects
Philip Vivian – Director, Bates Smart
CLIFF’S CARVERS – captain Craig Rodgers of Charter Hall
Scott Anderson – Director, Colliers International
Brett Eichhorn – Director, Sense Projects
Vince Kernahan – National Director, Institutional & Investment Services (NSW), Colliers International
Darren Mansfield – Practice Director, Context
Stephen Newey – Director, Head of Operations & Sustainability – Jones Lang LaSalle
Craig Rodgers – Innovation Lead, Charter Hall
Anthony Scotts – Director, AWM Commercial Furniture & Joinery
Sam Wicks – Director, Baldwin Wicks
Phill Wicks – General Manager, Shape Australia
WATTO’S WAVEHUNTERS – captain Steve Watson of Steve Watson & Partners
Pip de Rohan – Director of Strategy, Project One
Rodney Jamieson – Business Development Director – FDC Construction & Fitout
Patrick Nicholas – Director, AN+A
Iain Pretty – Projects Director, AMP
Anthony Roberts – Senior Project Manager - Lendlease
Craig Shelsher – Director, Custance Associates
Duncan Young – Head of Health & Wellbeing, Property - Lendlease
Steve Watson – Managing Director, Steve Watson & Partners
Heidi Douglass | | 0435 579 202 | (02) 9382 3398