Telstra Business Award Finalist



7 July 2016


‘Helping End Childhood Cancer, One Adventure at a Time’

A PERTH charity that has raised more than $8.5m for childhood cancer research – through sponsored adventure tours around the world – is a finalist in the 2016 Telstra Business Awards for the first time.

Emily Parish, co-founder of Telethon Adventurers with her husband Rick, said: “The Telethon Adventurers team is thrilled to announce that it is a Western Australian finalist in the 2016 Telstra Business Awards – Charity section.”

“We are so grateful to each and every one of you who have contributed to this charity. It is only because of our committed and passionate community that Telethon Adventurers is where it is today. Your hard work and drive are the reasons why our mission has been so successful. When we started Telethon Adventurers six years ago, we could never have imagined that the charity would have such a positive impact on the lives of so many affected by childhood brain cancer.

“The hard work of all the event participants, and their support crews, over the past six years has been amazing. We have been continually surprised by how much so many of you have given and now the charity (that you all helped to create to celebrate Elliot's legacy) has been officially recognised by the prestigious Telstra Business Awards.”

She said research into treatment of brain cancer in children in WA was at the forefront globally, but urgent funds were needed to continue that work.

“Treatment options for childhood brain cancer, nor survival rates for those that suffer from it, haven’t progressed in decades, yet it is the most deadliest and least funded disease,” Mrs Parish said. “Every year Telethon Adventurers raises extraordinary amounts of funds (more than $8.5 million to date) to help end childhood cancer and we focus on supporting those on the front line: medical professionals conducting research into brain tumors.”

There are several main Perth-based programs that funding has gone into including: Brain Tumour Immune Therapy Research; Drug Discovery Program; and the Elliot Parish Fellowship in Cancer Research at the Telethon Kids’ Institute; and the Telethon Adventurers Fellowship in Haematology and Oncology at the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children.

“We are as committed as ever to helping kids with cancer but we can only do this with the continued support of the generous Western Australian community,” Mrs Parish said.

The winner will be announced this Friday night.

To donate right now, please go to:

For more information please contact:

Narelle Antonio, administration and marketing coordinator, Telethon Adventures, 0402311186

Cate Rocchi, CEO Perth Media, 0428431699


2016 Adventures (Organised by Telethon Adventurers): Places still available.

 Singapore Luxury Survivor (July 29- August 1, 2016) 

An adventure of a different kind for Telethon Adventurers! This adventure is for the discerning person who won't climb a mountain but who still wants to do their bit to raise money for Telethon Adventurers... in a more comfortable way.

 Singapore Luxury Survivor will be a four-day escape to Singapore that will test your skills to "outshop", "outraise" and "outlast" your teammates. You will be based in a luxurious 5 star hotel, seeing the sights, trying your hand at skydiving without jumping out of a plane and many other exciting experiences.

Cost: $3,600 (plus your fundraising promise of at least $5,000). Team Leaders are Emily Parish and Paul McAllister. Registrations of Interest to:

Bali Mt Agung (September 22-September 26, 2016) 

Short on time and craving some adventure, then this little Bali getaway is for you! It is mountains meets water meets yoga and finally settles on relaxation all wrapped up in one package.

The trip starts with a massage, then we get straight into a night climb up Bali's highest mountain, Mt Agung, where we aim to be on the summit for sunrise. Following our climb, there is a day of white water rafting, yoga and a celebration dinner. A short, sweet and incredibly memorable adventure.

 Cost: $1600.00 per person (plus fundraising target). Team Leader is Lauren Elliott.

 More 2016 Events

 Inaugural Telethon Adventurers Ball(called the Brainchild Ball) will be held on Saturday 23rd July 2016 in the Astral Ballroom, Crown, Perth.  All funds raised will go to Telethon Kids Institute Brain Tumour Research laboratory under Dr Nick Gottardo.

 The night, titled Le Gourmet Soiree, will feature a specially crafted three-course French menu with accompanying French wines. Chef Guillaume has created the menu for the evening and will take part in a special Q&A segment to reveal some of his French cooking secrets and our Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be iconic Australian actor and comedian Peter Rowsthorn.

 The 2017 Adventures will be formally launched at the ball. Next year’s events include adventures featuring  Macchu Picchu, Thailand,  an Around the World Olympic Challenge,  Japan, and Mt Elbrus in Russia.

About Telethon Adventurers

Perth-based Telethon Adventurers was founded by Perth couple Rick and Emily Parish in 2010, after their young son Elliot passed away due to cancer.

It is a group of people dedicated to finding the cause and ultimately the cure for childhood cancer; they raise money by conducting adventurous, arduous and sometimes dangerous activities all over the world.

In 2011, the Adventurers partnered with Channel 7’s Telethon becoming The Telethon Adventurers and the list of Adventures and the all-important dedicated Adventurers has continued to grow. Mountains have been climbed all over the world, continents crossed on motorbikes, planes jumped out of and kilometres cycled – to date raising over $8.5 million dollars.

The Adventurers are volunteers, from all walks of life, people just like you who decide to take on a personal challenge and encourage their friends, family and colleagues to support their fundraising efforts. Each year approximately six very different Adventures are sanctioned by the Telethon Adventurers as official avenues to fundraise. Once signed up each adventurer funds their own trip and in turn commits to a fundraising target that can be achieved in various ways; each adventurer achieves a great personal goal and becomes part of a movement that has raised over $1 million each year. One person really can make a difference. 

In February 2013, the Adventurers funded the first Global Symposium on Childhood Brain Tumours. The three-day symposium attracted over 50 of the world’s leading researchers, oncologists and neurosurgeons to Western Australia. The result of this ground-breaking meeting was a published international agreement to form a collaborative approach into research and results – an agreement that brought the discovery of a cure years closer.

About Telethon Adventurers’ Beneficiaries

Elliot Parish Fellowship in Cancer Research (Year 4 of 5) 

In 2011 the Telethon Adventurers committed to this Fellowship for 5 years and granted funding to Dr Jacqueline Whitehouse’s research (formally Dr Jacqueline McGlade) under the mentorship of Dr Nick Gottardo and Dr Raelene Endersby.  Dr Whitehouse undertook research in identifying key genes involved in the development of brain cancer in children and how to target these genes in order to create effective treatments for children with minimal side effects.  Dr Whitehouse is now taking a moresupporting role in the laboratory and as a result,  this year the Fellowship will be fundingDr Megan Howlett and Dr Jacqui McGlade, so that in collaboration they can continue this vital research already underway.

Head of Pre Trial and Scientific Research, Brain Tumour Research Program (Year 2 of 5)

The Brain Tumour Research Program at the Telethon Kids Institute drives research along the entire continuum of the drug development and discovery pipeline, with a singular goal - to find cures for brain cancer.   Research projects undertaken in this area integrate clinical, pre-clinical and basic science to discover answers to beat childhood brain cancer. Dr Raelene Endersby has lead the scientific research within the Program since 2011 and has extensive expertise in cancer genetics and pre-clinical trials. Through further funding Dr Endersby can continue leadership over the Program at TKI and develop strategic national and international collaborations to expedite discoveries and their implementation in the clinic.

Brain Tumour Immune Therapy Research (Year 2 of 3)

 As a result of global research cancer treatment options and therapies continue to evolve. An example of such, is a new treatment therapy called immunotheraphy which endeavours to unleashing the patient’s own immunity and execute long-lived tumour destruction. At TKI Dr Jason Waithman and Dr Raelene Endersby are working in collaboration to investigate the potential of using this new treatment option as a treatment for paediatric brain tumours. Their work in this area has also lead to further collaboration with Dr Robert Wechsler-Reya in the USA who is also looking at this therapy treatment option. 

 Drug Discovery Program in Partnership with Phylogica (Year 4 of 5)

Since January 2011 the Telethon Adventurers have funded innovative drug discovery projects in partnership between the Brain Tumour Research Program and Phylogica- the first spin off company from TKI. Phyogica is a drug discovery company that recently made the decision to focus their research and development efforts in oncology.

 Global Collaboration Funding (ongoing)

The Telethon Adventurers provide funding to ensure international collaboration between clinicians and researchers who are working on treatment options for medulloblastoma. In 2015, the funding was used to bring three world-leading medulloblastoma clinicians to WA. Their visit led to hands on training for staff in new brain tumour methodologies and many fruitful discussions, resulting in collaborative research programs which are currently underway.

 Telethon Adventurers Fellowship in Haematology and Oncology (Year 4)

The Telethon Adventurers Haematology and Oncology Fellowship is a yearly clinical fellowship for a senior medical trainee in paediatric oncology at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children (PMH) The Fellowship combines clinical training in paediatric oncology as well as training in childhood cancer research. As this is a highly specialised area, having adequate training opportunities for senior medical trainees is essential to ensure adequately skilled staff to work in this area.  This fellowship was awarded to Dr Chris Howell from 2014-2105.